Letters, the Week of April 14, 2016

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Readers discuss the Mandell Education Campus, the Exponent’s front page and President Obama.

Keep Mandel’s Open Space Open
I’ve been an active member of the Philadelphia Jewish community my entire life and am appreciative of the work the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia does. That being said, I am disappointed with the current consideration for the Mandell Education Campus in Elkins Park (“Proposed Mandell Use Change Draws Opposition,” March 24).
The Mandell campus has been such a bonus to the Philadelphia Jewish community. I’m an Elkins Park native who no longer lives in Elkins Park, but the Mandell campus still has been a center of my Jewish life. My kids and/or my neighbor’s children, are or were Gratz students, Perelman students and/or Ramah Day Camp (RDC) campers.
We looked at RDC for our daughter when it was in its infancy, but we didn’t send her to RDC for years. Why not? Because it didn’t have the physical base we wanted in a day camp. We didn’t send her during the years RDC was in a synagogue parking lot, but once RDC moved to the Mandell campus, it was a game changer. We signed our daughter up immediately.
If RDC had moved to the Mandell campus, but Federation Housing already had been there, we wouldn’t have moved her to RDC. A camp needs grounds to play. No matter how good the infrastructure might otherwise be, we didn’t want our daughter at a camp without adequate outdoor space.
I understand the need for housing and to serve the community that Federation Housing serves, but the Jewish Federation needs to serve other members of its community as well, and to continue the wonderful programs at RDC, at Perelman and through the Kehillah of Old York Road that require open space.
Tali Segal | Fort Washington
Local Surgeon Misidentified as News
It’s a sad day for the Jewish Exponent when the cover is a feature article on Sherman Leis and his sex change surgery business (“Discovering Identity From the Outside In,” March 31). Is there not anything in the Jewish community more important than Sherman Leis’ history and business of transgender surgery?
Make it an inside article.
Robin Secouler | Blue Bell
Letter Offers Alternate Reading of History
After reading Marvin Bograd’s letter (“Israel Better Off Under Obama,” March 31), I found myself wondering which of us was living in an alternate universe. After ignoring Obama’s numerous attacks on Israel, Mr. Bograd then goes on to cherry pick and magnify the president’s positive accomplishments for the Jewish state.
Mr. Bograd must have forgotten Obama’s decision to “slow roll” supplying Israel with vital parts for the Iron Dome missile defense system during the last Hamas-initiated war. He also forgot about the stoppage of flights into Ben Gurion Airport for several days during that same conflict. In the first case, Israel’s ability to defend its cities was imperiled; in the second, Israel’s economy was put at risk.
Mr. Bograd also left out Obama’s decision to negotiate the most incompetent agreement in American history, the nuclear deal with Iran. This is an act not of an ally, but rather of a belligerent.
The president’s seven years in office have produced the worst relations between America and the Jewish state ever.
Steve Heitner | Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.

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