David Suissa’s article was terrific, and I pray for his daughter’s safety (“Israel Needs an Irony Dome,” July 18). I also have a lot of family in Israel now. ... I have often thought lately that the Journal was too tough on Israel but seems better now. Keep up the great work; we need you.
Chic Lippman, Century City
Physical Repairs, Emotional Reparations
I was shocked to learn of a stolen car crashing into Congregation Kol Ami in Hollywood on July 3 (“Tesla Crashes Into Kol Ami; Damage Undetermined,” July 11).
While the physical damage to Kol Ami was serious, it doesn’t begin to address the emotional costs to our members. Raising funds to erect the building took effort and diligence over a number of years and built a sense of pride in the founding members. The visible harm to our building has been repaired, but a life has been needlessly lost.
I have only a brief, one-year history as a member of Congregation Kol Ami, yet I know that the surrounding Jewish community might benefit from knowing more about our sacred side, with Rabbi Denise Eger leading the way. She, along with Cantor Mark Saltzman and the family-like congregation, open the doors and their hearts to those who suffer from pain caused by finances, health and family loss.
I invite all unaffiliated Jews to share in the blessings as well as the frenzy caused by the car crash. As we head into the High Holy Days, please join us in welcoming Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Wendy Goldman, West Hollywood
Thank you for spotlighting Michael Feinstein this week — the man is a treasure (“Michael Feinstein Sings Gershwin,” July 18).
To those of us who work in the archival and musical worlds of the Great American Songbook, Michael is a true hero. He travels throughout North America teaching this wonderful music to high school students, he has established an archive and a museum in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel, and he hunts down rare and meaningful items from the worlds of the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, Yip Harburg, Jerome Kern and so many others.
Here at the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, we are proud to support his work.
What a mensch!
Fran Morris-Rosman, Los Angeles
For Those Who Can’t Speak for Themselves
Life in the circus may be an adventure for circus chef Matt Loory, but for the animals used by Ringling Bros., it’s a living nightmare (“Pie in the Eye Is Just Dessert for This Circus’ Young Chef,” July 18).
Elephants spend most of their lives chained in boxcars, robbed of family, the freedom to walk for many miles on fresh grass, and all that is natural and important to them.
Bullhooks (weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp steel hook on the end) are used to keep elephants submissive and afraid. A former Ringling staffer gave PETA chilling photos of baby elephants who were torn away from their mothers, tied up with ropes and terrorized until they gave up all hope.
Ringling paid a record $270,000 fine to settle violations of federal law and has been cited repeatedly by federal authorities for failing to provide veterinary care, causing trauma and physical harm, unsafe handling of dangerous animals and failure to provide adequate care in transit.
Ringling employees have the choice to come and go. Animals do not.
Jessica Johnson, PETA
Happy to Have You
My name is Mark Winn and I am Jewish by osmosis, not by birth, but I grew up in what I’ve coined the Lower Borsht Belt — Fairfax Avenue between Olympic and San Vicente boulevards. I was a Fairfax High graduate, class of 1971, when Fairfax was 75 percent Jewish. Also, I was a member of the Westside Jewish Community Center and played flag football against the temples. I purchased a poster that featured a young African-American boy biting into a piece of Levy’s rye bread — I am African-American, by the way — over which read:
“You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s.”
I pick up the Jewish Journal at various libraries around, and I enjoy reading the diversity of articles and viewpoints expressed therein.
And in conclusion, I want to add: You don’t have to be Jewish to read and love the Jewish Journal.
Mark Winn, Los Angeles
The California runoff race between Ben Allen and Sandra Fluke was incorrectly identified in a July 18 article (“Jews and Education: An Unusual Difference of Opinions”). They are running against one another for state Senate.