Letters the Week of Jan. 22, 2015

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Readers respond to articles dealing with Jewish summer camp, the young professionals scene and how same-sex marriage fits into Judaism from a biblical perspective.

No Right to Complain About Ramah Policy

In his letter, Bill Hyman of Elkins Park (“Not a Happy Camper on ‘Bunk Mentality’,” Jan. 15) writes that he is disappointed that his children born to a non-Jewish mother were denied admittance to Camp Ramah Day Camp. 
 
We have sent three kids to Camp Ramah in the Poconos and did so because the camp follows Jewish law, including matrilineal descent as the only way to be considered Jewish.
 
Hyman’s decision to have children that are not recognized as Jews is his own. It is not right that he expects the rest of the Jewish world to accept his choices.
 
As for his daughters, they sound like wonderful young women who are connected to the Jewish people. I hope that someday they choose to make it official.
Mark Solomon | Wynnewood
 
ADL Programs Target ‘Next Generation’
It was wonderful to read about the many diverse offerings for young Jewish professionals in our area (Cover, “Searching for Community and Love in Philadelphia,” Jan. 1).
 
The Anti-Defamation League is very proud of its varied and in-depth programs for young professionals.
 
Our Next Generation Leadership program offers opportunities for networking and leadership development, dynamic social activities, educational programs and hands-on volunteer activities.
 
Hundreds and hundreds of young professionals have benefited from ADL programs such as these, and we hope to continue providing such quality engagement for years to come.
Nancy K. Baron-Baer | Regional Director, ADL
 
Bible Doesn’t Forbid Same-Sex Marriage
The story about the same-sex marriage of Israeli diplomat Elad Strohmayer and Oren Ben-Yosef prompted many comments on our Facebook page.
In response to some who suggested that gay marriage goes against God’s will, Rabbi Michael Beals, who co-officiated at the wedding, responded with this: 
 
Leviticus’ prohibition of homosexuality is only in the context of Canaanite Pagan religious practices.
 
To use it to forbid monogamous loving marriages is reading one’s own prejudices on to the text, which is an option but clearly not a loving or kind option.
 
What could be more Conservative and traditional than two lovers choosing to invite God into their union through marriage? Leviticus also says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” At the heart of Leviticus is love.
Rabbi Michael Beals | Wilmington, Del.

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