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Why aren’t Muslim countries welcoming refugees?
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American Jews must collaborate
Editor: The article “Citing ‘core beliefs,’ 40 Orthodox clergy condemn Trump’s ‘hateful rhetoric,’ Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz among leaders of effort” (posted on jewishaz.com, Aug. 22) made me wonder why I hear only relative silence from our Jewish leaders and rabbis when there are many slanders against Israel, our Jewish heritage and Jews, in our country and around the world?
Editor: This letter concerns the article “Jewish War Veterans group slams Trump over attacks on Muslim war hero’s family” (posted Aug. 3 on jewishaz.com).
Editor: I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix. Our child was a recipient of their scholarship to attend summer camp.
Editor: If you are fed up, bored, tired of the 2016 election, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news, if you are a political junkie, is that the 2020 election campaign has started. The bad news is that Ted Cruz gave the first speech of the 2020 election cycle.
Editor: My family and I enthusiastically welcome the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix’s acquisition of Phoenix’s 68-year-old Jewish News. Our family – my parents, Cecil and Pearl Newmark, followed by my husband Paul and me – owned and published Jewish News for 52 of those years, until my retirement in 2013, motivated always by a deep commitment to our community.
Editor: The Orthodox Jewish community in Phoenix is one that is filled with many young families. Many years before all these “newcomers,” there was a man who planted and nurtured the seeds of Yiddishkeit here in Phoenix. I was recently in Brooklyn and was honored to visit with him after many years – he is Dr. Sheldon Zinn.
Editor: In the last edition, there was a picture of two men, entering into a “marriage” (“A chuppah of equality,” Jewish News, June 17). The country and the state may well recognize the union of two men as a marriage, but the holy Torah is very clear on this issue. Homosexuality is termed a toeiva, an abomination. It’s not open to discussion, it’s an abomination, an aveira, a sin.
Editor: I had the pleasure of watching the Israel Scouts perform at Temple Chai. This was the first time I watched them perform.
Editor: I’m reaching out with profound sadness at the news of another senseless act of violence in Orlando, Florida, targeting gays and lesbians at a gay bar. But this attitude of hate and murderous action could be aimed at any group, and should cause each of us to feel personally involved in the mourning and in the resolve to find solutions to this violence.
Editor: The mass murder of gays is indeed a “hate” crime, as President Obama states. However, what he and most others do not state is the source of the hatred of gays. The source is the Quran, which clearly states followers should “throw gays off the top of the highest building.” No, that is not bias or Islamaphobic talk. It is simply the truth.
Editor: We wish to address rumors within the community regarding future food service at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center. We have been, and remain, committed to ensuring that all food provided by the café, catering service and future snack shack by the pool be kosher and under supervision.
Editor: Now that Passover is behind us, we are looking ahead to the worldwide Shabbos Project, which is scheduled for Nov. 11-12, 2016. It has been a great honor to run the Shabbos Project and, this year, we are stepping back. We feel it’s time for new leaders.
Editor: There are three major Jewish festivals that have historical and great significance. These three holidays include Passover (Pesach). Each of the three festivals has a special relationship to events in Jewish history, with Passover commemorating the liberation of Israel from the slavery of Egypt. Passover is observed in the Diaspora by Orthodox and Conservative Jews for eight days, and by Reform Jews for seven. With the last day of Passover, Jews recall their departed kinsfolk in a memorial service for the dead.
Editor: In my 40 years in Arizona, I’ve not seen an important matter so confused (“Prop 123 enjoys broad support,” Jewish News, April 22). Superficially, Proposition 123 seems to validate and support the Jewish community’s passionate cultural commitment to education. It seems like a good deal, but we must look deeper, and the public lacks the facts to make an informed choice.
Editor: I am shocked at the recent article detailing the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s allocations for this fiscal year (“Federation allocates $2.17M,” Jewish News, April 15). All it takes is some rudimentary math to see that of the $5.4 million raised from the community, only a fraction of those dollars actually leaves the door of the Federation/JCC campus to help community institutions.
Editor: It is strange how in reading the editorial, “Halting conversation” and the adjoining article about Judean glass (“More than a piece of broken Judean glass,” Jewish News, April 15), I was able to find a distinct connection between the two.
