October 24, 2002
Legislators Back Iraq
I am deeply disturbed and disappointed by the practically unanimous vote for the Iraqi Resolution by our California Democratic legislators ("Jewish Legislators Back Iraq Resolution," Oct. 18). There are so many issues and so many unanswered questions about the threat, the impact on the Middle East and the aftermath of the conflict this president is intent on waging, that a reasonable person must ask, "How do you write a blank check to the administration?"
In the story, only Howard Berman had no doubts. I believe that our Jewish representatives are among the most capable in the United States and their "yes" votes are inexplicable to me.
It's remarkable that almost the entire California Democratic congressional delegation voted "no," except for the Jewish Congress members. What did the Jewish members know that wasn't persuasive to the other members?
Gershon Lewis, Monterey Park
I'm sure I'm not the only person to say "bravo" and "amen" to Gary Wexler for his marvelous and well-articulated opinion ("Professional-Lay Relations Need Examining," Oct. 18). This has been a problem for many, many years, and is one that is rarely, if ever, addressed head-on.
I would suggest that every lay person serving in a leadership capacity be required to take two courses prior to beginning their service: "How to Govern Better and Manage Less" and "How to Control Your Runaway Ego."
It's a tribute to all the Jewish communal professionals that they stay around.
Ilene Olansky, Studio City
David N. Myers ("The Return of Big Brother?" Oct. 18) implies there is a moral equivalency in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict when he writes there is "a struggle between two legitimate nationalist movements [Jewish and Arab] fighting over the same land." He could not be more wrong!
Israel, which was created by the United Nations, is fighting to maintain its very existence in a war foisted on it by the Palestinians whose "struggle" includes eliminating the State of Israel. When Arab or other Muslim university campus organizations aggressively support the Palestinian cause, the question is, are they advocating the eradication of Israel?
Joseph M. Ellis, Woodland Hills
David N. Myers fears a new program of campus watch scrutiny at American universities more than he fears the anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing.
The only way to empower Jewish students is to permit all voices of the political spectrum to exchange ideas. A campus watch cannot be viewed as the return of Big Brother because this is not a governmental agency monitoring free speech, but private individuals seeking to protect the rights of many frightened Jewish students.
Phyllis Herskovitz, Beverly Hills
Jewish Population Study
In Rob Eshman's editorial ("Safety in Numbers," Oct. 11) regarding the dwindling American Jewish population, I found the closing two sentences to ring true: "The difference between the Jews of antiquity and ourselves, Cohen said, is that 'they had a clear sense of what they were about.' The question is, do we?"
Our only hope for maintaining Jewish identity while immersed in the American mainstream is to deepen our commitment to Jewish learning and practice. We know the requirements for Jewish survival. The question is, do we have the will to implement them?
Shana Kramer, Director Torah Umeshorah Creative Learning Pavilion
Does anyone else note the irony between one article lamenting the declining Jewish population ("Population Study Poses New Challenges," Oct. 11) and another lauding those dedicated Jewish women in the forefront of the reproductive rights movement ("Jewish Women Fight for Choice," Oct. 11)?
Instead of crying about Jews not having enough children to replace themselves, may I suggest a radical notion? Jewish women should encourage their innate maternal desire to produce and nurture life.
The Orthodox often have very large families. They are more often than not as well-off financially. But somehow they manage to send their children to religious schools and keep them clothed and fed. Perhaps they have hand-me-downs and go without fancy dinners, piano lessons and vacations. But while mainstream Jews worry about declining numbers, embrace intermarriage by default and are forced to discuss the merits of Jewish proselytizing, the jam-packed Shabbat table in Orthodox households remains a testament to Jewish continuity.
Leslie Fuhrer Friedman, Venice
In "Shades of 'Grey'" (Oct. 18), actor Allan Corduner plays the Jewish Auschwitz pathologist, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli.