Thank you very much for Jonathan Mark’s moving article about my very dear friend Matt Fenster (“Days Of Awe,” Sept. 30).
I think he really captured and relayed to the reader the special nature of Matt’s neshama (soul). The article has helped foster continued discussion in the Riverdale community about Matt and helped the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) community deal with our collective grief.
Thank you, Jonathan Mark, for writing the moving article about Matt Fenster and his courageous struggle (“Days Of Awe,” Sept. 30).
I did not know Matt, but learned of his illness last year through a donor drive. I was moved by his circumstances and sent a check. I remember asking myself, why him? Why does one get this adversity? We all get challenges, but they hopefully make us stronger. But his challenge was insurmountable. And it seemed to happen to a nice guy, one of us.
I recently took a walk in the woods with two women, one 20 years older than I am, the other 40 years older, to discuss the challenges of aging. We paused when we saw white-tailed deer hop-freeze beside us in the thicket. We shared stories about women in our lives, and how they navigated the aging process. We talked about our own changing bodies, changing minds, changing children, changing communities. We turned our faces towards the sunshine and stopped in our tracks when someone shared a particularly resonant insight, as we let it wash over us.
‘What do you do,” Mr K. was asked, “if you love someone?” “I make a sketch of that person,” said Mr. K., “and make sure that one comes to resemble the other.” “Which? The sketch?” “No,” said Mr. K., “the person.”
I have returned from Australia where I facilitated and presented at a national conference of Israel education, organized by the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) in Melbourne. The conference was attended by representatives of almost every Zionist day school from across Australia, and from across the ideological and religious spectrum. Despite the differences of ideology, there was a tremendous amount of mutual respect and cooperation.
Vice President, Israel Relations Jewish National Fund
Robert Cherry's statement in his Opinion piece, “Zionist Policies Towards Israeli Arabs” (Sept. 23) that “93 percent of Israeli land is in the hands of the Jewish National Fund (JNF)” is totally incorrect.
Perhaps he is confusing JNF with the Israel Land Authority (ILA), which is a government agency that manages land in Israel. JNF owns about 13 percent of the land in Israel. It also owns land in both Syria and Jordan. Neither government allows JNF to utilize those lands.
The Sept. 16 piece, “Hanging Ten For A Minyan,” on Rabbi Eli Goodman, the “surfing Rabbi,” reminded me of a Talmudic story about Rabbi Akiva, in the first recorded instance of surfing some 1,600 years earlier than the European reports of surfing in Tahiti in 1767.
Your story, “Jewish-Evangelical Alliance Fraying” (Sept. 16), raised the question of whom we affiliate with when it comes to the State of Israel.
While I feel Rabbi Joseph Potasnik is correct in stating that, “At a time when there is a dearth of friends for Israel, we should be grateful for ... support,” I do not believe that all groups that speak out for Israel have her best interest in mind.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.