Editor: Two articles – “Reflections from AIPAC” and “AIPAC’s plan to ‘come together’ comes undone” (Jewish News, March 25) – certainly caught my attention. As previously strong supporters of that organization, my wife and I had become progressively more and more discouraged by AIPAC’s seeming inability to confront the Obama administration’s increasingly hostile demeanor when it involved America’s once important ally in the Middle East – the State of Israel.
Editor: We found the column “Reflections from AIPAC” (Jewish News, March 25) to be thoughtful, save the phrase “myopic rabbis.” Many of the comments from Donald Trump are clearly an affront to Jewish values. Those rabbis were speaking out rather than sweeping racism and bigotry under the carpet.
Editor: Thank you for the excellent review of “Witness to Truth,” the Holocaust exhibit at the Plotkin Judaica Museum at Congregation Beth Israel (“Exhibit features witnesses to truth,” Jewish News, March 25).
Editor: This is in response to “Haredi rabbi: Kotel deal to ‘limit desecration,’” (Jewish News, March 4), an article about Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, former chief rabbi of Jerusalem’s Old City.
Editor: Thank you for your coverage of Vice President Joseph Biden’s trip to Israel and for reporting his recent condemnation of the latest horrifying attacks against Israelis that have persisted for nearly six months (“In Jerusalem, Biden criticizes those who fail to condemn terror attacks in Israel,” jewishaz.com, posted March 9).
Editor: I just want to send kudos to you and to Pamela Rae Schuller for her brilliantly written inclusion article (“I’m not your mitzvah project,” Jewish News, Feb. 19).
Editor: In her letter “Distortions of Israel, peace in L.A. Times” (Jewish News, Dec. 25, 2015), Ginette Weiner reported on the Jewish Voice for Peace, its hostility toward Israel and its support for the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement.
Editor: The recent letter to the community from the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center/Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix leadership (“ILJCC kosher policy response,” Jewish News, Jan. 15) is yet another example of double-speak.
Editor: Robert I. Lapin’s commentary “Uproot hatred, uproot Islamic terror” (Jewish News, Jan. 8), clearly points out that the “hatred, communicated daily ... and, most effectively, to Muslim children via a worldwide network of schools, largely financed by Saudi Arabia, which are enormously successful in creating a culture of hatred that is roiling the world.”
There have been a few comments from the community regarding the kosher policy on the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus. We value our community and want to provide clarity on this issue. First and foremost, the JCC and Federation continue to strictly enforce our policy that food provided at JCC and Federation events is kosher. We are proud to maintain kashrut at the highest level so people of any level of observance can attend our events. Private groups who rent rooms from the campus, and are in no way sponsored or connected with the JCC or Federation, are not required to be kosher. Because they are not allowed to use our kitchens, they do not affect our kashrut.
Editor: I was very disappointed to learn that the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus is no longer a totally kosher campus (“Campus kosher policy clarified,” Jewish News, Jan. 1). The campus leadership has decided that outside events and organizations that rent space at the ILJCC are no longer required to use a kosher caterer or comply with Jewish dietary laws. Outside groups may now serve any type of food they wish from any catering source.
Editor: Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of the self-hating Jewish Voice for Peace, in an Op-Ed published Dec. 16 in The Los Angeles Times, continues to demonize Israel by selective amnesia about critical facts.
Editor: I was dismayed to read the two letters to the editor headlined “Only five?” (Jewish News, Nov. 27). The “only five” were Jewish leaders who agreed to ask Gov. Ducey to retract his call to prevent Syrian refugees from entering Arizona.
Editor: The Arizona Republic published an open letter Nov. 22 to Gov. Ducey asking him to retract his call to prevent Syrian refugees from entering Arizona. This letter was correct in every way. It was endorsed by a large number of local religious leaders. Many of us have a tendency to look for Jewish names when both good fortune or tragedy strike. I found myself scouring the signatures and found only five Jews in support of this call and none of our larger congregations or major organizations are represented.
Editor: The Arizona Republic published a lengthy, respectful and well-thought-out open letter to Gov. Doug Ducey taking him to task on his request to stop refugee relocations. It was signed by 82 local faith leaders. Sadly, of those signatories there were only five Jews.
