Fighting Food Insecurity
We are delighted that Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El is partnering with Box Lunch and a Book at Zion Baptist Church, Saints Memorial Baptist Church and Memorial Church of God in Christ (“Beth Hillel-Beth El to Team Up with Zion Baptist Church of Ardmore on Lunch and Reading Program,” June 27). And we thank the Exponent for raising the issue of food insecurity, which exists even in affluent suburbs like those found on the Main Line.
For nearly two years, a multifaith coalition of congregations, representatives of the School District, Narberth Community Food Bank, Ardmore Food Pantry, CHOP, Eldernet and others on the Main Line have been meeting to learn about food insecurity in our community, and try and find systemic ways to address this challenge. We have formed a new nonprofit to look at this and other issues in our community, Community Partners of Lower Merion and Narberth (lmncommunitypartners.org).
Here in Lower Merion some 10% of our students qualify for reduced or free lunch during the school year (that is some 900 students), and we estimate another 10% are just above the limit for qualifying. What happens to those families during school vacations and over the summer? In addition to supporting Box Lunch and a Book, this is the second summer we are sponsoring Lower Merion Summer Café, which is open to all who drop by. In addition, we provide some 100-plus weekend food bags for these families. We are grateful to Philabundance, which is providing lunches to both our Summer Café Program and Box Lunch and a Book.
We welcome all who are interested to join us and support us in this important work.
Rev. Carolyn Cavaness | Bethel AME Church of Ardmore Rabbi David Straus | Main Line Reform Temple Co-chairs, Community Partners of Lower Merion and Narberth Pastor Todd Stavrakos | Gladwyne Presbyterian Church Treasurer, Community Partners of Lower Merion and Narberth
Problem With Gun Laws
In order to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, a background check is required via the FBI instant background check system (“A Rabbinic Call to End Gun Violence,” July 4). For situations when a private citizen sells a handgun to another individual, the purchaser has to first go and get a permit to purchase from the police department in the city in which they reside, and a background check is conducted as part of this process. When one buys a long gun from an Federal Firearms License holder, the same background check is conducted.
The only difference is with private sales — not a single shooting mentioned in the article used a long gun purchased via private individuals, and the shul shootings were committed by those who had legally obtained their firearms from licensed dealers — California has some of the most draconian gun laws in the country.
Criminals don’t obtain their firearms legally, so requiring a background check, which is already required, won’t change anything.
Michael Fridman | West Bloomfield, Michigan
Not the Whole NaGrilla
“Hava NaGrilla ‘Meats’ Expectations,” June 27, unfortunately failed to fully capture the flavor and features of the event: This was our third successful Hava NaGrilla Smoke Kosher Charity event, the largest kosher event of its kind in the country.
It was organized by the Men’s Club of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El and initiated by our indefatigable member Stuart Gordon. Twenty cooking teams from around the country participated enthusiastically. Over 4,000 people attended, including many from the observant Jewish community and non-Jewish general community, with nine vendors serving kosher food (we also sold over 500 chairbroiled hot dogs), promoting community services, Zionism and charities; Chabad ran a tefillin table where dozens of men stopped by to wrap tefillin.
The entertainment included music and many children’s activities. We raised thousands of dollars for the two main charities: Jewish Relief Agency and homeless veterans. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum and takes many months of dedicated work to pull off, which we proudly did again. Always a great day when we can bring K’lal Yisrael, the community, together.
Lee Bender and Sam Brint | Co-presidents, Men’s Club of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El
Camp Counselor Career Advice
Maybe camps should provide coaching to their counselors on how to best present their counseling experience on a resume (“How Should You Define a Counselor’s Value?” July 4). I’ve been involved in hiring for entry-level marketing positions. I wouldn’t immediately discount camp counseling experience if I saw it on a resume, but I would want to see skills related to marketing work woven into the description of the person’s experience as a counselor. Or at least skills related to business/offices in general, like teamwork, leadership, managing difficult personalities, public speaking/presenting, etc.
Fern Richardson | Ambler
Camps vs. Detention Centers
The recent letters on the U.S. “concentration camps” ignore the critical difference between the Nazi camps and the U.S. detention centers: People are literally risking their own lives and the lives of their children for the opportunity to get into the U.S. camps. Until U.S. immigration laws are universally enforced, children will be trafficked and die because many U.S. cities and some judges and law enforcement officials and many members of Congress are actively encouraging this behavior.
If an illiterate, skill-less adult wants to find a better paying job in the U.S. than in his native Central American, South American or African country, a minor is his ticket to prosperity. The deaths will continue until asylum laws are addressed and enforced.
Heather Horton | Norristown