When the Orthodox community in Oceanside, or in fact anywhere, is committed to providing only minimal Jewish education in the name of “love” of Judaism, then the future of our people is doomed (“Chabad Presence Making Waves In Oceanside,” Feb. 12).
I was educational director at the Oceanside Jewish Center (Conservative) for 19 years. We encouraged attendance in religious school following the bar/bat mitzvah and kvelled about those students who continued on in a Hebrew high school program.
Regarding “Chabad’s Presence Making Big Waves In Oceanside” (Feb. 12), as a former president of a Conservative shul and longtime trustee, I have seen and been saddened by the decline of the Jewish presence in my community, North Bellmore (not far from Oceanside and also competing with Chabad.) The disinterest in and inability to financially support local synagogues, I believe, is based in economics, a lack of knowledge of Judaism and a spiritual disconnect from God in both a communal and personal way.
Kenneth J. Bialkin’s Opinion article, “Time for a Change in U.S. Mideast Strategy” (Feb. 12), is well intentioned but flawed. What Bialkin fails to take into account are the viewpoints and influence of radical Islam and of Iran and its agents, such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
On eve of JOFA conference, younger women eschew exclusive services for ‘partnership’ minyanim.
Editor and Publisher
I consider myself a feminist, but when it comes to prayer, every morning I recite the ritual blessing thanking God “who has not made me a woman.” (At least I say that one softly, and with a tinge of guilt and confusion.)
As some Jewish leaders noted in a Jewish Week story this week, it’s getting harder to keep our community focused on the crisis posed by Iran’s continuing nuclear arms quest.
Jewish organizations are remarkably unified in making Iran sanctions a top priority; polls show an undiminished understanding of the huge risks a nuclear Iran would pose to Israel, to other Middle Eastern states and to U.S. interests around the world.
Jonathan Pollard, in jail for 23 years, should be freed — not because he is a hero or a Jewish paragon but because his continued incarceration for spying for Israel makes no sense from a legal, national security or humanitarian perspective. That said, Pollard and his supporters continue to say and do things that can only prolong his torment.
This much is known about the situation in Pakistan: The country with the second-largest Muslim population in the world (after Indonesia) is in chaos and it has the nuclear bomb. That should galvanize the West in addressing a crisis that may well surpass the one posed by Iran, at least for now.
On the Thursday night before my Shabbat bar mitzvah all those years ago in Annapolis, Md., it snowed, heavily and unexpectedly. More than 20 inches by the next morning.
As a result, almost all of the out-of-town guests, including close relatives, couldn’t get there; my parents had to pay for dozens of guests who never made it to the luncheon at a local hotel; and an elderly congregant attempting to walk to shul for the occasion fell and broke her leg — a fact she reminded me of for years, every time I saw her.