Jewish Journal


October 3, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Kol Nidre Live, Obama, Mitt


Kol Nidre Online Nourishes Spirit of Those Far Away

I’m originally from Los Angeles but have been living in Tel Aviv for the past three years.

My mom is an avid reader of the Jewish Journal and sent me the link to your online Kol Nidre service. Since I got back home really tired after a grueling day of waiting tables, I ended up napping through the evening services (I’ll be honest, I wasn’t planning on attending services either; I’m quite secular).  After biking around the empty streets of Tel Aviv and meeting with friends, I was able to tune in and hear the Kol Nidre on YouTube via your recorded service, feeling both curious and warmly invited while sitting at home, watching via my laptop. I love the live musical ensemble and I was able to feel a much stronger connection to your modern take on Judaism in comparison to other Jewish movements that to me feel obsolete.

Thank you for sharing your community with me and the rest of the world.

Erez Jacob Ofer
Tel Aviv

My husband and I found your Webcast and have been in absolute heaven watching your beautiful, beautiful service. Thank you for sharing it with us. I grew up in Los Angeles and miss the Judaism of the West Coast.  I have been on the East Coast for 14 years and have felt so far away from my Judaism.

On our honeymoon, my husband and I felt a new Judaism that he had never felt before (being Episcopalian) and I had not felt since my youth or maybe ever. We returned to Boston to set up a life together having returned with a desire to build a Jewish home. We were in search of something warm and accessible and have not been successful in finding a shul here that made us feel at home.  Then this evening with your service wafting through the speakers in our home, our Judaism made sense. Thank you for helping us feel at home in our home with our Judaism at long last.

Alice Jacobs Nesselrodt

I’m watching you live from my house. I couldn’t get access to any synagogue here in Nairobi and had no idea how to go about Yom Kippur, but thank God I got you on Google. I’m now attending the first Yom Kippur in my life via the Internet. Thank you. You have no idea what this means to me.

George Hinga
Nairobi, Kenya

He Wants to Hear More From Wiesenthal Center

Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center aptly berates President Barack Obama for focusing on Holocaust denial in his message to the U.N. General Assembly while overlooking “the indifference of the world toward the continued demonization of Judaism ... by extremist Muslims [and] the mainstream Palestinian leaders” (“Mr. President: The Problem Is Not Holocaust Denial,” Sept. 28). 

Proving his point, Rabbi Hier quotes allegations by Palestinian leaders that deny the existence of the Temple and Jewish claims to the Temple Mount. He closes his piece with a rather profound statement to the effect that President Obama should have shown his concern not only about the Nazi Holocaust but, even more important, escalating worldwide anti-Semitism and the threat of annihilation of Jews by the Iranian mullahs.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is dedicated to confronting anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, should seek the next logical step toward fulfilling its mission by addressing the basic cause of anti-Semitism as proclaimed and practiced not only by Muslim and Palestinian leaders, but also now being promoted to a growing extent in our own schools and universities. On that the Simon Wiesenthal Center remains silent.

George Epstein
Los Angeles

Prioritizing Problems: Mitt’s vs America’s

It bothers me that Shmuel Rosner is making so much of Mitt Romney and his “Palestinian problem” (“Mitt’s Palestinian Problem,” Sept. 28). I don’t think it matters much what Romney’s Palestinian problem is or that he has a problem.
Israel is important to me as a Jew. But I am an American Jew, and America’s problems are more important to me.

Recounting a commentator’s observation, Rosner writes that Romney’s words reflect the views of Sheldon Adelson. Yes, definitely. The $100 million donation does not come without strings. Adelson wants the United States to go to war with Iran to help Israel. However, the United States is in no position to go to war. We have been at war for 11 years.

Anita Meyer

An article about a proposed elementary charter school (“Once Dreaming of a Hebrew Charter School, Now Only Mandarin Is Offered,” Sept. 27) incorrectly stated that in the process of obtaining approval for an existing charter high school, the Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences (AEALAS) cut ties with the Hebrew Charter School Center (HCSC). In fact, it was HCSC that cut ties with AEALAS.

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