April 1, 2004
I always assumed that a healthy part of our donations to The Federation went to support our local JCCs and support Jewish education ("Members Rally to Save Centers," March 26).
Now The Federation's commitment seems to be to building some flashy building in an area with competing programs already offered by megashuls and abandoning core known provable assets in an area with few alternatives. Without the "kid" all would be lost. Without the Silverlake JCC much of the Jewish youth on the Eastside will have no exposure to Jewish culture and be lost. Now is the time to negotiate so the Silverlake Independent JCC can continue to offer its many programs and expand in a community that has shown its support for it. I urge whoever is responsible within The Federation and JCCGLA to sit and talk with the community now instead of destroying the building so a developer could build a strip mall.
Jeff Rosen, Silverlake
I am writing as a long time participant in JCC activities and a deeply concerned grandparent to urge you to do whatever is necessary to keep the Silverlake Independent JCC alive as the vibrant, necessary center it is -- in its present building.
I teach an undergraduate course in ethics at the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science. One of the strong points I make is that sometimes ethics simply trumps economics. This is one of those times. Evicting these parents and children from their center to make up for past mistakes of others is an unethical and un-Jewish response.
If the Silverlake Independent JCC is closed and its school and other worthwhile activities disbanded, which they undoubtedly will be, this will indeed be a black day in the history of Jewish affairs in Los Angeles. A true shanda.
Gershon Weltman, Sherman Oaks
Teresa Strasser missing her mojo? ("Missing: My Mojo," March 19).
Pullleeezzze! That strikes me about as sincere as Rod Stewart singing "Some Guys Have All The Luck." Teresa, let me see if I understand this correctly (since I have read numerous articles of yours lamenting that guys don't call you back, you stay home alone a lot, etc).
You are great looking, sexy, smart, funny, "hip" and charismatic. (I stopped watching "While You Were Out" once you were out.) You are the poster child for what every single, bachelor guy out there is hoping to find (Jews and non-Jews alike). Austin Powers I can buy losing his mojo, but you? No way!
So come on. It is OK to write about all the guys that think you are great, awesome, a goddess etc. ... and would call you back!
Dan Rosman, Redondo Beach
Bush or Kerry?
I read with interest Joel Kotkin's "Bush or Kerry?" piece (March 26). In it Kotkin alleged that Teresa Heinz Kerry had supported the Tides Foundation which in turn had supported causes Kotkin alleged were "jihadists." This assertion is flagrantly untrue and to my mind is evidence of true malice toward Kerry. The Howard Heinz Endowment, which she chairs, gives grants to the benefit of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Likewise, the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, where she serves as a director, gives almost all of its support to benefit the Pittsburgh region.
To ensure that the Heinz philanthropic interest in Pennsylvania was respected, Heinz and many other Pittsburgh foundations insisted that Tides [Center] create a separate Pennsylvania subsidiary. All of the Heinz money goes to this subsidiary and the funds may only be used in Pennsylvania. None of the causes Mr. Kotkin cited receive any money from the Tides Center of Pennsylvania, nor do they receive a nickel from the Heinz Endowments.
Kotkin is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Teresa Heinz Kerry's strong support for the state of Israel is a well-known fact.
Andrew McElwaine, President Pennsylvania Environmental Council Pittsburgh
I was appalled not so much by what Joel Kotkin said, but what he left out in his "Bush or Kerry?" piece (March 26). Whether or not you agree that John Kerry's "wobbliness" on the war against terror is cause for concern -- and I don't -- Kotkin fails to give any attention Bush's actions -- or I should say, overreactions -- since Sept. 11, which to me seem far more alarming.
What about this administration's rush to war against Iraq on the pretext that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which all evidence now shows were nonexistent? What about the testimony this week from Bush's former counter-terrorism chief, Richard Clarke, that Bush & Co. largely ignored the threat from Al Qaeda before the Sept. 11 attacks?
I too love Israel, but I don't understand why we have to throw all morality aside on the world stage in our eagerness to support our government's rush to war based on a completely phony pretext -- all because we think it's good for Israel. I'd prefer a bit of wobbling from my candidate to the outright lies that have been put forth by this administration under the guise of fighting terrorism and avenging Sept. 11.
Ruth Stroud, Redondo Beach