Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthdays we recall next week, shared far more than the political partnership on behalf of civil rights immortalized in the iconic 1965 photograph of them marching side by side in Selma, Ala. Their biographies show astonishing parallels. Their theologies of prophecy and providence were closely allied. And the self-images they bore as religious and societal leaders were remarkably similar.
The newly elected leaders in the House of Representatives plan to open the 112th session by reading the Constitution into the record. That's not a bad beginning - this Congress must dedicate itself to addressing fundamental problems in order to keep alive the promise of our constitution's preamble: "to...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."
Jewish learning conference attracts 2,000 — but not chief rabbi.
Editor and Publisher
Two of the most successful efforts to strengthen Jewish identity in recent years were created, and have been sustained, in opposite ways.
Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about Birthright Israel, which has provided a 10-day Israel experience to more than 250,000 young people in its first decade. A top-down creation, Birthright was conceived and funded by a small group of mega-philanthropists, offering these memorable trips as a gift, free of charge to participants ages 18 to 26.
In life the everyday mixes with the eternal. Is it holy to sit on a committee or sacred to oversee synagogue budgets? This problem disturbed the great English constitutionalist, Walter Bagehot. In a memorable passage he writes: “There seems to be an unalterable contradiction between the human mind and its employments. How can a soul be a merchant? What relation to an immortal being have the price of linseed, the fall of butter, the tare on tallow, the brokerage on hemp? Can an undying creature debit ‘petty expenses’ and charge for ‘carriage paid’?”
In Allison Good’s opinion piece, “American and Israeli Students: A Missed Opportunity” (Dec. 31), she cites Spring in Jerusalem as one of the programs that succeeds in connecting American students who are studying abroad in Israel with Israeli students. A joint project of Harvard University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Spring in Jerusalem is the first of many immersive study abroad programs in which Masa Israel Journey has recently invested.
Your article, “Appetite For Protest At Flaum” (Dec. 17), highlights a number of ongoing labor disputes between Flaum Appetizing Corporation, its owner, Moshe Grunhut, and his former employees.
As members of the Flaum family and as former owners of Flaum’s Appetizers, we wish to emphasize that effective March 18, 1987, some 23 years ago, Flaum’s Appetizing at 40 Lee Ave. in Brooklyn was sold outright to its present owners, who took over all managerial and financial responsibility for the enterprise.
As a young leader involved with the Anti-Defamation League, where I serve on the New York Regional Board and the Executive Committee of the Lawyers’ Division, I take issue with a number of the points raised by Ben Sales in “The Two ADLs” (Opinion, Dec. 17), particularly his argument that the agency’s mission no longer resonates with young Jews. In my experience, ADL’s young leadership is very supportive of the agency’s dual mission of combating anti-Semitism and defending the state of Israel.
Naomi Levine’s letter (“Gender Gap,” Dec. 31) asserts, “I have found that in the academic world — as in corporate America — women are far more represented in top positions than in the Jewish community. Among the seven vice presidents at NYU, three, including myself, are women.”
While I admire Levine’s quarter-century of service to NYU and the progress she reports, she misrepresents the state of affairs in the Jewish community — at least insofar as AJC, which she mentions by name, is concerned.