May 20, 2009
Cover Story ‘Malfunction’, Unbiased Voting
Cover Story ‘Malfunction’
I find it most strange that an article about a D-list cable TV celebrity is important enough for front-page coverage (“Yenta-in-Chief,” May 15). I have nothing against Ms. Stanger, but in light of all that is happening in the Jewish world, is this really a topic that should command such prominent placement?
The article — including the titillating first paragraph about her “wardrobe malfunction,” seems more appropriate for Us magazine. Your readers want to know what is happening in Israel, with the Jewish people worldwide and especially in the L.A. Jewish community.
I agree that The Journal should have a mix of hard news and soft pieces, but a cover story this is not.
Joel Grossman, Los Angeles
Your “Yenta-in-Chief” cover story is unbelievably sexist against men and women — neat trick, and, yes, self-hating, anti-Semitic.
So good, you got me to read this issue at the expense of my reading any in the future. Not a good business deal, especially for a Jew.
Bill Grundfest, Los Angeles
Rob Eshman asks us to vote for Jewish candidates for elective office in Los Angeles because they “bring a particular set of values to the table” simply by virtue of being Jewish (“Outsiders Again?” May 8).
Eshman also probably would suggest we do business with Bernie Madoff because he’s Jewish, so necessarily he shares our values. Enough said.
The fact is, be it in politics or business, Jews are no different than anyone else. Some set examples we should emulate; others commit sins punishable in courts of law.
I continue to believe in the separation of church and state and that it’s bigotry to vote based on religion, race or ethnicity. The challenges confronting our city demand we vote for the best people, period.
Cary Brazeman, Los Angeles
Rob Eshman responds:
To clarify, I did not suggest Jews vote for a particular candidate simply because he or she is Jewish. I argued that Jews benefit from involvement in civic life, as candidates and voters.
Jewish Day Schools
In a perfect world, all Jewish children would be enrolled in Jewish day schools, with their parents seriously committed, as Rabbi Mitchel Malkus envisions (“Day Schools Vital to Jewish Future,” May 15). Unfortunately, even during prosperous times, day school attendance is limited primarily to the well-heeled.
The overwhelming majority of our progeny are in public schools. Unless the religious educational needs of this financially challenged population are met, our numbers will continue nosediving.
Synagogue-affiliated Hebrew schools have struggled during the last half century. Classroom contact hours have been dramatically reduced, talented staff wooed away by higher-paying day schools and rising tuition fees have scared away families for which financial solvency is the overarching consideration.
Because a supplemental Hebrew school education is far more cost-effective than one at a day school, the Jewish community must give it priority funding. Tuition must be slashed, teacher compensation made competitive and instructional hours increased.
Additionally, a task force must be established to consolidate smaller schools so class size achieves critical mass. To accomplish this, neighboring shuls will need to cooperate and a means of transporting students to Jewish community schools must be developed.
None of this is insurmountable. After years of pouring tens of millions into a handful of Southern California day schools, our community must refocus its educational dollars toward doing the most good for the most children.
Leonard M. Solomon, Los Angeles
Where Was He?
Just how hard do you work to check what you print in The Jewish Journal? In the May 1 edition, Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman tells us on Page 6 that Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish was being interviewed live on Israeli TV when he received the news that three of his daughters were killed (“The Good Doctor”). Then on Page 21, contributing writer Dikla Kadosh tells us that the good doctor was at home on the first floor of his house when the alleged tragedy occurred (“Palestinian Doctor Calls for Co-existence, Despite Loss”).
Was there an attempt to reconcile these two seemingly contradictory descriptions, or do you just make this stuff up?
Warren Scheinin, Redondo Beach
Ed. Note: The doctor was giving a live phone interview from his home with Israeli TV evening news when the rockets hit.