Chancellor Arnold Eisen’s steps towards a renewed consensus on Israel are all based on a premise that few American Jews, and particularly younger American Jews, would agree to (“Appreciating, And Learning To Talk About Israel,” Opinion, May 6).
The premise that Israel is the most important project of the Jewish people, that it is the proving ground for our Jewish values and the wellspring of Jewish culture flies in the face of the American Jewish experience.
As president of Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah, a 420-family Orthodox shul in Potomac, Md., I read with interest the May 27 article about Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT).
The article discussed the Rabbinical Council of America’s current refusal to accept the semicha of YCT graduates and suggested that this might make it more difficult for YCT graduates to obtain pulpit positions.
The Jewish Week’s paired front-page articles, Gary Rosenblatt’s column and James Besser’s report on “’67 Border Flap” (May 27) were together a much-needed antidote to the hysteria sweeping the Jewish community about Obama and Israel.
It was a week in which President Barack Obama intentionally sandbagged and humiliated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the most anti-Israel speech ever delivered by a sitting American president, delivered moments before the prime minister was set to leave for America. Yet, strangely, Gary Rosenblatt chooses to see Netanyahu as the confrontational one (“Bibi Opts For Confrontation,” Editor’s column, May 27).
A few days after President Barack Obama’s infamous May 19 statement that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines,” I sent letters to my representatives in Congress stating that “there are hundreds of thousands of Jewish people who live beyond the 1967 lines, and the 1967 lines are ‘indefensible.’”
The Jewish left, as personified by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (Letters, May 20), views the popular pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist position as the only permissible view to hold. Anyone who dares challenge this politically correct and utterly conformist view becomes persona non grata. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld has not been addressed on the issues he raises but has, instead, been personally demonized, libeled and pressured to resign for exercising his right to free speech and academic freedom.
Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, Trustee, The City University of New York
Regarding the absolutely outrageous letter from Rabbi Arthur Waskow (May 20, Letters), let me be clear: Jim Dwyer’s piece in The New York Times was part of a concerted campaign to defame me [over this letter-writer’s role in the initial decision by the CUNY board to deny Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner an honorary degree]. I apologize for nothing. I never made the statement that Palestinians were not human.
I had the privilege of being one of 120 participants at a unique conference that took place in mid-May. Siach (conversation) was a gathering of Jewish social justice and environment professionals from Israel, Europe and the United States.
Funded by the Commission of the Jewish People of the UJA-Federation of New York, the gathering was coordinated by three organizations: Bema’aglei Tzedek (Israel), Jewish Social Action Forum (U.K.) and Hazon (U.S.).
Summer is upon us and that means camp season will be here again. As I have for each of the past five years, I’ll be going to Jewish overnight camp. Not as a camper — I’m 81 — but as a visitor. I’ve made it a practice to visit Jewish overnight camp because I believe in the transformative influence that Jewish camps have on our children and I think every child could benefit from a camp experience. So, although I never went to summer camp as a child, the support of these institutions has become my hobby and my passion.