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.
Contrary to Larry Lerner’s remarks, expressed in his June 29 op-ed, “Time for a New Jackson-Vanik,” the Magnitsky Act now under consideration is not the “modern-day version of Jackson-Vanik.”
In his June 15 op-ed, “The Problem With ‘Free,’” David Bryfman criticizes free Jewish programs, for “devaluing Jewish experiences.” “Why would people want to pay for a Jewish experience,” he asks, if they know “they can get Jewish products for free?”
With regard to your June 22 editorial, “The Depths of Nixonland,” while it is undeniably true that Richard Nixon distrusted Jews in general, his personal views were more than counter-balanced by his actions.
As your June 15 editorial put it, “Why Stop at the Big Gulp?” Indeed.
I don’t live in New York (I live in the Boston area), but one thing that really struck me about the survey reported on in your June 22 article, “Changing Face of New York Jewry,” was its adherence to the categories of Reform-Conservative-Orthodox, and the lumping of all other Jews in a category of “unaffiliated” with the assumption that these Jews have a tenuous connection to Judaism.
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