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Jewish Journal

Letters to the editor: Disabilities in the Jewish community, rain and saving Judaism

February 19, 2014 | 2:40 pm

One Man’s Disability, A Community’s Responsibility

Thanks, Rob Eshman, for making this issue more salient (“Jews Without Harvard,” Feb. 14). My three children tested as “gifted” or “highly-gifted” and I’m glad I pulled them out of the specialized highly-gifted schools, and out of a culture that worshiped such a narrow part of the skills necessary to build a full life and a healthy culture. Some of the most loving and socially fluid people I have met had some form of a learning disability. Often, they can teach us what we have lost in our intellectual frenzy.

Orli Peter via jewishjournal.com

Thanks for your article on the Jewish community needing to develop more post-secondary options for its disabled adults. I am the mother of an 18-year-old young woman with high functioning autism, and her options post high school were quite limited, especially as she is intelligent for college, but in no way able to navigate a campus on her own.  Just as most parents — Jews included — would be looking for financial aid for their Harvard-bound children, we also need affordable or subsidized options for our special-needs children. Even if they are able to obtain employment and be moderately self-sufficient, it will most likely not be at the level of a typical child. We need to save every dime we can for a future without us there to help them.

My daughter is currently enrolled at Valley College and is also enrolled in the NEXUS program through the non-profit Tierra del Sol.  The goal of NEXUS is education and employment, and they coach her through all the mazes involved in college and post-high school life. Tierra del Sol has served the disabled adult community for over 40 years and for us, is totally covered by Regional Center. Why hasn’t the Jewish community in Los Angeles, with its vast reach and resources, been able to replicate such a program?  

I am so pleased to see you address these issues in the Jewish Journal. Please continue to do so.

Gail Field, Encino

Thank you for writing about the under-served needs of the disabled in the Jewish community.  It is woefully missing and the few efforts being made don’t scratch the surface.

But I want to add that there are other gaps in our community. What about Jewish high school dropouts? What about those in the Jewish community who decide to learn a trade or those who have no skills and no opportunities? What about Jews who come out of jail or prison and need an opportunity to lead a better life?  

There are many groups focused on young Jewish professionals ... whether Federation sponsored or synagogue sponsored. What about those who aren’t professionals? Even the articles in the Jewish Journal focus on the stars of our youth ... but what about the average Jake?

We have much to do and need many more people focusing on a broader view of those who will make the Jewish community of the future.  

Fae Hoffman-Buckner, Studio City 


Praying for a Rainy Day

Thank you, David Suissa, for quoting Victor Davis Hanson’s article and citing Israel’s can-do attitude (“California Needs Israel,” Feb. 14). As a longtime Los Angeleno and current Yerushalmi (Jerusalemite), I can attest to our daily concern for more rain. Each morning in our minyan in Jerusalem, we recite prayers against the stoppage of rain, invoking the Almighty to bring rain to Israel. However, we first do our best, and then, and only then, leave the rest to our Creator.

Gershon Weissman via jewishjournal.com


Taking a Page from the Book of Mormon

The Dennis Prager story “Yair’s Norwegian Girlfriend” (Feb. 7) reminds me of how Jews feel about our religion. 

But Dennis does not provide a solution to the problem of the lack of attachment to Judaism. I think that the solution will come only from faith. What we need is an educational program that begins right after a bar/bat mitzvah. We need to instill a binding faith in our young people that provides them with enough faith that they would be willing, with their parent’s approval, to go on tours to find converts to Judaism. The Mormons do it. Are we Jews willing to send our children out into the world bringing the message that Judaism is the best religion in the world?

Masse Bloomfield via e-mail


Clarification

In the issue of the Jewish Journal dated February 14-20, 2014, we published an article about the grand jury indictment of Aviv Mizrahi and Aryeh Greenes on charges of alleged fraud. In one of the paragraphs of our article, we also noted a 1990 Los Angeles Times article about a dispute between Star Club and Canon USA, and we referenced Alon, the brother of Aviv Mizrahi. We are now noting that the 1990 dispute was a civil matter and did not involve any criminal prosecution and is also unrelated to the recent indictment covered in our article.”

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