In regards to your April 18 article on the Carmel Academy (“The Best Of Both Worlds”), a key ingredient to Carmel’s success is the administration’s willingness to allow its teachers the flexibility to meet the needs of the children. What a novel idea in this era of standardized testing and “one-size-fits-all” education!
While all should be delighted at the success of Hillel’s Peer Network Engagement Initiative, Ted Merwin’s April 26 tribute (“Jewish Identity, One On One”) fails to mention that this approach was pioneered and widely utilized on campus long before Hillel embraced it five years ago.
I was very disturbed concerning the Satmar custody case (“Satmar Custody Case Hinges On Value Of Religious Community, June 7). It is unbelievable that Judge Sherri Eisenpress awarded custody of the three children to the father, even though it was suggested that he physically abused and may have sexually abused his own children.
In his letter to the editor (“Wrong on Birthright,” June 7), Melvin Faber somehow implies that because conditions in the West Bank are better than on Native American reservations, they are not worth worrying about. This echoes arguments that I have heard saying that Israel’s human rights violations are OK, because they are not as bad as the ones that take place in many Muslim countries.
As an addendum to your recent coverage on the upcoming graduation ceremony of the first graduates of Yeshivat Maharat, and reactions in the Orthodox community, please note the statement issued several weeks ago by the International Rabbinic Fellowship, the Modern Orthodox rabbinical organization based in New York City.
Zelda R. Stern and Elana Maryles Sztokman’s May 31 Opinion piece, “Orthodox Women Reach Another Milestone,” makes three fundamental errors. First, the authors repeatedly assert the Orthodoxy of Yeshivat Maharat and its graduates, without clarifying the word. If Orthodoxy rules out women rabbis, for example, their loud declarations become meaningless. To be convincing, we’d need to know what they mean by Orthodox.
It is incredible that two Ivy League-educated individuals [Steven Povich and Axel Hufford] with “strong Jewish upbringings, including K-12 attendance at Jewish schools,” would be so lacking in their understanding of Jewish legacy and history (“Birthright Tells Only Half The Story,” May 17).
Before criticizing Birthright Israel and embracing the biased narrative of J Street, the Opinion writers Axel Hufford and Steven Povich should take a “Birthright America” trip (“Birthright Tells Only Half The Story,” May 17). They might visit Native American reservations, where there is far more poverty and lack of medical care than they will find in the Palestinian Authority. They might find lots of places where the American story is far different than what they experience in Dartmouth or their own communities.
While I agree with Rabbi Yitz Greenberg’s advocacy of the Sharansky compromise in regard to the Western Wall, there are two elements in his Opinion article with which I disagree (“Time For Modern Orthodox Leaders To Speak Out On Kotel Proposal,” Opinion, April 26).
First, he intimates that opposition to the Women of the Wall is due to haredi extremism. In reality, the actions of the Women of the Wall were offensive to a far larger group of Orthodox Jews and traditional Israelis who viewed the incident as an attempt to inflict feminist American values on a site holy to all Jews.