Letters the Week of March 13, 2014


Interest-free Lending Exists Right Here
We were delighted to see the extended discussion of the mitzvah of interest-free lending in Rabbi George Stern’s March 6 column (Opinion: “Finding a Jewish Response to Income Inequality in the U.S.”). In the Delaware Valley, that mitzvah is fulfilled by the Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia (hebrewfreeloanphila.org.)

Through no-interest loans up to $7,500, we help members of the Jewish community pay medical and dental bills, repair and replace cars that don’t work, pay their mortgage or rent, send children to Jewish camps, get an education, train for a job, pay their synagogue dues, handle funeral expenses and much more. We also administer the R & B Business Loan Fund at Congregation Beth Or, which provides interest-free loans up to $15,000 to those starting new businesses or changing the direction of existing businesses.

With co-signers to guarantee the loans, our repayment rate is nearly perfect, which means that the money in our loan fund can be recycled many times. Over nearly 30 years, we have lent more than $2 million to struggling members of our community. We look forward to continuing our role in assisting Jews in this ancient form of financial aid with dignity.

Tamar and Marshal Granor, Co-Presidents | Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia

PJ Library Should Shelve More Stereotypes, Too
Thank you for “PJ Library Offers Book with Gay Parents, But Only Upon Request!” (Headlines, March 6). We are big fans of PJ Library and are grateful for their monthly literary gifts. If the PJ Library books were the only ones we read to our children, however, our children would be under the mistaken impression that all Jewish families are white and economically privileged, enjoy eating meat and other animal products, and contain married, heterosexual parents. Thankfully there are other books on the market that depict a more accurate representation of our community.

Dara Lovitz, Bala Cynwyd

Jewish Major Leaguers? It’s in the Cards!
 Being a longtime baseball card collector, the front page of the March 6 issue really caught my eye. I was unaware of the “Jewish Major Leaguers” baseball card brand (“Now at Bat: New Jewish Baseball Cards Hit Home”) and became very interested after reading the article.

It is nice to hear of the generous donation made to keep the company and series going. Thank you for the well-written article; it was a joy to read!

Justin DeVine, Philadelphia


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