March 22, 2001
While participating in Super Sunday, as I have most of my life, I was questioned about my comments in an article by Michael Aushenker ("Scott Svonkin: Pulling Together," Feb. 16). I am grateful to have been included in this series on young leaders, but feel that I need to clarify a few things.
What was left out of the finished article was my discussion of what I have gained from my long and fruitful relationship with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Thanks to The Federation, I have been a participant in leadership training from the time I was in high school. I went on to join the board of The Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance, was a member of ACCESS and the Jewish Community Relations Committee's (JCRC) steering committee, and was honored to become the youngest vice-president/chair of the JCRC. To say the least, I owe a great deal to The Federation, for it has played a central role in my decision to turn my passion for helping others into my profession.
I hope this sets the record straight, and I urge everyone to get more involved in their Jewish community. My involvement in The Federation and the Jewish community as a whole has brought me nothing but joy; the best thing I can wish on you is even a small portion of that joy and satisfaction.
Scott Svonkin. via e-mail
Strasser and Smith
It would seem prudent that the largest Jewish newspaper outside of New York should help build our community, not to glorify degenerate and spiritually destructive behavior.
I have put off reading The Journal until after Shabbos because I am constantly offended. This week you replaced the unfortunate and lost Teresa Strasser with a Hugh Hefner clone replete with a pin-up shicksa ("The Fountainhead," March 9). Gavalt! Do I have to cancel the subscription?
Levi Garbose, Los Angeles
Regarding Sydell Sigel's nastily worded and narrow-minded letter about Teresa Strasser's columns (Letters, March 9), I would like to remind this reader that she has a choice: turn the page. If you don't like these columns, skip them. But don't deny the rest of The Jewish Journal's readers the opportunity to read these thought-provoking columns. I don't always like Strasser's columns, and quite often I disagree with her premise. But she always makes me think. Thank you for publishing them, and I hope you will continue.
Susan Pasternak, North Hollywood
Congratulations on the 15th anniversary of The Jewish Journal. Bravo!
Michael Levine, Los Angeles
It must be clear that the underlying purpose of The Jewish Journal is to promote Jewish values and thus preserve the shrinking Jewish community in Los Angeles ("Deli Stories, No Schmaltz," March 9). In the same vain, G-d set down the laws of kashrut to ensure the continuity of the Jewish nation.
G-d in his infinite wisdom knew that the power of food and drink was so strong that it was a sure way to bring down the Jews' identity with and loyalty to G-d.
It is clearly evident that The Journal's disguise of treif delis as being intrinsically Jewish calls into question what really is the paper's objective. Is The Journal kosher or treif?
David Nisenbaum, Los Angeles
I found the picture of the meat sandwich on the March 9 cover terrible. And that's being polite.
I look forward to The Jewish Journal each week. But when I saw that issue, my stomach, heart and soul became very upset.
Slabs of pink, dead, cooked flesh between two slices of bread is not my idea of the Judaism of life and beauty.
A sandwich whose contents are filled with the agony, suffering and ultimate death of a fellow breath of life is not my idea of celebrating the virtues of Judaism's heritage and future.
Laurane Leah Ruth, via e-mail
The Jewish Journal certainly covers Israel and the so-called situation, but I expect more from our paper. I expect leadership in journalism. We're getting the same reporting that is available throughout the media. I'm not saying that The Jewish Journal should be biased. I'm saying that our paper should call the war a war. The Palestinians started the war because they didn't want to make peace. Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount was an excuse to start the war. If you want a name, call it the Palestinian-Israeli War. Cover the war as a day-by-day report. I know that you're a weekly, but you can report what happened on day 90, day 91, etc. You get the idea.
Anthony Stroe, via e-mail
School Board Election
I had a negative reaction to Marlene Adler Marks's column ("Reality-Based Schooling," March 2). Her nonstop support of a friend who is a candidate for the 4th District LAUSD Board of Education seat was unbecoming of a Jewish Journal writer. Better would have been a paid advertisement for her "reality-based" endorsement.
Also, researching the educational philosophy and accomplishments of the incumbent Valerie Fields would reveal this former LAUSD elementary school teacher's strong focus on "educating children and improving teacher skills."
Marion Berkovitz, Woodland Hills
Your historic account of the Jewish press in Southern California is long overdue ("News Machers," Feb. 23). I thank you.
As a person who's been involved in community and Jewish activities, an avid reader of community affairs and a writer thereof for a half-century, I have firsthand knowledge and awareness of all Jewish publications, past and present. I must express my strong support of Herb Brin, founder-publisher of the Heritage Southwest Jewish Press, and his talented son Dan Brin.
Herb made journalistic history on various levels through the years; admirably The Journal cited some. His important stories were always nothing short of amazing.
Herb deserves the respect and recognition of the Jewish community for giving so much. Through struggles and tenacity he's still at it, at the young age of 80-plus years. G-d keep him well.
Margaret Marketa Novak, Beverly Hills
I miss Gene Lichtenstein. I loved the positions he took and his style of writing. But I must say that if he had to leave, I am more than happy with his replacement. I like Rob Eshman's positions and his style of writing. Thank you and yeshar ko'ach.
Sid Weinstein, Lakewood