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Letters Week of Dec. 2, 2010
Glad for a More Positive, Open-Minded Platform
My deepest thanks to you for publishing, "Is the Reform Movement Really Leaning Kosher?" (Nov. 18).
Until I read that piece, my experiences with the local Reform movement left me pretty well convinced that the current Reform national leadership fully controlled the agenda, including a leftist, hyper-critical attitude toward Israel, its leadership and rabbinate, as well as a rigidly negative attitude about kashrut and more.
You article opened my mind to the others working in the movement in a more positive, open-minded, more Jewish-like manner.
Dr. H. Zigerman
Can't Label Everyone, Try Looking at the Individual
As a political moderate, I am concerned about some of the extreme positions of the Tea Party. Besides supporting unqualified candidates, I find their goals of obligatory reduction of government services to be simplistic and rigidly ideological.
Still, I was appalled at the recent letter that accused the Tea Party of being "no friend to the Jews." Aside from making this accusation, the writer offered no proof to support his inflammatory rhetoric.
In addition, his comment about "pork chop" preachers not telling him how to worship is simply offensive and reeks of intolerance.
Obviously, in a movement that is as large as the Tea Party, there are members who are anti-Semitic, but there is nothing in their stated goals or aims that disrespect Jews.
In contrast, leaders of certain liberal Protestant denominations are obsessive in attempting to defame and punish Israel.
Also, some of these same mainstream churches actually preach replacement theology, and are totally insensitive to Jewish feelings by openly allocating large sums for the conversion of Jews. Yet it would be wrong to label all members of these movements as anti-Jewish, even though their official church doctrine does not respect Jews or Judaism.
I would hope that people have learned the classic story of the boy who cried wolf.
Anti-Sestak Ads: Don't Pat Yourself on the Back!
I suppose Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, earned the right to gloat about the recent election results and the Republican Party successes ("Let's Face the Facts," Nov. 11). But I wouldn't be so proud of the anti-Sestak ads that he bragged about.
The Republican Jewish Coalition purchased increasingly vile ads in the Jewish Exponent and elsewhere.
But I, for one, found them distasteful, disrespectful and not at all demonstrating values "in line with those of the Jewish people."
The RJC reflected the worst in politics. Their future political campaigns will not deserve my attention.
So Moved to Be Involved With Soviet Movement
On Nov. 2, I was privileged to be honored in the Knesset in Israel, along with two other Philadelphians, Bobbie Morganstern and Marvin Verman, and more than 100 other activists from around the world for our activities during the Soviet Jewry movement during the 1970s and '80s.
Although we received the awards, I felt that we were really representing the Philadelphia community.
As such, we paid homage to such great leaders in the Soviet Jewry movement as Connie and Joe Smukler, and Lana and Bernie Dishler; the many synagogues and other Jewish organizations; and the thousands of people who demonstrated, made telephone calls, wrote letters and postcards, and helped make the world aware of the plight of the refuseniks and Soviet Jews.
As we met with the many former refuseniks who now live in Israel and who attended the Soviet Jewry Activists Conference, we were told many times that the support they received from Philadelphia had a special place in their hearts, and they will never forget all we did to help them get their freedom.