Letters: Cemetery Conditions, Recipes

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Cemetery Problems Predate Coronavirus

Regarding the Jewish Exponent’s recent article on the condition of graves at Har Nebo Cemetery (“Families Upset by Cemetery Conditions,” July 2), last May, 2019, I visited Har Nebo and was barely able to discern the names of family members on the flat overgrown stones. I inquired at the office and returned about a week later in June. They had spread some weed killer and mowed a bit, so that I could see the names.

My grandfather’s standing stone, however, was broken off, lying separately on the ground next to its base. I have a photo of it taken November 2016 when it was in very good condition, and upright. The office employee informed me that the charge for repair would be $800. I should note that my grandfather’s broken stone was hardly the only one in that condition.


Susan Dyshel Sommovilla | Elkins Park

More Outrage About Har Nebo

With regard to your article “Families Upset by Cemetery Conditions,” I am writing so that you can understand how heartbroken, frustrated and outraged my family and I are due the lack of maintenance at Har Nebo Cemetery.

My sister and I have dutifully gone to Har Nebo twice a year — between Mother’s and Father’s Days and at the High Holy Days — for more than three decades. We visit the graves of our parents, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles in an older area (not the very oldest).

In the early years, we saw an occasional broken headstone, never moved or repaired. Then, more and more stones came down, mostly due to extreme age, some due, no doubt, to vandalism — never touched. Many of these broken headstones blocked the narrow pathways, and still do.

For the last 10 years, we have found the grass as much as 18 to 24 inches high with holes in the ground, hidden by the grass, deep enough to break an ankle. It has gotten so bad, that my sister now has to wait in the car, while I carefully walk my way to our parents’ graves, as if I were navigating a minefield. Frequent phone calls begging for maintenance are always ignored.

Can’t anyone do something about this disgraceful situation?

Arthur Simons | Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Don’t Forget the Protein

As a person who follows primarily a vegan diet (with occasional heart healthy low mercury sardines and salmon), I am very pleased to see articles highlighting vegetarian meals. However, I believe the recent article by Keri White (“Simple Stovetop Suppers, Vegetarian Style,” July 2) might encourage one to eat a meal which is seriously deficient in protein.

The standard reference for nutrition, the Dietary Reference Intake, or DRI, recommends 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This amounts to 56 grams per day for the average sedentary male and 46 grams per day for the average sedentary female. Many nutritionists believe this recommendation is too low for optimal health.

The protein content of the first recipe, the ravioli with greens would probably provide adequate protein because of the cheese (23 grams per serving for cheddar). However, the second, the vegan tomato soup, would probably only provide about 2 grams of protein. If eaten with a cheese sandwich, the protein would be adequate. However, if one followed the recommendation for a vegan, a pita with hummus, he would only get about 7 grams of protein — a total of only 9 grams for dinner unless he added other foods.

I must add that I love hummus. However, I think people do not realize that the protein content is quite low. 

If you write another column about vegetarian foods, it would be a great service to give more recipes for high-protein foods such as tofu, tempeh and seitan (wheat meat).

Bonny Hohenberger | Philadelphia

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