The Talmud says, "Give everyone the benefit of the doubt." Arnold Schwarzenegger has a long record of support for the Jewish community and for Jewish causes. If anyone has earned the right to be given the benefit of the doubt that our tradition requires, he has ("Jews Split Over Arnold Victory," Oct. 10).
Those rabbis and other Jewish "spokespeople" who rushed to condemn Schwarzenegger on the basis of an unverified statement from a book proposal stand revealed as more devoted to the Democratic Party than they are to Jewish ethical principles. I hope they remembered to include gross ingratitude and an evil tongue among their "Al Chet."
Paul Morgan Fredrix, West Hollywood
Split on the Recall
Funny how flexible morality can be especially when coated by religion. Bill Boyarsky visits Pico-Robertson to gauge Jewish opinion on the recall ("Westside Jews Divided on Recall," Oct. 3). He interviews eight students at an Orthodox high school and two others.
The former heartily support the recall while the latter two do not.
Boyarsky then concludes that Jews are "divided" on the recall.
Interesting -- I didn't realize such a powerful scientific sampling of Jewish opinion could lead a seasoned reporter to such a definite conclusion. As for the morality: It's interesting how Gray Davis' alleged cooking of the budget books could be so "immoral" to the Orthodox boys but somehow President Bush escapes such scrutiny.
Brian Wallace, Los Angeles
Teresa Strasser's article ("Got Closure?" Oct 3) might be appropriate for a Larry Flint publication, but for The Jewish Journal to feature it as the cover story for it's Yom Kipper edition is obscene. Shame on the Journal for publishing an article that mocks, ridicules and desecrates the most important day in the Jewish calendar.
Phyllis Herskovitz , Beverly Hills
Miss Strasser, you make me wish I was Jewish. You make Judaism that appealing.
Santiago Belandres, Via e-mail
Market Yourself Into Marriage
I read with much delight, Amy Klein's inspection of the field guide for single women ("Market Yourself Into Marriage," Oct. 10). With all the energy in self marketing that a woman has to put out to marry anyone, it seems to me that it would be easier to utilize this marketing expertise to build a career and invest in her own life. The return on investment is better and with less risk. I have often said that it's easier to become a CEO of a large corporation than to marry a decent man.
Carole Medway , Tarzana
In course of reviewing findings of the philanthropic watchdog, Charity Navigator, Joe Berkofsky presents information about the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah ("Jewish Charities Get Favorable Rating," Oct. 10). While the organization's name and goal are correctly identified, most of the rest is counterfactual.
Irwin Katsof does not live and is not based in Los Angeles. He is not the president of Aish HaTorah. Our fundraising costs are not $.23 on the dollar.
Fundraising costs are not separately broken out in our budget, but the sum total of our fundraising and administrative costs, including the cost of adjunct programs, missions, and retreats comes to $.20 on the dollar.
Rabbi Nachum Braverman, Executive Director for the The Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah, Western Region
In the Sept. 30 Circuit "The IDF Meets Los Angeles," the caption should have read: (From left) Brad Cohen, Maj. Gen. Moshe Evry Sukenik, Lenny Sands and Robert Zarnegin. The name of a speaker at the reception was Sgt. Maj. Tzahi Turman. We apologize for the errors.
In "Prisons Pay for Surge in Chaplain" (Oct. 3), the $10,000 allocation for Bibles and 12-step literature comes from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
I read Si Frumkin's "Why I Voted for Arnold" (Oct. 10) twice, looking in vain for a reason why he voted for Arnold. I learned that Frumkin was impressed by Schwarzenegger's steroids-to-riches story and felt (improbably, in my view) that the governor-to-be has suffered at the hands of the media. But I saw no endorsement of his policies (or even a clue as to what they might be), nothing about his likely gubernatorial conduct and nothing about why California would be a better place with Schwarzenegger as governor rather than one of the other 134 candidates he could have voted for.
Howard Posner, Los Angeles
The critics of what Avrham Burg said in the Sept. 26 issue ("Leaders Stay Silent as Israel Collapses"), and the article several weeks before, have, I believe, missed the point.
The point here is that we can no longer point the finger outside at the Palestinians as the root of all our troubles, particularly at this time of the year. Our tradition demands that we reflect on us, not on "others," not even God. We may wrestle with God, but in the end it's our own self that we must do battle with -- every day. That I believe is what Burg, by his writings, is asking of us.
Bruce F. Whizin, Sherman Oaks