In the article “Day Schools Save Millions in New Efficiency Effort” (Jan. 13), the author highlights how new “benchmarking” efforts have “resulted in substantial savings of tens of millions of dollars for nearly 40 Jewish day schools across the nation,” hardly an insignificant sum, even in the context of academic finances.
There are currently an estimated 9,000 ghost dwellings in Jerusalem that are owned by foreigners (“Jerusalem Is Becoming A Ghost Town,” Jan. 6). The average vacant, shuttered home is twice the size of the average apartment occupied by Israeli families. Hence, in effect, there are 18,00 units that are unavailable and unaffordable to real Israelis.
Doubling the real estate tax is a joke, as that tax, even doubled, is extremely low compared to real estate taxes in America.
Your article on the lack of affordable housing in Jerusalem offered an evenhanded review of the issues (“Jerusalem Is Becoming A Ghost Town,’” Jan. 6). As a Queens resident who owns an apartment in Jerusalem, I can reiterate the sentiment that it is absurd to expect a large number of absentee owners to rent their Jerusalem apartments to strangers.
The article “’Jerusalem Is Becoming A Ghost Town’” (Jan. 6) does not consider the facts that the part-time residents have invested huge amounts of money in Israel. We pay taxes, we pay maintenance fees, we pay insurance, we keep accounts at local banks, we support the airlines, silver and art shops, and charities for Israel. We love Israel and support it politically, economically and any other way possible.
To single out Jews who buy apartments in Israel and live there part time is not right.
Though I am acutely aware of polarization within the Jewish community, I was particularly distressed by Michele Chabin’s report on haredi extremists attacking schoolgirls because of their “immodest” dress (“In Beit Shemesh, Modesty Wars,” Dec. 30).