Letters the Week of May 14, 2015


Readers share their thoughts on Gratz College’s Jewish Community High School programs, local ties to the Israeli Air Force and the Anti-Defamation League’s upcoming fifth annual Walk Against Hate.

Gratz Teen Program Still a Regional Resource

The distribution of more than $14 million in unrestricted funds for 80 grants to 43 organizations locally and abroad is a testament to the generosity of our community and the leadership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. (Cover, “Where the Dollars Go: Federation’s Allocations Reach Far and Wide,” May 7) The process — from submission of proposals to review to decisions — is a complicated one, and key information can be lost when it is condensed for reports and then summarized in a brief article.
While Gratz College’s Jewish Community High School will centralize operations in one location next year, the program will continue to be a resource for all students in the region.
Those who cannot participate in weekly programs will be able to experience JCHS through monthly programs as well as online courses that transcend distance.  
Joy W. Goldstein | President, Gratz College
South Fourth Street Gang’s Ties to Israel
In the April 23 issue, you had an article on American pilots joining Israel’s fight for freedom. (Headlines: “The Other Spielberg Tells the Story of American Pilots Who Fought for Israel in 1948”).
One of those pilots, Coleman Goldstein, was part of our South Fourth Street Gang. He also became an El Al pilot until retirement.
Coleman also convinced another of member of our group, an ex-Navy pilot — Philip Marmelstein — to come back with him to fly for Israel. Philip not only flew for Israel; he married one of the girls who had escaped from the Nazis. 
Another member of our group, Moishe Littmen, joined the army in the late 1930s. He was sent to the Philippines, and when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, he was sent to Japan as a prisoner and for five years no one heard from him.
At the time, South Fourth Street was a great shopping area. Moishe’s mother would tell all the vendors: “My Moishe is alive. My Moishe is alive.” Guess what? When the war ended, after five long years, Moishe was alive. Down to 70 pounds, he was found in a prisoner-of-war camp. So a mother knows! He was sent to a rehab camp and came home as handsome as ever, weighing 200 pounds.
Martin J. Dubin | Huntingdon Valley
Time to Take a ‘Walk Against Hate’
As is often reflected in the pages of the Exponent, bias, discrimination and hatred are pervasive in our society. Witness the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses (Editorial, “Far From Academic,” May 7), the persistence of Holocaust denial (Cover, “Theatre Ariel ‘s Plausible ‘Denial,’ ” April 30), and the shame of anti-Islamic ads on SEPTA buses (Headlines, “Anti-Islamic Ad on SEPTA Buses Does Not Commute,” April 23). 
This Sunday, May 17, we will be joining thousands of Jews and non-Jews alike from throughout the region at the Anti-Defamation League’s fifth annual Walk Against Hate on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. What would and could be better for everyone — and for Jews and for Israel, in particular — than a world without hate? Please go to WalkAgainstHate.org to register to walk or donate as we make a stand and a statement against bias, discrimination and hatred.
Nancy Baron-Baer | ADL Regional Director
Andy Goldman | ADL Regional Chair
Brandon Morrison | ADL Regional Vice Chair and Walk Against Hate Chair


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here