Regarding “The Mystery Of The Missing Stained Glass Windows” (April 3), I have been a citizen of Mahanoy City, Pa., for 67 years now, and I knew just about all of the Jewish families that lived here. They were all wonderful people. But I must say this: The worst thing they could do is put those windows back in [Beth Israel, the synagogue from which they were removed]. Because now they have made public the value of the windows.
Wouldn’t the Birthright experience be much more meaningful for its participants if they had stronger Jewish backgrounds before their trip, during their high school years? (“What’s Next After Birthright Next?” Editor’s column, May 22)
Regarding “What’s Next After Birthright Next?” (Editor’s column, May 22): The lack of creative thinking in crafting these programs is pretty shocking. Perhaps none of the people in leadership who are thinking through post-Birthright options is a parent of Birthright alums who are secularists, but nonetheless have a strong sense of Jewish pride and identity. Or perhaps they are too far removed from the mindset of these alums to have a sense of what would really work to sustain the connectedness and emotional high provided by Birthright.
In Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “What’s Next After Birthright Next?” (May 22), he cites various programs to engage alumni of Birthright trips into Jewish life. OneTable’s Aliza Kline wants everyone to feel included at Shabbat dinners by making rituals very optional or watered down. She claims she doesn’t want anyone to feel awkward.
As a SUNY graduate 35 years ago, I am disappointed to hear that SUNY is still having commencement exercises on Shabbat at any SUNY school, especially one of the four university centers (“Orthodox Jewish Commencement Speaker Gets It Done,” Jewish Week online, May 14.).
I read about the Polish government compensation for Holocaust survivors, offering about $130 a month — enough to starve on (“New Rules Pave Way For Polish Expat Pensions,” May 22).
It is another way to avoid true restitution of the close to $40 billion in Jewish properties that were never returned to the owners or survivors. For past 25 years I have been trying to recover the properties my grandfather and father owned that are valued at over $25 million. I have documents from 1928-1938 about the ownership, and document of an order by a German judge to transfer of the factory from my father to a representative of Germany.
Regarding Pope Francis’ move to support Palestinian statehood (“Vatican Officially Recognizes Palestine,” online story, May 13): At a time when Jews are being brutalized and butchered from Copenhagen to Cannes and seriously contemplating the second mass exodus from Europe in less than a century, this punitive act against Israel by the Vatican is a clear indication that European Jewry is being handed their hat and shown the door.
Irwin Wall doubts Israel’s motives for helping earthquake victims in Nepal (Letters, May 15).
At the end of his letter Mr. Wall calls Israel an occupying power. He totally forgets the history of how Israel, after the Six-Day War of 1967, offered a total withdrawal from the West Bank in exchange for a peace treaty.