January 17, 2002
As a former colleague of David Lehrer, I am shocked and saddened by his firing by Abe Foxman ("Lehrer to Leave," Dec. 28). Lehrer's dedication to the protection of the Jewish community was always tantamount, and he was ever the consummate professional.
However, I am even more disappointed by the local ADL lay leadership's response to the firing -- except for Zev Yaroslavsky and John Rosove, who have clearly and plainly labeled the firing the outrage that it is. The local officers have publicly said and done little.
Whether out of loyalty for all that Lehrer has done to develop ADL as the leading Jewish defense agency in Los Angeles or simply a matter of being taken seriously by New York, it seems to me that any self-respecting local board should only have one response to this fiasco: the regional board president, officers and board members should all have their resignations on Foxman's desk come first thing Monday morning. That would truly prove that we in the L.A. Jewish community take care of those who dedicate their lives to taking care of us.
Robert Smith, Los Angeles
As former employees of ADL's Los Angeles office, we felt compelled to respond to the recent dismissal of Regional Director David Lehrer. Not only was David an eloquent and effective spokesman for the ADL, he was also a real mensch to work for. We wish him every success, and we are certain that ADL's misguided decision will surely be another organization's very fortunate gain. Thank you, David, for 27 years of singular devotion to the L.A. Jewish community and, on a more personal note, for making it a pleasure to come to work.
Cheryl Cutler Azair, Los Angeles; Barbara Bergen, Los Angeles; Jerry Shapiro, Beverly Hills; Roberta Venger Zelkha, Henderson, NV. JCCs
The Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) was created in the biblical logic of Joseph and his Egyptian Pharaoh, as a storehouse for the lean years. The JCF has collected and fattened its corpus by disbursing the legal minimum 5 percent a year during the fat years ("Resolutions," Jan. 11). The JCC fiscal crisis has created a very lean year.
It's unfortunate that the majority of the JCCs' services will sink because of a $2 million-$6 million debt. This JCC debt could be retired in one or two years by increasing the JCF's unrestricted disbursement from 5 percent to a modest 10 percent. As donors we are often called and told to dig deeper because it's been a bad year for one of our agencies and its clients. It is now time that the JCF be called upon to dig deeper, because it's been a bad year for the JCC community, and the rainy day is here.
Pini Herman, Los Angeles
I am a new reader of The Jewish Journal. I periodically peruse it online and though I don't normally write these kind of letters, I wanted to share my enthusiasm for your new columnist Carin Davis. I think she's funny, charming and manages to capture a strong point of view that's easy to relate to. Bravo to you guys, and keep up the good work. I hope to read more of her in upcoming issues.
Gregory Goldin, Brentwood
For The Kids
Someone familiar with the Bible should be assigned to verify the facts presented in the For The Kids page. It asserted that the Tower of Babel occurred before the flood, a reversal of biblical chronology (Oct. 19). The ultimate error was on Dec. 28, which contained the incredible statement, "In fact, King David was from the tribe of Ephraim." David was from the tribe of Judah, as even a cursory reading of Ruth, Samuel, Kings or Chronicles will quickly reveal.
It is terrible to give misinformation to children, since they will believe and retain it, especially if it seems to come from an authoritative source.
Solomon Golomb, Los Angeles
In the Jan. 11 article "Tall Torah Tales," B'nai Jeshrun in Manhattan is a Conservative synagogue.