Men’s club overlooked
The Olam Tikvah Men’s Club leadership was thrilled to learn that Washington Jewish Week would review the political brunch the club sponsored with the help of the Jewish Community Relations Council. Imagine our chagrin when WJW failed to mention our role in David Holzel’s article (“Voters mix politics and brunch in Fairfax,” Oct. 31). We are volunteers and stage these events in our free time. We have job and family responsibilities. As Ron Wolfson points out in Relational Judaism, it is the cultivation of relationships that enhances wonderful communities like ours. And the Olam Tikvah Men’s Club is at the forefront of bringing people from all political views together as friends.
While I was the club president, we conducted a political brunch just before the Obama/McCain election. It was highly contentious. Since then our leadership, including Eric Rothberg, Jim Kaplan, Irv Varkonyi and Bob Watts, figured out how to stage a forum to enlighten our community on issues and remove all antipathy from the discussion. The men above hold divergent views, but remain great friends and partners. The real story here is how our commitment to Judaism and our community transcends political differences. Unlike the national political stage, the Olam Tikvah Men’s Club and the larger Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs demonstrate how we can connect on a deeper level and develop ourselves and our communities in the process.
It is unfortunate that the recent Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia’s forum on the Affordable Care Act conspicuously was absent a Judaic perspective on the subject, a gap which the reporting on the event did not see fit to rectify (“Health Care Clashes,” WJW, Oct. 31).
So, standing on one foot, here goes, in tweetable form: The fact of the matter is that Judaism has a dog in this fight: Halacha regards health care as a right, not a privilege. Further, according to research conducted by Rabbi Dr. Alan Yuter (a Republican, by the way), it even prefers a single-payer system. Which is what the citizens of the state of Israel today enjoy. And it works quite well.
Interestingly enough, the potential U.S. facsimile of that arrangement was the ill-fated Hillarycare of 1993.
So please enlighten me, right-wing (ZOA, RJC, etc.) opponents of universal health care: Why is it that what is good enough for the state of Israel is not good enough for the United States?
Politically biased reporting
Is WJW now endorsing candidates? And how could you endorse the awful Republican candidate for governor in Virginia? I was appalled by the politically biased reporting on the Virginia governor’s race, with a photo of the Republican’s materials prominently featured and the Democrat’s so tiny below you can hardly see it (“Voters mix politics and brunch in Fairfax,” WJW, Oct. 31).
The article itself was sophomoric. Did your editors consider it “balanced” by counting how many quotes were made for each candidate? Did you think that WJW readers’ only perspective on the Virginia race was that we are equivocal on the candidates? I am not equivocal. I am strongly for Terry McAuliffe because he represents my political values. I am strongly against the Republican candidate because his published, deeply held beliefs are so contrary to many of my Jewish values. Where is WJW’s usual in-depth and thoughtful coverage of key issues in our area?
Ed. note: WJW endorsed Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor online on Nov. 1. The following are emailed responses to the endorsement:
From a Cuccinelli supporter:
As I have already told you, the Democrats are no friends of Israel.
Putting another aggressive one into such an important state as Virginia, right next to the White House is a major mistake.
But I don’t think you care about Jewish issues. I think you only care about your own far left liberal agenda, an agenda that is ruining this wonderful country.
EDITH M. CORD
From a Sarvis supporter:
I do not intend to support Terry McCauliffe for governor. He is unethical, and untrustworthy. I will also NOT be supporting Cuccinelli. I intend to vote for the libertarian candidate Sarvis. It is a shame that he is not included in any media coverage nor one debate. It is time for a change in Virginia and neither one of the major parties are offering up this change.