Letters the Week of June 12, 2014

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Readers respond to recent articles on social justice, same-sex marriage, the importance of freedom of speech and a new special needs program at Ramah.

Social Justice Not Just a Jewish Responsibility

When Rabbi Steve Gutow said, “As American Jews … we have a responsibility to be engaged with our government and to ensure that our laws and our institutions reflect our focus on social justice” (Opinion, “Faith Is an Engine for Realizing Social Justice,” June 5), I was dumbfounded by his controversial statement. To specify that only “as Jews” we procure this responsibility is a misnomer in the way one should convey one’s self as a member of the public. 
 
Judaism is just a fragment of our “being”; to target just American Jews is a mistake. I would venture to say instead that everybody has a responsibility to be a part of governmental procedures.  
Jacob Scharf | Bala Cynwyd
 
Celebrating Same-Sex Marriage
The rally celebrating gay marriage in Pennsylvania (Headlines, “Jewish Lesbian Couple First in Line for Marriage License,” May 22) also ended on a Jewish note. Rabbi Beth Kalisch, spiritual leader of Beth David Reform Congregation in Gladwyne, addressed the crowd, stating, “I officiate at same-sex weddings because my religion teaches love, not hate.” She explained Jewish wedding rituals to the mostly non-Jewish gathering. She then broke a glass to celebrate the many weddings soon to be sanctified and led the crowd in shouting, “Mazel tov, Pennsylvania!”
Ilene Sussman Rosen
 
Maintaining Freedom of Speech
I think it is a dangerous thing to control any rabbi’s freedom of speech (Opinion, “The Pulpit Is Not the Place for Israel Criticism,” May 15). If anyone is unhappy with their rabbi’s point of view, then they are free to change their rabbi.
Robin Scheiner | Forest Hills, New York
 
Special Needs Camp Provides Hope
Such wonderful news (Headlines, “Ramah Planning New Special Needs Program,” May 22) for all of us who love Tikvah Family Camp and hope our children could attend a program like this one.
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer | Special Needs Resources Director/jkidphilly in Center City 
 

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