Jewish Journal

A Clarification on Cremation, Mistaken Identities!

Posted on Jul. 2, 2009 at 4:25 am

A Clarification on Cremation
There has been an understandable concern raised in response to our May 22-28, 2009, advertisement on the back cover of The Jewish Journal regarding services provided by Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary relative to cremation. We apologize for the incorrect impression we have made. We wish to clarify Hillside’s position concerning our own practice at Hillside.

As we have for many decades, Hillside continues to be sensitive to the needs of the Los Angeles Jewish community, of which we are an integral part. We take seriously our mission to provide support and care in helping all who come here to cope with a most difficult time in their lives. While we do not perform cremations, we do assist those who have chosen cremation to find reputable, honest and professional third-party service providers. In serving the individual wishes and desires of each member of our community, we have always offered and will continue to offer interment or other space for honoring cremated remains. 

Specifically, Hillside’s practice (which is identical to many other large and small Jewish cemeteries and mortuaries in Los Angeles and around the country) has long been as follows:

A. Following traditional Jewish practice, Hillside has never, does not and will never perform a cremation. These are always done by highly qualified third parties, outside of Hillside property. Our only role is to assist families with the decisions that they themselves make independent of us.

B. Hillside simply facilitates the cremation process for a family that wishes to do so.

C. Hillside has not, does not and will not encourage cremation for any family.

We hope that this clarification helps to bring some perspective to the issue. 

With respect, Mark A. Friedman, CEO Eliot Samulon, Chairman of the Board of the Hillside Council Hillside Memorial Park & Mortuary

Mistaken Identities!
Where there are two Miryam (Miriam) Jannols there are apt to be three opinions. Only one was expressed in The Jewish Journal’s June 19-25 Hard Truth Letters (“Letters,” June 19). The other two will be expressed below.

I, Miryam Jannol (the original — first one married to a Jannol) felt that the other Miriam Jannol expressed only one viewpoint about the paper. I have been reading The Jewish Journal for a long time and find it absolutely refreshing. Coming from the East Coast to Los Angeles over 35 years ago, The New Jersey Jewish News didn’t have the profundity or range that The Journal has. I think that a left or right viewpoint is not what people are seeking when reading the paper, but rather feeling a connection to their Jewish community.

Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews can find whatever it is that they are looking for in The Jewish Journal. That’s the second opinion. The third opinion is left to you….

Miryam Jannol, via e-mail

Third Speech: Found
After reading “Three Speeches” (Jewish Journal, June 19), I was hoping for a Palestinian response to President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu and was thus thrilled that a mere four days later Salam Fayyad, The Palestinian Authority’s prime minister, in fact delivered the “missing speech.” Fayyad called for the acceptance of two states for two people and, very importantly I believe, any other demands made by the international community. He was very credible in discussing the PA’s responsibility in developing the Palestinian state and the need for a unified Palestinian government. This speech was very much a “we have to carry our fair share of the work to get this done” speech rather than the “it’s your entire fault” speeches we normally see from Israel’s adversaries. As a pro-Israel community, we need to acknowledge when the other side takes actions, such as this speech, that are very much in good faith.

David Alpern, Long Beach

Iran and Action
How often does a situation come to the United States to help liberate 64 million people, reduce terrorism across the world and atone for a past president’s incompetence three decades ago? Not often, but that time is right now in a place called Iran.

For the first time in 30 years common Iranians are massing in the streets for an end to the oppressive dictatorship of the fanatic mullahs there (“Iranian Jews Join Los Angeles Protests,” June 19). For the first time since the Shah’s fall the “stars are aligned,” as President Obama likes to say, for the world’s worst sponsor of terrorism, the Iranian government, to crumble to the will of the decent people of Iran — without major military action on our part like in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Why on earth would an American president simply stand on the sidelines and not be proactive, not act like he leads a superpower? Like Chamberlain in 1938, all that is asked of Obama is to step up, make a couple of announcements supporting the Iranian protesters and we very likely could see the mullahs toppled, Ahmadinejad driven out and, most important to our lives here, the theocracy that has sponsored terrorism around the globe for 30 years now, from Africa to Argentina, swept clean away.

We wouldn’t need an American army of 180,000 to invade or billions of U.S tax dollars — just our president to care enough to think the world’s third-largest oil producer is strategic enough to be worth some of his effort. Think what a better and safer place this world would be with the Iranian government back in our fold as in the days before 1979.

To think that Obama really thinks these Iranian elections were anything resembling “fair” is just showing that experience does count when electing a president.

Peter M. Shulman, Playa Del Rey

Confronting Bigotry
Last Saturday (June 20), I surfed over to jewishjournal.com where I read (and saw pictures) and by Thursday also read in the print edition about the Westboro Baptist Church protest in front of Beth Chayim Chadashim GBLT Reform synagogue the previous day (“Synagogue Targeted by Christian Right Picketers from Kansas,” June 19). Many things continue to disturb me about what I read.

Members of the Jewish community, who were forewarned about this protest, basically hid under their collective beds. I suspect that the Jewish community thinks they are quite smart in pretending to ignore these *&#@*s. This, in essence, gives these bastards the green light to follow their bastard forefathers and come one step closer to burning down your synagogues. At the very least, be out there and make them verbally sorry for coming to this or any synagogue to spread their vileness.

Richard S. Levik, Mar Vista

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