Letters | Nov 3, 2021


Struggles with the supply chain shortage

Thank you for your article “Supply chain shortages chafing Jewish businesses, organizations” (Oct. 28). In addition to the disappointment that the shortages place upon Jewish consumers, the shortages place great stress on the heroic Jewish communal professionals who have to sympathetically explain and apologize for the problem to their constituents while energetically fighting with their vendors to be at the head of the line to receive goods and services.

At the Garden of Remembrance (Gan Zikaron) Memorial Park, we are suffering from a serious nationwide shortage and delay in memorial monuments that is frustrating bereaved families wishing to dedicate a headstone at the traditional unveiling time at the close of the first yahrzeit.

We have had to create temporary markers for families to honor their loved ones and have sadly had to postpone many unveilings due to delayed memorial monuments. What used to be a few-months process of ordering a headstone now can take six to eight months.


Instead of giving families a few months to grieve before speaking to them about memorials, if the family intends to hold an unveiling at the end of the first yahrzeit, they need to begin the ordering process soon after the 30-day sheloshim period.

Compounding the problem of delayed memorials is the large price increase in the monuments, materials and shipping, which a nonprofit memorial park like ours cannot afford to absorb and must share with our families.

The writer is executive director, Garden of Remembrance,

5 ways to provide resolute support

Regarding “Truths of connection and struggle” (Opinion Oct. 21):
I believe that Rabbi Amy Schwartzman and clergy who share her views completely miss the mark and are partially to blame for the lack of connection of younger people to Israel. How can you blame people for wavering, when you see clergy like Schwartzman wavering? If rabbinic leadership doesn’t understand the complexities and realities of the state of Israel well enough to educate their community on why they should be providing resolute support, perhaps they should instead inspire their communities to focus on the people of Israel.

Here are five suggestions that might help quench the community desire for social justice while fostering warm and caring relationships with Israelis of all ages and religious affiliations: Initiate a campaign to your state representatives to secure the return of the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Oren Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Provide support to victims of terror in Israel. Join a program that assists elderly immigrants and Holocaust survivors. Establish relationships with youth homes for the less fortunate. And volunteer for Israeli food rescue programs that feed those in need.

Toronto, Canada
Where were the women?

Thank you, WJW, for creating a forum to discuss the issue of Jewish representation on stage and screen (“Should a non-Jewish actor play a Jew?” Oct. 21). In creating work for these media, we must think about who is the actor, are the roles caricatures or stereotypes — or do they speak to one’s lived experience and what is the overall context. The issue of who we see, who portrays these characters and the authenticity in which they are written and played is an important reckoning in the moment we are in.

While I appreciate WJW springboarding off of Sarah Silverman’s discussion of this topic, it is concerning that only non-females were interviewed, and that the story included a sidebar dissecting roles of non-females. This article further perpetuated the invisibility of Jewish women.

When discussing the types of characters written as Jewish women contrasted with the types of roles in which Jewish actresses get cast, it is important to hear the perspective of Jewish women. Instead of the idea of “no crime in superb artistry,” adding Jewish women’s voices to the discourse may have raised ideas about creating more roles that portray Jewish women as nuanced and real, in all their diversity. And how in this way we can begin to end the stereotypes such as the brash, loud, quippy Ashkenazi girlfriend or overbearing, guilt-tripping mother.

Currently, there are only a handful of unclichéd depictions of Jewish women out there, and I am sure there are Jewish actresses talented enough to play them. While I agree that in an ideal world, any actor or actress should be able to play any role, the scales of representation have not balanced out yet. We have not yet arrived at that moment. But we can work toward creating that world — by giving space where it traditionally has not been given.

The writer is artistic director of
Artists Circle in greater Washington.

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