June 21, 2013
Letters to the Editor: NSA, Western Wall, Millepied and super grads
If You Have Nothing to Hide …
Whilst [Marty Kaplan] may be right vis a vis freedom versus security, my main concern is who is minding the minders; absolute power corrupts absolutely (“Dear NSA [NSFW],” June 14). The president may have lofty ideals and good intentions, he is a good man (although I would never vote for him), however the minions surrounding him are unelected and unaccountable.
We are living in very dangerous times and actions have to be commensurate with circumstances. We here in Israel have some of our freedoms severely restricted. You are subjected to searches by security every time you enter a store, your ID number is in common use. I am a law-abiding citizen and have nothing to hide. Given the alternative, I would rather this level of scrutiny than have a leg blown off.
Brian Freed, Netanya, Israel via jewishjournal.com
Particularly good piece. (She said as she logged in via Facebook.)
Karen Joseph Gilman via jewishjournal.com
Issues at the Western Wall
The issues raised by Women of the Wall are complex (“Respect, Inclusion and Tolerance at the Wall,” June 14):
1. Should the rules of Orthodox Judaism be the default position in managing the wall?
2. To what extent should Jews in the Diaspora dictate to Israeli Jews what rules of the wall should be?
3. Religious observance in Israel has been controlled by the Orthodox since the inception of the modern State of Israel, as determined by its founders. Why should that change?
4. Is this really a fight about what religious practices should be allowed at the wall or actually a fight that the non-Orthodox have little power in Israel?
5. Why should Israel care what Jews in the Diaspora think if these Jews are not willing to make aliyah and live with the danger of living in Israel?
There are so many fragile toes to be stepped on. There are so many issues not addressed but danced around. There are real existential issues facing Israel. Is this one of them?
Ilbert Phillips via jewishjournal.com
Respect Millepied, Portman as Individuals
“Before anybody ever heard of Natalie Portman …”? This is the kind of catty comment that pervades the arts and, in particular, the dance community (“Can Dance Maverick Millepied Make It Up to L.A.?” June 14). Natalie Portman has been acting since she was 12 years old; plenty of people certainly heard about her long before Millepied began getting high-profile commissions. That’s not to say his success is attributed to her, but let’s be fair to them both.
Jessica Dunn via jewishjournal.com
The Value of Chabad
I was a client at Chabad on Robertson (“Welcome to Rehab City,” June 14). Those were the best years of my life. I later became a staff member at the center, and I have 16-plus years clean. I have watched many young men change before my eyes. I believe Chabad is the best.
John A. Ostlund via jewishjournal.com
Support for Nazarian Center Benefits Everyone
I’ve attended several Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies events — films, lectures and their fabulous annual One Day University, where alumni like myself and other “civilians” get to experience talks by the center’s fabulous and inspired array of scholars (“Woman of the Pomegranate,” June 14). It’s not just the student body that gains from the presence of this department as it’s really open to all.
Yes, if we could have Dr. Sharon Nazarian’s elegance, it would be enough. If we could have her thoughtful intelligence, it would be enough. If we could speak as warmly and eloquently as she, and if we could all be in the position to do for Israel’s profile what she is engendering, that would be enough.
That said, the center still relies on outside support so they can continue doing this good work. So take some classes, join them and support them here (international.ucla.edu/israel).
Jane Sobo via jewishjournal.com
Kudos to New Graduates
Mazel Tov to all of the high school seniors featured in the Jewish Journal’s cover article “Super Grads” (June 7). It is impressive to read that a majority of the teens listed volunteer with children who have special needs. Our organization has benefited from the kindness of seniors Joelle Milman and Gabe Freeman in addition to the 1,000 Jewish teens who have volunteered with our special kids over the past 10 years. The L.A. Jewish community is producing talented and compassionate young adults who will make incredible leaders of tomorrow — something we can all be proud of.
Gail Rollman, Development Director, Friendship Circle of Los Angeles