July 8, 2004
Green: Role Model?
Your cover story regarding Shawn Green is not only insensitive but also incorrect ("Home Run," July 2). You assert that the Dodger superstar is "batting 1.000 as a role model." Perhaps, the problem is that he is a role model and contributing to an overwhelming epidemic of intermarriage. If anything, you should have reduced his "average to .900" to indicate your dissatisfaction with his marriage to a non-Jew.
Unlike my son and his friends, "the black hat -- Yeshiva generation," I appreciate The Jewish Journal. I even understand when The Journal covers gay marriages. While I disagree with Rob Eshman, I accept his argument that The Journal must cover all facets of Judaism from Orthodox to Reform. The previous editor of The Journal was a guest at my house when I hosted a reception for Mayor Richard Riordan. We agreed to disagree on issues I consider crucial to the survival of Judaism.
I submit that The Journal owes Jewish children an apology for endorsing Green as a role model. There is no legitimate Jewish thought that asserts that marrying outside the fold is commendable. On the contrary, Tevya in "Fiddler on the Roof" said it best: "There is no other hand."
Andrew Friedman, President Congregation Bais Naftoli
Thank you for your cover story, "Home Run," on Dodgers baseball star Shawn Green. Green, like Jewish baseball icons Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax before him, has achieved that rarest of double plays: setting major league records on the field while conducting himself with dignity and class off it.
In doing so, he has won over not only many Dodger faithful in Los Angeles, but also this Bay Area resident and longtime Orioles, A's and Giants fan as well.
Stephen A. Silver, Walnut Creek
From the Poll
Raphael Sonenshein is, unfortunately, no doubt correct in his assessment (which I paraphrase) that most Jews will continue their near-slavish, lock-step devotion to the liberal-left Democrats in the coming election, and that there will be a "world celebration" if Bush is defeated ("For Whom the Poll Tolls," July 2). He dismissively notes the Bush administration's absolute support of Israel and its government, by stating that the Democrats will select strongly pro-Israel candidates with better social policies.
A clue to just who will be celebrating if Bush loses is a recent press release from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), citing a poll showing Muslims will heavily support Kerry by 54 percent to only 2 percent for Bush; Nader, who calls for American disengagement with Israel, gets 26 percent. CAIR cites disagreement with administration policy in the Middle East. In accord, a recent issue of Cairo's English edition Al Ahram contained an article urging Muslim Americans to support Kerry "even though the Zionists are the principal supporters of the Democratic Party." They must know something that Sonenshein doesn't.
I am sure that the leaders of France and Germany, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Hamas, Hezbollah, the ayatollahs of Iran and all their adherents and admirers will be among those celebrants and would endorse Kerry if asked. One can sometimes define a person (Bush) as much by his enemies, as one can define another (Kerry) by his newfound friends.
Carl Pearlston, Torrance
The Blame Game
In "Left, Right Playing Blame-Israel Game" (July 2), James Besser claims that both sides are dishing out misinformation and cooking up strange theories that Israel is responsible for our invasion of Iraq.
Besser seems to think that no one in his audience reads the Israeli press, which regularly supported a Bush invasion of Iraq, since disabling this large Arab country has always been a long-term strategic goal of Israel. Haaretz was full of it, Maariv sent out a veritable drumbeat.... It is inaccurate to blame Israel for our foreign policy: that is our responsibility. But it is entirely accurate to point out Israel's strong support for an invasion and, to the same end, its long-time involvement with Kurd separatism. It is also accurate to point out the Likudnik persuasions of many of the administration neocons.
It does not help the reputation of the Jewish community to misrepresent its role in influencing our foreign policy when it goes sour and deny what is obvious now. I think that fessing up and taking a critical look at ourselves will, in the end, gain us greater respect.
Miriam M. Reik, New York, N.Y.
As a customer for 40 years, I enjoyed the article profiling Stan Berman of "Stan's Donuts" located in the Westwood Village neighborhood of Los Angeles ("Stan's Donuts Mixes Flavor and Fame," July 2). It was well deserved recognition for one of our community's outstanding business entrepreneurs and philanthropic leaders. Since 1964, Stan has been turning out doughnuts and baked goods for not only gourmet doughnut lovers, but also for the thousands of regular patrons and thousands of students at UCLA and nearby high schools (I went to Uni High) looking for a simple nosh and a place to hang out.
Forty years of devotion to his baking heritage and commitment to his neighbors and customers. The Jewish Journal's writer Tom Tugend's "city spotlight" is a weekly delight and I hope it continues.
Chuck Levin, Los Angeles