Editor: On Sunday morning Oct. 25, I got on a bus with 14 members of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s Women’s Philanthropy and went on a mini-mission to visit some of the essential community programs partly funded through federation dollars.
Editor: I appreciated Sheldon Pierson’s letter on “Relentless Battle” (Jewish News, Nov. 6) with the Palestinians.
Editor: Steven Fine’s commentary “Times’ Big Lie about the Temple Mount” (Jewish News, Oct. 23) rightfully articulates anger and frustration about the New York Times’ continual distortions and outright lies. While I agree with his commentary, this well-written article and others like this one, fall short.
Editor: The 22nd day of Cheshvan was the yahrzeit of Jack Greenberg, obm. Jack was the founder and first president of the Young Israel of Phoenix. It’s been 15 years since Jack’s passing, and I’d just like to bring to people’s attention his contribution to the Phoenix Jewish community.
Editor: For many years, I have been in favor of some kind of moderation or accommodation with the Palestinians but, I have concluded, to no avail.
Editor: The Israeli community in the Valley was given quite a treat on Oct.20 – a concert by Ehud Banai at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center. As an Israeli myself, I can say that this was one of the best Israeli music shows that the Greater Phoenix Jewish community became privy to.
Editor: I have just finished reading “A bad deal in the real world” (“In the Mail,” Jewish News, Aug. 28). As opposed to what the letter writer said, I am overjoyed and proud of my rabbi – Rabbi John Linder – along with Rabbis Elana Kanter, Michael Wasserman and Thomas Louchheim for the stance that they took regarding the Iran nuclear deal.
Editor: I would like to respond to William Weiss’ excellent question concerning my assertion that Jewish lobbying against the Iran deal could lead to accusations of dual loyalty (“Who will charge dual loyalty?” Jewish News, Aug. 28). If the Jewish position is shared by a majority of Americans, he asks, why should this boomerang on the Jews? If we lived in a fair and rational world; he would be correct. However, anti-Semitism is the most primitive form of hatred and is based on lies, distortions and demonization of Jews.
Editor: Thank you for your article on the building purchased by Shearim Torah High School for Girls. We are very excited and proud to have purchased our building and would like to thank all the generous supporters who have made the purchase possible.
Editor: Shame on the four rabbis from Arizona who signed a petition in favor of the Iran nuclear dea. Have they taken the trouble to understand the terms of the deal or just taken President Obama’s word that the deal will prevent Iran from securing a nuclear weapon?
Editor: Rabbi Reuven Mann correctly notes, “Many people besides Israelis and Jews are opposed to [the Iran] agreement” ... So, it’s hard to understand why he concludes that Jewish opposition to the deal threatens our community with accusations of “dual loyalty."
Editor: In a recent interview with Prospect magazine, former President Jimmy Carter said there was “zero chance” of a two-state solution today and blamed Israel for this state of affairs, while allowing the Palestinian Arabs to get off scot-free.
Editor: I don’t live in Israel (with my back against the wall). I live in the United States. A question for my fellow American Jews: What part of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” don’t you understand?
Editor: It took Hitler over five years to murder 6 million Jews. Armed with a nuclear bomb, it will take Iran five minutes.
Editor: Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, in his recent opinion piece (“Let’s welcome young leaders to boards,” July 10), correctly articulates the value of diversity in our organizational boards.
What are your thoughts on the Iran nuclear deal? Send your viewpoints in 200 words or less to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name, address and phone number or email address. Also, let your representatives know; here is their contact information. If you don’t know what district you live in, visit azredistricting.org/districtlocator.
Editor: Our president is making the same mistake that the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made in 1938.
Editor: In light of the proposed Iran deal, we must understand and never forget that we are Jews, people of the Bible who go back thousands of years. Our culture once lived in tents on the windswept sands of the desert yet, in spite of adversity through the centuries, we have advanced to the gleaming skyscrapers of Tel Aviv.
Between the challah bake, the Shabbat Project and conferences in Washington, D.C., it's been a busy week.
Shabbat in Jerusalem was like no Shabbat I have ever experienced.
Valley residents Esther and Don Schon write about a program that two ex-IDF soldiers developed to help teach disadvantaged teens to surf and in turn to become surfing teachers for wounded warriors.