I have a lot of respect for investigative journalism, making the world a better place, and commitment to the vitality of the Jewish people. That’s only part of the reason I have enormous admiration for the Forward, its editors, its journalists, and Rabbi Steven Wernick. (Full disclosure: I’m Jewish, a contributing editor to the Forward, and a consultant to the Conservative movement.)
Your August 3 article, “Circle of Pro-Israel Writers Rises,” mentions two former editors at Foreign Affairs, David Feith and Jordan Hirsch. What the article didn’t say was that each got his position, in subsequent years, through an extraordinarily competitive annual search for our junior editorial slot, beating out hundreds of other super-qualified candidates — and that each hire was a smashing success. When told during the Civil War that Ulysses S. Grant had a drinking problem, Abraham Lincoln supposedly replied, “Find out what he drinks and send a case of it to my other generals.” That’s pretty much how I feel about any editorial development program that produced the two of them, regardless of its politics or funders.
Your June 29 editorial “The Undeserving Poor?” argued that poverty in the Orthodox community is a “choice.” The premise is that Hasidic Jews refuse to go to work and earn an honest living.
In the editorial of June 29, “The Undeserving Poor?” the source of Orthodox poverty seems primarily attributed to the “choice” of having large families. But perhaps a more accurate description should be that they are “programmed” for communal survival.
I’m surprised that the Forward, a Jewish newspaper, could have devoted a whole page to Alaska in its August 10 edition without once mentioning the great Ernest Gruening.