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March 5, 2010

For the Health of Zion

For 70 years, American Friends of Magen David Adom and its many thousands of donors have stood in solidarity with the people of Israel and with Magen David Adom (“Magen David Adom and Its U.S. Arm Feud Over Their Future,” February 26). MDA, through its thousands of professional and volunteer medical responders, performs life-saving and life-giving services to those in need of them throughout Israel.

In the last five years, AFMDA has raised more than $100 million to build new emergency medical stations, provided medical supplies and hundreds of standard and mobile intensive-care unit ambulances, funded state-of-the-art paramedic training to provide Israel’s people with a cutting-edge response to terror attacks and mass-casualty incidents, and has made major contributions to the MDA National Blood Services Center.

We have achieved record success because we have demonstrated to our donors that we are responsible stewards of their gifts, directing funds to critically needed programs and projects, and providing the oversight necessary for compliance with the guidelines of the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)3 organizations.

Our record is enviable, our clean independent audits are testimony to our good and responsible work, and we are most proud of these successes.

As we enter this new decade, we remain committed to our mission of saving lives in Israel and to Magen David Adom, the beneficiary with whom we have enjoyed a remarkable 70-year history. As a humanitarian organization, we are making preparations to build on this relationship with commitments to new and larger projects, all of which will enable Israel and its people to have the finest emergency medical service in the world.

Lewis Krinsky
National Chairman
American Friends of Magen David Adom
Houston, Texas

Frank Gag Is No Laughing Matter

For a newspaper to publish a photoshopped Anne Frank winking, even in a Purim spoof edition, is not only tasteless but sacrilegious (“Backward,” February 26).

Yisrael Medad

Hebrew Charter School Multiplication

Our team at the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School appreciated your recent article highlighting the diversity of our program (“School Teaches Hebrew to a Diverse Class,” February 19). But the story contained a few key factual errors that we want to correct for the record.

First, the new national organization that is supporting the development of Hebrew language charters like HLA is the Hebrew Charter School Center, which I also chair. The Center for Educational Innovation is a consulting group that the Hebrew Charter School Center has hired to help run our operations.

Second, the Areivim Philanthropic Group, which formed the Hebrew Charter School Center, has a range of esteemed partners from the Jewish community. It was co-founded by Michael Steinhardt and the late William Davidson, not solely by Steinhardt (my father), as your story suggested.

Third, it was the Hebrew Charter School Center, not Areivim, that provided HLA with a grant and that will be providing additional grants to other Hebrew language charter programs as they develop. It is the center’s goal to encourage the creation of 20 such schools over the next five years.

Sara Berman
Board Chair
Hebrew Language Academy
New York, N.Y.

ADL’s Foxman Is No Political Partisan

Kudos to J.J. Goldberg for his February 19 column “Foxman Fever Doesn’t Discriminate.”

As an admirer of both Norman Podhoretz and Rush Limbaugh, and as someone who has covered Foxman for years, my own strong sense is that Foxman, while, like all of us, not infallible, is highly effective and motivated not by any political bias of his own or his organization but by a genuine love for the Jewish people and concern for their safety and well-being.

Ira Stoll
Editor and Founder
Brooklyn, N.Y.

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