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Letters Week of Sept. 24, 2009
Disservice Done to the Best-Kept Secret in Bucks
Regarding the recent cover story by Bryan Schwartzman ("The Writing's on the Wall," Aug. 27), we are now absolutely certain that our congregation is the best-kept secret in Lower Bucks County. In focusing only on a few synagogues, the story did a disservice to those of us who for years have been working on multiple approaches to attract new families to our congregation.
Congregation Tifereth Israel of Lower Bucks County has been at the forefront in its approach to attract Jewish families.
Just to point out a few of our more effective methods: We offer free membership to Jewish parents who have a child (or children) enrolled in our Judy Sare Nursery School; for new members, we provide free Hebrew-school enrollment; and we also encourage families to pray together during the High Holidays by offering an extended generational family rate to parents, grandparents and grown children, whether married and unmarried.
We encourage everyone to come and visit our hamische Conservative synagogue, and see all that we offer and provide.
Richard J. Harwood
Co-presidents, Congregation Tifereth Israel
Poll Numbers Don't Add Up the Way Writer Says
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield wrote about a recent poll showing that a large majority of American Jewish supporters of the Democratic Party disagree with President Barack Obama's policies toward Israel and the Palestinians, and that their support for Obama is still very high (Opinions: "Values, Faith and a Hearty Democratic Vote of Confidence," Aug. 27).
This is misleading.
Hirschfield notes that "Jewish Democrats gave Obama a 92 percent approval rating; and noted by a 58-16 margin that they believe 'Obama is doing a good job of promoting peace in the Middle East.' "
But these findings only tell us that there is general approval of Obama as president and his efforts to pacify the Middle East generally, not specific approval of his policies toward Israel and the Palestinians.
When it comes to that front, the message from this poll is clear: 53 percent believe that Obama is naive to try and set up a Palestinian state -- one that would become a base for terror -- while only 27 percent take an opposite view.
Moreover, Jewish Democratic supporters believe -- 52 percent to 37 percent -- that Jews should be allowed to build homes, and move into, communities in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
No amount of spinning can conceal the fact that on these two major issues, Jewish Democratic supporters disagree with the president.
And presumably, the views of Jewish independents and Jewish Republican supporters would show that an even higher proportion of American Jews disagree with these policies.
Morton A. Klein
National president, Zionist Organization of America, New York, N.Y.
They Dove Right In -- and the Water Was Fine!
I was lucky enough to be able to retire at the age of 58. But after a three-month hiatus in Puerto Rico, I returned home this past June with little to do.
Reading the Jewish Exponent one day, I came upon a "Help Wanted" advertisement in the classified section from Fox Pool Management seeking lifeguards. Following a week of recertification, I was placed in various condominium complexes throughout the summer months.
Now that the swim season has concluded, I would like to thank all the wonderful people I met at those pools.
Many of these folks are retired senior citizens, who worked their entire lives and are now enjoying the fruits of their labor.
They truly represent the best and brightest this country has produced. They give no quarter to their age, and remain active and engaging.
So, to all you beautiful people at Towers of Wyncote, Oak Hill, Briar House, and especially, Elkins Park House and Beaver Hill, thanks for making my summer fulfilling -- and keep on swimming!
The water is just right.