L.A.’s Jewish Presence
Great cover story (“How the Jews Changed L.A.,” May 3). If it were not for the innovative ways of the Jewish people, Los Angeles would not be the entertainment empire it is today. In fact, it would be decades behind where it is and Sid Grauman might be famous for a gas station. Equality would still be a dream, and Barbie would not be a part of the American fabric. I don’t know where we would be in history or in the future. Thank God the Jews came here.
George Vreeland Hill
Monty the Mensch
A mutual friend introduced me to Monty Hall in the late ’80s (“Monty Hall’s Best Deal,” May 3). Monty was told that I was the executive director of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, and after a few minutes I asked him if he would emcee an upcoming dinner. He laughed and said yes, and that was the beginning of my asking Monty for that favor many times. Each time I would call, he would say “nuch a mul,” Yiddish for again, and I would say nuch a mul. He never said no. I doubt that he ever said no to anyone, unless it would have been impossible for him to do it. When Monty was born, the Almighty looked down and said, “Here, world, is a mensch.” Thank you, Monty, for everything you have done and for everything you continue to do. May you live past 120.
Holocaust Education at Santa Monica High School
I was dismayed by your article about an alleged incident at Santa Monica High School, which ignores the history of the pioneering work in Holocaust education at Santa Monica High School over the past 10 years (“Nazi Role-playing at High School Causes Stir,” April 26). We’ve partnered with Facing History and Ourselves, participated in Chapman University’s annual Holocaust art and writing contest, and been honored by the 1939 Club. During the fall quarter, all freshmen learn about the Holocaust, and students analyze the actions of perpetrators, bystanders and, most importantly, upstanders. As a result, we have seen an increase in students becoming upstanders — whether it be intervening to stop a fight on campus or joining an international organization’s actions to aid refugees. Students also recognize, and disrupt, anti-Semitism. For example, a few years ago, students noticed someone had marked a swastika on some lockers and they began a campaign to clean up the graffiti and to educate their fellow students about why that symbol is intolerable. It saddens me that the Jewish Journal did not investigate, nor report on, these important achievements.
Teacher-Leader, Santa Monica High School
There was always anti-Semitism in the Netherlands (“Anne Frank, Mehmet Sahin and the Netherlands,” May 3). I came in contact with it in 1935-36.
Even in 1946, anti-Semitism was not an exception. Vuile jood (dirty Jew) and worse words were heard almost every day. Not everybody in the Netherlands is a closet anti-Semite, but there always were a lot of people in Holland who did not like Jews. Their favorite saying was: Go back to Palestine.
Jerry Gerrit Meents
Principles of Judaism in Action
I was particularly struck by Bruce Mendelsohn’s remarks concerning pikuach nefesh, wherein he said, “I think there’s a difference between Judaism in theory and Judaism in action” (“My Cousin: A Boston Hero,” May 3).
I am reminded of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who was criticized by many in the Jewish scholarly community for stepping outside of the cloistered world of study to march with Dr. Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery. Heschel responded, “My feet were doing the praying.”
A Community’s Challenge
Just what the Jewish community needs — another shandah (“More Ponzi in Iranian-Jewish Community,” May 3).
Suzy Lenkowsky Krikorian
The Future of Radical Islam
The secular governments President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are helping to destroy will be replaced with more radical Islam governments that will come up against Israel and force Islam on the world (“Syria, Red Lines and Chemical Weapons,” May 3). Jimmy Carter helped destroy the secular government in Iran, and now Iran is a threat to Israel and the world. How many more Irans will Obama and John McCain help create?
In “What Israel Means to Me” (April 19), the photographs of Joshua Holo, Sarah Sax and Shulamit Nazarian were not taken by Andy Romanoff. They were taken by Joel Lipton.