May 5, 2005
A Real Rabbi
We can't speak for our entire congregation, but Rabbi Karen Deitch's article ("SWF Rabbi," April 1) did not embarrass us (Letters, April 29). We invite you to attend one of our erev Shabbat services when Deitch is officiating. She is a well-spoken, insightful and relevant teacher. Your criticism of the Reform movement is also misguided. Today's Reform movement is energetic, innovative and with the unique influence of women redefining what Judaism can be. If you really want to see how colorful our clergy is, come to our temple on Purim. You will plotz.
Jeff and Rivi Shulman
[Harry Finkel's] comment that Rabbi Karen Deitch is "supposedly a rabbi" is out of line. He should come visit our temple and see the great work she is doing. A rabbi is a person just like the rest of us and it's nice to know that she can go into a bar, have a beer and look to meet someone. I look forward to Deitch's sermons as I know our congregation does.
The Journal is to be commended for its article on Holocaust education ("Learn to Remember," April 29). Your article gave much-deserved attention to the California Center for the Study of Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights co-directed by professors Sam and Carol Edelman of California State University, Chico. Readers should be aware that L.A.-area teachers and professionals will have the opportunity to learn from the Edelmans in a special summer course, "Teaching the Holocaust and Genocide," offered at CSUN from June 21-July 7. The course is being funded by grants from the 1939 Club and the Jewish Community Foundation. For more information, contact (818) 677-3007 or www.csun.edu/jewish.studies.
Your feature article on how to teach Shoah and who is teaching students and teachers failed to mention important sources of Holocaust education in the Los Angeles region.
The "1939" Club Chair on Holocaust Studies at UCLA was approved by the regents of the University of California in January 1979. The first chair on Holocaust studies in a public university in America has since educated thousands of undergraduate students. Classes at some point reached as many as 300 students.
The graduate program under professor Saul Friedlander has educated dozens of doctoral students who presently hold positions in many American universities. Together with recently established Jewish studies center at UCLA under professor David Myers, lectures and symposia are held at UCLA on various aspects of the Shoah.
In addition, in recent years the "1939" Club, under the presidency of Bill Elpherin, has sponsored a major Holocaust writing contest at Chapman University -- hundreds of high school students participate.
Dr. Sam Goetz
When are we going to say that this "right of return" to an Arab nation that never existed is bogus ("Right of Return -- War of Words in L.A.," April 29). It is just another attempt by the Arabs to get rid of what galls them i.e. a non-Arab non-Muslim entity in the Middle East. If that isn't racist and imperialist I don't know what is. They know damn well that if that land became a "secular" state it would very quickly be overrun by Arabs and become another racist imperialist Arab country in the region.
[Nader] Abuljebain and his ilk seem to forget that in 1948 the Arabs attacked Israel not in order to establish a secular state but to destroy Israel and rid the area of Jews. There were no Arab refugees until the war that they started in order to create Jewish corpses and refugees. Had they succeeded, who today would be arguing for justice for the descendants of those Jews? It is the same for the 1967 and 1973 wars. A secular state would not exist; only an Arab one and a lot of dead Jews. Would Abuljebain be fighting for their, or their descendants rights? Come on mister at least be honest. You are not just looking for your grandfather's house. You are looking for what I just described -- the whole "falafel." But if you were honest there would be a dialogue, and I don't think a dialogue is what you want.
No I don't think a secular state is the right solution. It seems there will have to be an Arab state next to a Jewish one. If you sincerely want to help your people perhaps you ought to help them build a secular Arab state in the land to be negotiated. But that is hard work. It is a lot sexier to rail against Israel, and macho to kill them.
The late Pope John Paul II lived a life filled with good works for all of humanity. In his will there was no material wealth, but his legacy was full of good will.
Yasser Arafat, the president of the Palestinian people for the last 40 years, lived a life of corruption and terrorism. When he died, he left a fortune estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet, Arafat always claimed that the Palestinians were impoverished, so much for his credibility.
It is questionable whether the new Palestinian leaders are more reliable. The Arabs have tried to destroy Israel in every war they started since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, with no success. The Palestinians are of course part of the family of Arab nations. It is therefore highly likely that the Palestinians now are trying a new ploy using public relations to manipulate public world opinion. In the end they might not have truly changed their goal of destroying Israel. Can a leopard really change his spots?