Rabbi Freundel's apology, Anne Coulter and Synagogues and JCCs.
Wrong Forum for Purported ‘Apology’
As a subscriber of the Jewish Exponent for more than 35 years, I wanted to take the opportunity to first express how I enjoy the newer format you introduced this year. Now that I have your attention, I wanted to inform you of how appalled I was to open to page 11 of the Sept. 17 issue. In the section with the heading “Headlines,” it had “A personal statement of apology from Rabbi Freundel.”
I have some concerns about this apology: It mentions nothing about what he had done. It mentions it took place during a sacred moment, how he should not have done it, and that he went for therapy; but it fails to mention exactly what he did. It is similar to composing an autobiography and not telling the readers who you are, nor including all the events in your life.
Something that bothers me more is the fact this apology is found under a page categorized by the word “Headlines.” I would like to inquire if the Exponent supported his actions by allowing Rabbi Freundel to publish the apology at no cost to him.
If the Exponent did not charge Rabbi Freundel for publishing this “apology,” it owes an apology to every reader, every Jewish individual, as well as to all professionals who are trusted by people to respect being an honorable person and respectful leader. I am sure you realize if any respectful individual wanted to purchase a 1/3-page advertisement in a paper as prestigious as the Exponent, it would cost him lots of money.
Why do readers of the Exponent have to support Rabbi Freundel by giving him carte blanche treatment and providing him with an ad for free? I would have rather seen an article about a religious leader coming to Philly than someone who crossed the line regarding religious trust.
Please tell Rabbi Freundel if he wishes to apologize for his actions, it will cost more than he could ever afford and imagine — don’t make readers support it.
Scott Geller | Lafayette Hill
Republicans, Jews and Israel
I hope that the members of the Republican Jewish Coalition read Anne Coulter’s comments exhibiting her true feelings about Jews. Don’t be fooled by the thinly veiled comments of her being pro-Israel. Read her comments carefully. She is pro-Israel: Israel is necessary for all of the Jews to return so the Messiah can come and the United States can be the Christian nation that it was always intended to be.
She loves Israel; she states it repeatedly. She just hates Jews — and skips that part. Her comments highlight that. I’m glad the Exponent article about the coalition and Anne Coulter’s comments come so closely together. You can now see that a Republican Jewish Coalition is an oxymoron.
Maurice Feldman | Wyncote
Synagogues Need to Offer More
A recent Philadelphia Inquirer article stated that “about 35 percent of Jewish households in Philadelphia’s five-county region belong to a synagogue.” For a viable Jewish community, this is unacceptable. I once suggested to a rabbi some social ways to increase interest and he asked, “What am I to do, turn this into a JCC?”
The answer: Yes. At one time, the synagogue was the center of Jewish life because it was more than just a place of worship. Maybe old-time religion was good enough for our ancestors, but modernization isn’t all bad. Perhaps more English liturgy making prayers more meaningful is in order. I am certain God would not object if new ways were introduced to exalt Him (or Her, if you prefer).
Ralph D. Bloch | Rydal