Letters, the week of October 15, 2015


Bristol Jewish Center, Steve Heitner and editing and sanitizing letters.

BJC Deserved Better
Thank you for the article concerning the merger of the Congregations Ahavath Achim at the Bristol Jewish Center and Kol Emet.
It is too bad Jon Marks rushed the article into print, and missed the essence, culture and importance of a warm, nurturing synagogue. For 111 years, BJC was a beacon of Jewish life in Bucks County. It was the oldest and, for many years, the only synagogue where Jews could worship in very rural Bucks County. BJC congregants helped found such organizations as Jewish War Veterans Post 697, Jewish Federation of Bucks County (under many names), along with its widely read publication, as well as Israel Bonds.
BJC also had many “firsts.” For 40 years, 51 students from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College were offered the opportunity to officiate from its pulpit to gain experience. The first female and gay rabbis presided over services during that span. And BJC had the first electric outdoor menorah in Bucks County.
Congregants of BJC were leaders in the business, social and cultural activities of the Bristol Borough and Bucks County communities during those 111 years. It is unfortunate that this rich history was so cavalierly glossed over by Mr. Marks.
Alan J. Vogenberg | Executive Director and Treasurer, 
Bristol Jewish Center                    
Calling out the Stalking Horse
Is the Jewish Exponent being blackmailed by Steve Heitner?
How else to explain, as a Jewish periodical, its frequent publication of Mr. Heitner’s all-too-predictable right-wing screeds which embody the agenda of the Christian Right?
His latest submission (Letters, Oct. 8) refers to “respect for the unborn” — a decidedly un-Jewish/anti-halachic phrase if there ever was one, albeit terminology beloved by evangelical Bible-thumpers and the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
Check the JE archives. I challenge you to find a single Heitner letter referencing a classic Jewish source as the basis and authority for any position he adopts.
Brad Shaw | Clarksville, MD
An Unwarranted Hatchet Job
As author of the recent letter you entitled, “Republicans, Jews, and Israel” (Oct. 1), I don’t appreciate the extent to which you edited and sanitized it. The idea that Anne Coulter wants Jews to be “completed” or “perfected” is documented, material and relevant to the content and intended impact of the letter. The idea that “Republicans are pro-Israel, but motives matter” is also material and relevant to the conversation. While Mike Huckabee’s name and Ted Cruz’s name may be omitted without losing impact if you insist on doing so, the point should be made that those that toot that horn have a hidden agenda. She/they want the messiah to “return,” not to “come.” They are not Jews.
You omitted an entire paragraph. You should save that for the oversized letters you repeatedly publish in blatant disregard of your written standards. Instead, you insist on condensing and sanitizing my article to fit an agenda — or is it a ‘standard’ — of your own. The letter is now yours, not mine. If that is what you want, you are on your way. The column that used to be three pages long will soon disappear. I expressed a similar sentiment to the previous editor when I stopped writing. I now extend to you the same sentiment.
Maurice Feldman | Wyncote 


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