I don't understand the brouhaha over Gov. George W. Bush's proclamation calling June 10, 2000 Jesus day in Texas. What would we Jews have thought if Christians would have criticized Bush when he declared Honor Israel day or a week of Holocaust remembrance? Anyone who would have raised their voice would have been brandished a bigot. Why are we Jews so afraid of the mention of Jesus Christ? Should we really be frightened because Bush, in an interview, named Jesus Christ as the political philosopher with whom he most identifies?
Sen. Joseph Lieberman wears his Judaism as a badge of honor and appears to talk about it incessantly. If a Christian came forward and said they found this offensive - inasmuch as Jews only represent 2.5 percent of the population of the U.S. - this person would be brandished a bigot. Bigotry cuts two ways.
We Jews have achieved more success and acceptance in this wonderful country than in our history. This is America. It is not us against them or them against us. I believe The Jewish Journal perceives that its readers are hypersensitive liberal Democrats who excuse President Clinton's despicable conduct and ignore the fact that he has set a rotten example for young people and adults by his personal behavior. Personally, I would prefer having Bush in the White House using Christ as his role model, than Clinton or Al Gore whose only role model is the latest poll.
Fred C. Sands, Los Angeles
I rarely take the time to write something positive, but I am trying to do better. Maybe practice will make perfect.
I truly enjoyed Debra Askuvich's story on BCI using the "Survivor" theme ("Survivor, Shmurvivor" Aug. 25). She is a talented young writer and wrote with enough humor to keep me interested. I have been involved in the leadership of the Jewish community for over 25 years and tend to skim over much of the Jewish press. Considering my limited attention span - a sad symptom of middle age - that is a great compliment.
I hope we will see more of her light touch.
Sima Schuster, Tarzana
As a longtime reader of your newspaper, I was appalled to read Teresa Strasser's most recent article and to see the accompanying picture of her mother and new husband.
I consider myself a very unprejudiced person, but I thought that it was very inappropriate to see the large photograph of a Jewish woman in the arms of a Black man (her new husband) published in our Jewish newspaper. You should be setting a better example for our young Jewish people who might be reading Ms Strasser's column.
I hope that in the future you will consider the effects upon your readers of what you publish.
Name Withheld Upon Request Mission Viejo
So Teresa Strasser has a new Black stepfather ("Shotgun Wedding," Sept. 1). are we supposed to wish her Mazel Tov?
What was her purpose in writing such an article in an Anglo Jewish Newspaper? Is The Jewish Journal trying to promote intermarriage?
Rose M. Ptashkin, Los Angeles
I was stung by an aspect of Teresa Strasser's writing: The simile she used concerning one of the world battles of World War II - Iwo Jima.
She denigrated and reduced the significance of those people who actually faced warfare. I realize that she is not old enough to have been subjected to the facts of war, but that does not take away her obligation to do her homework before uplifting herself and her agenda at the expense of grave reality.
Mildred Hochheiser, Laguna Hills
L.A. Jewish Theater
While it did not actually state so the article about the West Coast Jewish Theater (WCJT) ("Seeking A Home," Sept. 1) implied that the WCJT is Los Angeles' only ongoing Jewish theater company.
I must respectfully point out that there is at least on other such company. The Jewish Women's Theatre Project, which is also located in Los Angeles, was created in 1996. Since 1997 it has produced 20 new plays, works which challenge preconceptions and stereotypes, and explore the enduring questions of Jewish identity.
Jan Lewis, Los Angeles
B'nai B'rith Convention
The Jewish Journal is a news outlet of the Jewish community, yet volunteer organization news is limited. It is disturbing that neither the Sept. 1 or Sept. 8 issues carried any news about B'nai B'rith's International Convention in Washington, D.C., Aug. 24-29.
B'nai B'rith remains a vital, important grass-root membership organization whose delegates elect its leadership, sets policy and approves budgets.
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Hillel remain key affiliates that engage our members, and who contribute to the independent campaigns they carry out. How to increase 23 percent of B'nai B'rith's budget for youth services was a heated debate. While acknowledging the need for major gifts and awards from grants, the delegates refused to turn its program over to the big givers whose worth is important and imperative, but would have left the grass-roots out of decision making.
The program was inspiring.
George W. Bush addressed the assembly by satellite, pledging America's ambassador would headquarter in Jerusalem. Hadassah Lieberman, speaking for the Gore-Lieberman ticket (on the day the ADL-Lieberman story broke), limited references to religious affinity to praising B'nai B'rith for its commitment to "shared values," and spelling out the Democratic Party platform for Campaign 2000.
She demonstrated her ability to communicate with people, moving beyond the security people to hug, kiss and shake hands with all who could touch her.
Richard D. Heideman was reelected as president of B'nai B'rith after a busy airing of all candidates seeking election, including a challenge to Heideman's constitutional right to serve a second two-year term.Membership, need for great giving, volunteers for community service and the launching of programs to strengthen Jewish family, Heideman said, makes B'nai B'rith unique as an organization, now 167 years young,the glue to bind us as a people "united... dedicated to the highest purposes of humanity."
Hyman H. Haves, Pacific Palisades
We are fortunate to have The Jewish Journal every week.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you for printing the wedding picture of our son and "daughter" (yes, she is truly our daughter) in your Sept. 8 issue (Kelli and Arthur Kahn).
Our children were married July 22, 2000 in Englewood, Colo. and are now making their home in Highlands Ranch, Colo.
We were very lucky to have Judge Herbert H. Galchinsky of Denver officiated at the ceremony.Your newspaper is a first-class publication and covers so many aspects of the world.
Eileen and Bob Kahn, Oak Park
Additional High Holy Days Listings
Below is information inadvertently left out of our "Field Guide to the High Holy Days" ( Sept. 8).
The Movable Minyan is a small independent congregation with a mix of family types and age groups, unusual in that even its High Holy Days services are led by congregants, not clergy. The minyan uses the machzor "On Wings of Awe" and a participatory music style, with guitar and lute accompaniment. The donation for the full series of services is $100. Children under 13 are admitted free, and structured activities are provided. Call the minyan's hotline, (310) 285-3317, for service location and times.
The Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging will host a full series of services. Tickets for non-JHA residents are $36 for the series. Call (818) 774-3015 to get more information and purchase tickets.
Temple Beth Torah of Granada Hills is a small Reform congregation celebrating 50 years of service to the north San Fernando Valley. Seats are available for their High Holy Day Services with Rabbi Arnold Stiebel and the Temple Beth Torah choir led by Cantor Sharone Rosen.
Their liturgy is based on CCAR's "Gates of Repentance." They have special services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur mornings for preschool and elementary school-age children.
Ticket prices may be applied towards membership. For more information, call Temple Beth Torah at (818) 831-0835 or visit their Web page at www.bethtorah-sfv.org.
Westwood Kehilla is an Orthodox, outreach-oriented synagogue that will be offering special explanatory services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The explanations and discussions will be in English while the abridged prayers will be in Hebrew with transliterated/translated prayer books provided. For more information, call (310) 441-5289.
In addition, the listing in the Congregational Directory for Jewish Renewal congregation B'nai Horin was incorrect. The correct contact information is: (310) 470-9390, ext. 2; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jewish Journal receivd numerous requests for the contact numbers of nannies and agencies mentioned in our cover story, "The Great Nanny Mystery" (Sept. 1). Here's the information:
Nana's World, Esther Matalon, Owner 14542 Ventura Blvd., Suite 201 Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91403 (818) 995-91444
Gan Yaffa (310) 556-2159
Gan Edna (323) 930-0414