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Letters week of May 6, 2010
Camps Spark an Interest in Oneself and the World
I read Joel Einleger's opinion piece with interest ("Why a Specifically 'Jewish' Camp? Let's Count the Reasons," April 22).
As the parent of children who have attended Ramah and Pinemere, and as a former JCC Camp Reeta camper, I agree with what he opined about the joys and benefits of Jewish camping. Yes, I am a proponent of Jewish camps -- and also of international peace camps for children of all religions.
My children have attended both, and I love the experiences they have gained. At Ramah, my son and daughter know they can eat anything they are served without question, and they can celebrate all they love about being Jewish.
While it is important to know one's self, as one learns in a Jewish camp environment, it is also important to strive for world peace, which is what my children are learning at their international camps, not just as a theory, but as an actuality. This is done through well-thought out programming, such as when the children discuss myths and realities about each others' countries. A road to peace is by learning how alike we all are, in the context of our differences.
Make Fond Memories, Not Huge Dents in Your Purse
I always look forward to the various special inserts that my subscription to the Jewish Exponent brings me. But this one really floored me!
Having read "Spots On" by Beth D'Addono, I was left wondering two things: what is the relationship of the facility to the simcha just celebrated; and how do you ever top the choice of site?
I am reminded of the conversation we had with our florist for my eldest daughter's Bat Mitzvah, which was held at our synagogue. When planning for flowers for the bimah and the luncheon that followed, we went through his book of centerpieces of previous events he had provided the flowers for.
Rather than planning something opulent, we went for something that reflected the Bat Mitzvah girl and our family's desires. It wasn't that we couldn't pay more, but it was a Bat Mitzvah, not a wedding.
I also made the centerpieces for the children's table myself; they were interactive and not just for display. We are now planning a wedding for later this month, which will definitely be different than our Bat Mitzvah -- it's a wedding, after all.
Still, it won't be over the top.
Lois Rosenfeld Urkowitz
Mount Laurel, N.J.
Why Are Groups Fighting So Hard for Illegals?
I am writing in response to the article, "Arizona Law Triggers Renewed Attention to Immigration Reform," (Nation & World, April 29), in which you state that "Jewish" organizations are working against Arizona's new law designed to locate aliens who are in their state illegally.
The article refers to Jews who descend from legal immigrants, comparing their ancestors' situation to that of illegal aliens.
Do they even understand the difference between legal immigrants and illegal aliens?
Do they understand that the illegal alien problem in the Southwestern United States is severely burdening the socioeconomics of that region?
Do they understand that many if not most of these illegals have criminal records?
Do they know that the crime rate has exploded in the Southwest due to crime committed by illegals?
My grandparents came to the United States legally, and they worked hard to do so. No one gave them any handouts, as these illegals get. No one made things easy for them; they had to pull themselves up the hard way.
I do not for the life of me understand why "Jewish" organizations are always working so hard to tear down America. This country is not Europe. This country has never passed even one anti-Semitic law, so why the hatred and contempt for our nation, which has been the only safe haven we have ever encountered?
Do liberal Jews have even the remotest inkling of how detested this kind of activity makes them in the eyes of gentile Americans, Christian Zionists notwithstanding?