How terribly unfortunate that a Jewish communal professional who has done more than anyone else to raise awareness about domestic violence and abuse of all kinds, and whose efforts have revolutionized the way these topics are dealt with within a segment of the Jewish community previously underserved, should be smeared in this way (“JFS Denies Sheltering Abuser,” April 19). As your article reported, the allegations against Debbie Fox were based on sloppy, sensationalistic reporting. The scandal here is that such a consummate professional should have to defend herself against such mudslinging, which, while it may sell newspapers [in Australia], has done damage to the very agencies and individuals who work so hard to protect the vulnerable in our community.
Dennis Prager (Letters, April 19) cites Yehuda Bauer’s statement — “Nowhere in Christian thought or in Christian history was there ever a plan to kill the Jewish people” — to back his own argument that “no mainstream Christian institution or theology called for the extermination of the Jews” (“Lessons of the Holocaust,” April 12). But Jews in the Rhineland who were in the way of the rampaging First Crusade in 1096 would not have drawn any comfort that there was no “plan” to kill Jews at that time. For those Jews who refused to convert to Christianity, the effects were the same as if there had been a plan.
I believe that if Prager had lived closer in time to the Crusades and to the Spanish Inquisition, he would not have made the argument he has developed. I also feel that we should be careful before using the present-day Holocaust as a standard for our historical miseries.
Barry H. Steiner
Political Science Professor
California State University, Long Beach
School Reform: The New New Deal?
Raphael J. Sonenshein aptly focuses on how school “reform” proposals — favored by the Obama administration as well as by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — divide centrist Democrats from their traditional teacher-union allies (“The Ultimate School Test, April 19). The above-named politicians also favor cuts to Social Security (via the chained Consumer Price Index), as does Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
This anti-New Deal trend began with the Clinton administration, which deregulated banks and the telecommunication industry, implemented anti-union free trade agreements and even sponsored measures favoring financial derivatives, to cite but a few examples.
The New Deal, and now public education and other domestic “entitlements,” are no longer sacrosanct with mainstream, or even liberal, Democrats. Will Franklin Delano Roosevelt soon be rolling in his grave?
Jackie Robinson Piece a Home Run
As a Dodger fan from when they first moved to L.A. from Brooklyn, I read with great interest professor Michael Berenbaum’s piece (“Jackie and the Jews,” April 12). The professor’s piece could only have been enhanced if he had mentioned that Detroit Tiger — and late Pittsburgh Pirate — slugger “Hammerin’ Hank” Greenberg, a New York Jew, was one of only two players on opposing teams to welcome Jackie Robinson into professional baseball.
Doheny Meats Scandal Far-Reaching
As someone outside of the Los Angeles area, my only thought is: Would I be able to trust anything that the RCC has certified? At present, I would say no (“Doheny Meats Might Change Hands, Again,” April 19). Please remember that Doheny’s “Glatt Kosher” certification was still present even after the RCC knew that not all items that were sold should have had this certification. Also, at the meeting between Mike Engelman and the RCC, the only other person was Shlomo Rechnitz. This looks like the RCC already knew about Doheny’s actions and had been trying to find someone to buy Doheny.
From Israel, With Gratitude
Thank you, Shmuel Rosner! As always, you present the message we need to hear (“Seven Thoughts for Yom HaAtzmaut,” April 19). As a nine-month new immigrant to Israel, we are so blessed to witness Israel’s continuing miracle. The Memorial Day and Independence Day observances and celebrations in Israel are inspiring. Our neighbors and neighborhood of Baka, German Colony, Old Katamon in Jerusalem is so beautiful. People from every nation and background, all types of synagogues and community institutions. What a blessing. Happy 65th anniversary of her independence to Israel!
Rabbi Gershon Weissman