February 26, 1998
J.J. Goldberg's column on Israeli Finance MinisterNeeman's proposal to gradually phase out American economic aid toIsrael missed several key points, leading readers to draw skewedconclusions ("Foreign Aid as Shell Game," Feb. 13).
Israel has been a true foreign aid success story.Because of U.S. aid, Israel's economic reforms have slashed inflationfrom 400 percent in 1985 to 7 percent last year and transformedIsrael into a magnet for foreign investment, which last year topped$3 billion.
At the same time, Israel's forward-lookinginitiative accounts for the spiraling expense of maintaining itsqualitative edge. Half of the savings from reducing economic aidwould be used to increase extremely needed military aid from itscurrent level of $1.8 billion a year to $2.4 billion over 10-12years.
Revelations by chief U.N. inspector Richard Butlerthat Iraq has sufficient anthrax-tipped missiles to destroy Tel Aviv,and the participation by Iranian President Khatemi in a400,000-person protest against Israel, are sobering reminders of thethreats Israel faces.
It would be wrong to interpret these developmentsas signaling a diminution of the challenges facing supporters ofstrong U.S.-Israel relations. Israel will remain the largest U.S. aidrecipient and we will have to continue year-in and year-out to makethe case for those dollars. Aid is only one of the more than 130U.S.-Israel initiatives that fills our agenda.
I enjoyed Teresa Strasser's article "My Hair, MySelf" (Jan. 2). However, my hair is naturally like "Seinfeld's"Kramer. What did she mean by "crazy hair"?
I stopped dating a guy at UCLA who told me BarbraStreisand was "too Jewish." I was a Hebrew major at the time.
On Elia Kazan
Charles Marowitz's Feb. 6 puff piece "TheExoneration of Elia Kazan," extolling the contemptible weasel whoratted on his colleagues was one of the most disgusting articles Ihave read recently. Perhaps I may look forward to another glowingreport on someone who was nice to his dog, "Blondie," and who oftenkissed children in public: Adolf Hitler.
Emil M. Murad
The Singles Debate
After reading "Singles: The Debate" (Jan. 30), Ifelt compelled to respond. In my opinion, the rising rate ofintermarriage may be a direct result of the "excesses" of women'sliberation. Women today do significantly better economically than indays past (which is fine with me), but the bar also goes up for men,because many Jewish women we've dated expect to be "taken care of"(read: live very well).
Their expectations are unrealistic. By forcing usto submit to "the interview" that so many men complain about, theyexpect us to be able to show at the outset of the dating relationshipthat we are capable of providing them (and future children) with thestandard of living that their parents attained, or better.
Today's single women generally already live well.Since women are doing better, men have to move up as much, or more.Otherwise, a woman isn't interested because "there must be somethingwrong with him." After all, marriage and everything that comes withit is an expensive proposition. Do they think we don't knowthis?
In contrast, my Asian girlfriends have never caredhow much money I make. What's important to them is that I know how tohave fun and still treat them like ladies, in addition to beingresponsible enough to keep a good job.
Jewish men are marrying Asian women in increasingnumbers because they take a traditional view of the male/femalerelationship. They know how to take care of us (and they do), inaddition to knowing how to be taken care of (and showing theirappreciation for it). Moreover, their values tend to be centeredaround making the relationship work, rather than how well they'll beable to live.
My future children will be raised Jewish, and myfuture wife will attend temple as a Jew by choice. If this scenariobothers my Jewish-by-birth sisters, they have no one to blame butthemselves. They have "priced" themselves out of reach of the niceJewish boys they claim they really want. Money and material goods arenot the most important things. Happiness with the right partneris.
I must congratulate you on your Jan. 30 issue andyour balanced coverage of the Lewinsky "affair." It never ceases toamaze me that timely articles can be assembled so rapidly.
But what I want to focus on is "Singles: TheDebate." I think "Anonymous" and David Scher should meet and have itout in person.
By printing Ilana Polyak's article on Bel-Air Prepand allowing her to trash a wonderful, caring little school and itsgood reputation, you engaged in character assassination that Ithought beneath the integrity of the Jewish Journal ("False Valuesand Prep School Blues," Feb. 6).
"It takes a village to raise a child" and Bel-Airis a school that holds up its end of responsibilities tostudents.
My son graduated two years ago, after fullyutilizing the golden opportunities that were open to him.Academically, he flourished. He was encouraged to experience varyingextra-curricular activities.
He got a lot out of his high school years becausehe put in a lot of time and energy. As a family, we encouraged hiswholesome activities, opened our home to his friends and supportedhis school.
Polyak brags that her parents didn't pay a singlepsychotherapist's bill. Perhaps they missed the boat. She sounds likea very angry young lady who is still harboring feelings ofinadequacy.
What right does a journalist have to assume thather personal experience was also the experience of others?
Thank you, Marlene Adler Marks, for your column onsingles within the Jewish community ("One by One by One," Feb. 6).You have brought to the forefront an important, and as you said,overlooked issue. I applaud you for that.
If the bias against the unmarried is fading, whyis dating the only service the Jewish community can offer? The Jewishcommunity can recognize their single members as individuals. Some ofus do want to get married, some of us do not.
Synagogues are becoming more sensitive to theissues of singles, but there is still a great deal of married bias.Even something as basic as stating the cost of a particular event asa "price per couple" shows the married bias.
By talking about only matchmaking services thatcan and should be offered, you are implying that all singles want tomeet and marry and that is all we want and need from the Jewishcommunity. Many of us do not want to marry; we think of ourselves aswhole people with full lives. Yes, it might be nice to date and havea companion of the opposite (or same) sex but marriage is notnecessarily our goal or desire.
We need to feel comfortable in our Jewishinstitutions as individuals, not as a single wanting to meet apotential mate. I want to be able to attend services and berecognized. I want to go to events and be a full participating memberof the Jewish community. I want to be viewed by others, by the Jewishcommunity, as a person who has much to contribute, with personalneeds. I do not want to be considered only or primarily as apotential date for someone.
Singles, as you pointed out, cover the fullspectrum of ages. The younger ones probably do want to get marriedand that might be the "best" service the Jewish community can offer.(Notice, I said "best" not "only" service.) But some of the oldersingles might not want to get married again, but don't want to beleft out of Jewish life because of their single status.
Thanks for the Mention
Thanks to Ruth Stroud for her article ("A TruePublic Servant," Feb. 13). It made my parents proud.
Many Jewish organizations have room for youngleaders. If any young professional needs help connecting with a causeor organization, I would be happy to help if they call me at (310)859-5814.
THE JEWISH JOURNAL welcomes letters from all readers. Letters shouldbe no more than 250 words and we reserve the right to edit for space.All letters must include a signature, valid address and phone number.Pseudonyms and initials will not be used, but names will be withheldon request. Unsolicited manuscripts and other materials shouldinclude a self-addressed, stamped envelope in order to bereturned.Publisher, Stanley Hirsh
THE JEWISH JOURNAL welcomes letters from allreaders. Letters should be no more than 250 words and we reserve theright to edit for space. All letters must include a signature, validaddress and phone number. Pseudonyms and initials will not be used,but names will be withheld on request. Unsolicited manuscripts andother materials should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope inorder to be returned.Publisher, Stanley Hirsh
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