Letters the Week of November 14, 2013


A reader points out that several Philly mayors in addition to Michael Nutter have made their way to the Jewish state while a rabbi notes that the organization she's involved with also made an influential online listing of forward-thinking institutions and groups.

Other Philly Mayors Have Visited Israel

The Nov. 7 cover story in the Exponent reporting on Mayor Michael Nutter's trip to London and Israel observed that this was the first time a sitting mayor of Philadelphia had visited Israel.

In fact, during my tenure as president of the precursor to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, I led a mission in October 1985 that included then-sitting Mayor Wilson Goode, his wife and a number of business executives.

Prior to that, in September 1983, when Edward H. Rosen was Federation president, I participated in a mission with then-sitting Mayor William Green.

Mayors Goode and Green both thoroughly enjoyed the experience, meeting with the mayors of several cities in Israel.

Bennett L. Aaron, Bala Cynwyd

InterfaithFamily Also Made That Influential List

I enjoyed reading Bryan Schwartzman’s Oct. 31 Exponent article, “Influential Slingshot Guide Cites Local Agencies.” I want to add that InterfaithFamily, a national organization based in Boston with a local office here (InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia) was included in the guide for the ninth consecutive year, named as one of 17 “standard-bearer” organizations included year after year as models in innovation.

InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia is proud to continue the work of its predecessor, InterFaithways, in advocating for the inclusion of interfaith families in Jewish communal life, offering sensitivity and inclusivity training for professionals and lay leaders at synagogues and Jewish institutions and supporting interfaith families exploring Jewish life. We make personal connections with numerous interfaith couples and families through workshops, classes, consultations, etc. This year we have 54 local synagogues participating in Interfaith Family Shabbat (which originated here in Philadelphia), and more than 100 nationally.

Both locally and nationally, we at InterfaithFamily plan, in the words of the Slingshot Guide, to continue to “lead the conversation and demand a place for interfaith families in Jewish communal life.”

Rabbi Robyn Frisch, Director, InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia

Credit Wasn’t Given to Man Who Made It Happen

The Nov. 7 Exponent article, “ ‘Paper Clips’ Students Fasten Ties Between Whitwell and Philly,” offered wonderful insights into the students’ reaction to their experience of an extraordinary weekend.

But the article failed to mention my son, Norman Einhorn of Har Zion Temple, as the glue that kept it all together. The relationship between the two cities deepened when the idea came to him to combine two different cultures — that is, to bring the students from Whitwell, Tenn. to Philadelphia and plan a stay they would all never forget.

This extraordinary weekend was six months in the planning and it did not come together by sheer magic. Norman’s unbelievable work ethic, determination and perseverance were what made it all happen.

Sue Einhorn, Horsham


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