American Jewry Is At a Crossroads: Asking whether Conservative Judaism suffers from malaise may be addressing the wrong issue (“Conservative Judaism at a Crossroads,” August 31). I believe a compelling argument can be made that what we are really witnessing is a realignment of the American Jewish community — to which the old categories of Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Modern Orthodox and ultra-Orthdodox simply no longer apply.
Double Standard Applied To Armenian Massacre
I might be able to buy into the realpolitik argument that suggests we ought to be more concerned with Turkey as Israel’s ally than with a theoretical and extremely retrospective condemnation of the Armenian deaths as genocide (“Of Genocide and Morality,” August 31).
College Played Vital Role: I enjoyed reading Jeri Zeder’s August 10 article on the National Yiddish Book Center and its founder Aaron Lansky (“Book Center Turns New Page”). However, I was astonished that no mention was made of its location on the campus of Hampshire College, or of the role that Hampshire and many members of that college’s community have played in the center since its early days.
ADL Has Never Denied The Armenian Massacre: In an August 17 opinion column, Leonard Fein appears to be misinformed on the Anti-Defamation League’s position, as he seemingly relies only on what has been said and written in the news media and the blogosphere (“On Armenian Genocide, Politics Trumps Truth”). As a result, his contribution is yet another distortion of our position, and that of other major Jewish organizations, on this complex issue.
Keep Debate Over Shul Renovation Civil: As president of the board of directors of Holy Blossom Temple, I write this letter to let readers know that the board firmly supports our senior rabbi, John Moscowitz, and the role he has played thus far in our renewal process (“Renovation of Storied Toronto Synagogue Opens Cracks in Congregation,” July 27).
Union Leadership Did Not Support a Boycott: Two motions were tabled to Unison’s national delegate conference in June which addressed Israel and Palestine (“U.S. Unions Organize Against British Boycott,” July 27). Both motions were tabled by individual Unison local branches, as is their democratic right. They were not tabled by myself — as Unison’s deputy general secretary I don’t have this right — nor by the union’s National Executive, as the Forward implies.
Jews Live in Deadwood: Fast Forward writer Andrew Muchin asserts that “no Jews are known to live in Deadwood today” (“Pioneers in the Black Hills,” July 20).
Circumcision Offers Many Health Benefits: A July 20 article incorrectly reports that the current rate of circumcision in the United States is 57% (“Activists Up Efforts To Cut Circumcision Out of Bris Ritual”). Data released in 2006 by the Center for Disease Control showed that 80% of American males are circumcised; for non-Hispanic whites, the figure is 86%.
Group’s Finances Clear: A July 13 article fails to mention that all financial information about the Claims Conference is on the organization’s Web site (“Accounting Shift at Claims Conference”). In addition, the Claims Conference Web site lists every single allocation made by the organization, a level of transparency few Jewish organizations can match.
Revisit History of Kielce: The Kielce Pogrom of July 4, 1946, was initiated by policemen and soldiers and later joined by civilians, not the other way around (“Preserve Memory of Shoah By Maintaining Memorials,” July 6). The culpable inaction of police and army commanders, notably state security’s Major Wladyslaw Sobczynski, increased the number of casualties.
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