Credits Bruni For Column

08/05/2013 - 20:00

I read with dismay Erica Brown’s “Open Letter To Frank Bruni” (Aug. 2, Back of the Book).

In his July 23 column in the New York Times, “The Faithful’s Failings,” Bruni
unflinchingly discussed sexual abuse among Orthodox Jews. The hurt and shame
we feel as Jews when reading his column is compounded because it was written
by someone outside our faith. But for that Bruni deserves our thanks,
not our criticism.

No Excuses On Abuse

08/05/2013 - 20:00

Regarding Erica Brown’s “Open Letter To Frank Bruni” (Aug. 2, Back of the Book), decades ago, as the news of Catholic Church abuse came to light, many Orthodox
Jews snickered with schadenfreude. More recently, as the epidemic of abuse in the haredi community has become public, educated Orthodox Jews stood on their morally
superior soapbox posturing how much better they would handle such events
should they ever occur in their community, as unlikely as that might be.

Immigrant Experiences

08/05/2013 - 20:00

I was dismayed to read “Immigration, Then and Now” (July 26) by Jonathan Mark, which contends that there are vast differences between early 20th-century Jewish immigrants and recent immigrants. Mark states “one group was escaping a Holocaust; the other, simply seeking a better way of life in a stronger economy.”

Upset With Claims Conference

07/29/2013 - 20:00

I am writing on behalf of my mother, a 91-year-old survivor of Auschwitz who became a widow in 1962, when my father died (“Under Pressure, Claims Conference Officials Alter Meeting Agenda,” July 5).

My mother has had numerous unpleasant conversations with the staff of the Claims Conference, which instead of helping survivors has “lost” $57.3 million in fraudulent claims. My mother was denied any reparations after my father’s untimely death. My mother appealed the decision and also applied for an increase for herself and was turned down.

Schechter Success In Queens

07/29/2013 - 20:00

In response to Julie Wiener’s story, “New Hope for Schechter” (July 19): a lot of great things are happening at The Schechter Day School Network, including the sizable grant from Avi Chai Foundation and the arrival of incoming Executive Director Jon Mitzmacher. There was, however an omission in this story.

Kosher Inspection Should Be Strict

07/29/2013 - 20:00

I read with interest your article, “5 Town Rabbis Want Answers On Zomick’s Infestation” (July 19), and see the same
issues as I see here in New York City with Restaurant Health Department
inspections, and at local Manhattan kosher supermarkets. Denial that
there is a problem. Denial that there is anything wrong. Denial that the
state inspectors know what actually goes on in their shop. Denial about
everything found during an inspection. As a person who relies on kosher
establishments for my food, I am shocked by the responses from Zomick’s
published in the article.

Proud History

07/29/2013 - 20:00

As administrators of America’s first Hebrew school, going back 211 years and still going strong, we read Julie Wiener’s article, “Family Time Hebrew School” (July 5) with great interest. We have no argument with the recent trend for Hebrew schools to experiment with experiential learning. If the kids have fun, they will hopefully want to attend and if they attend and have fun, they will hopefully form positive feelings about being Jewish. This is surely a good thing.

However, we also believe there is room for a variety of approaches, including a content and skills-based program taught by engaging, knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers. In our experience, Hebrew literacy and knowledge of our traditions also constitute key factors in sustaining a diverse community of not only proud but also competent Jews.

Kurtzer One-Sided

07/29/2013 - 20:00

When Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer embraces “advancing the peace process,” he means the same policy that has been the hallmark of the U.S. State Department for 46 years (“As Egypt Roils, Time For Israel To Pursue Peace Talks,” July 12). Never mind that it has failed on each occasion.

Simple Solution

07/29/2013 - 20:00

Regarding “Back To The Table, This Time With Kerry” (July 26): if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas can’t or won’t bring about a peace agreement, they
should be replaced by leaders who can and will.


Equal Obligations

07/29/2013 - 20:00

Gerald Steinberg, in his Opinion piece, “Beyond Tikkun Olam” (July 19), completely misrepresents Hillel’s famous dictum. Hillel said “If I
am not for me who will be for me and if I am only for me, what am I?” He
does not, as Steinberg says, enjoin us “first to be for ourselves, and then, with our security and survival in hand, to expand our commitment to people
who are outside the fold in need of assistance.” The two obligations are

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