I am writing in response to your article about the Professional Leaders Project (“Scholarships Passed Over,” April 2).
I would like to take this opportunity to provide your readers with additional facts and context that did not appear in the original article.
The story of women’s roles within Orthodoxy has appeared on the front page of The Jewish Week five times in the last eight weeks, including four consecutive weeks (March 5, 12, 19, 26 and again April 23).
With regard to Stewart Ain’s article (“MK, Non-Orthodox Clash On Conversion,” May 7) and MK David Rotem’s assertion that “he denied promising to withdraw the [conversion] bill if he failed to win the support of ... leaders ... here,” I can tell you I was present at four of his meetings and he often made just such a statement. It was then generally followed by the comment he would tell the olim from the former Soviet Union to blame the Americans for the lack of progress.
While we in Nashville deeply appreciate the outpouring of support from friends around the country, your characterization of the Jewish community being “unscathed” may relate to our communal buildings, but definitely not our community (“Nashville Jews Respond To Flood,” May 7).
Nobel Peace laureate Elie Wiesel came away from his private White House lunch with President Barack Obama last week with “a good feeling” about the administration’s commitment to Israel, he told The Jewish Week the next day in an exclusive interview. (See the full story on our Web site.)
“There was no small talk; it was all substance,” he said of the meeting, with just the two men in the room. “I spoke about what Jerusalem means to me. I said the Muslims have Mecca and we have Jerusalem.”
Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s qualifications for the Supreme Court — she was appointed by President Barack Obama this week to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens — will be judged by the Senate as part of the confirmation process. No doubt Jewish groups with very different positions on church-state questions and issues such as abortion and homosexual rights will weigh in when deliberations begin.
President Obama’s recent public willingness to apply pressure on Israel is the latest step down a long road of increasing ideological discomfort for America’s Jewish community. Once upon a time, you could be a typical liberal Jew and be a Zionist without much internal conflict. Israel was the socialist underdog. While Jews still overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic ticket — 78 percent of them voted for Obama — Israel has increasingly become anathema in liberal circles.
I know it’s census time when I ride the subway. The ads argue, “If we don’t know how many people we have, how do we know how many trains we need?” Maybe they should just take the morning rush.
Then there’s the Jewish census in the Book of Numbers, where instead of pulling in numbers, Moses goes for the money; a capital campaign without the journal and dinner. He collects from everyone who’s 20 and over a silver half-shekel each, after which the coins are totaled up and only then do we have a head count. But if it’s not so we know how many trains, or hospitals, we need, then what for? To what end?