Letters, April 2, 2015

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JWRP not Orthodox outreach organization
We feel that a recent article (“United through motherhood,” WJW, March 19) represented us as an Orthodox outreach organization. It is misleading, and it is not true.

The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project is not an Orthodox outreach organization, but rather a project founded by Jews of all affiliations. One of the founding principles of the JWRP is that labels are destroying us as a people, and that we should focus on what we have in common and not what divides us. Take me, for example. I am the executive director, and I am a nonaffiliated, non-observant Israeli, yet I am extremely inspired
by what this organization achieved in a short time, uniting and strengthening Jewish society.
BEN PERY
JWRP executive director
Rockville


Dance, dance, dance
I found the recent article (“From generation to generation,” WJW, March 19) about Mike Fox and Pepe Strauss and the local Israeli Dance Festival DC extremely intriguing​.

Here are two gentleman serving our community without any financial support or backing from any local Jewish establishment. They are engaging our youth and immersing them in Israeli culture through dance and training the next generation of dance teachers and leaders. This year’s Israeli Dance Festival DC is actually being co-chaired by two Yesodot alumni. Yesodot and Kesem are probably the only teen Israeli dance troupes in the country or maybe in the world that are not affiliated with a school, youth group or synagogue but are run totally independently.

https://www.washingtonjewishweek.com/enewsletter/

I wish the established Jewish community would support more endeavors like this that are engaging our youth to be connected to Israel in non-traditional ways. The Greater Washington Jewish community should be extremely grateful! Kol Hakavod!
SHARON GELBOIN-KATZ
Silver Spring

Pro-Israel?
Why is WJW calling J Street pro-Israel (“J Street pushes back,” WJW, March 26)? That’s a pretty controversial position, considering their actions place them closer to Code Pink than anything mainstream Jewish. #ActionsSpeakLouderThanBoilerPlates
JON HALPERIN
Washington
(From Facebook)


Noteworthy history
With regard to your obituary of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew (Lee Kuan Yew, WJW, March 26) I should add a footnote of interest which could of interest to your readers. Preceding Yew was David Saul Marshall (Mash’al), born to an Iraqi Jewish family based in Singapore. He served as chief minister of the colony in 1955-56.
NIMROD RAPHAELI
Falls Church
The writer is a retired senior analyst for the Middle East Media Research Institute in Washington.

Social values investment important
We appreciate your coverage of the recent talk by Laura Berry, executive director, Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) on Walking the Talk: Socially Responsible Investing, Climate Change and Human Rights at Temple Rodef Shalom (“Socially Responsible Investors seek to change the world,” WJW, March 12). She discussed how tikkun olam (repair of the world) and tzedek (justice) help to guide the investment process of the Reform Pension Board, which is a vital member of ICCR. The Jewish community’s mandate to cultivate, protect, and nurture the environment is also deeply rooted in our tradition through the commandment bal tashchit which enjoins us to not destroy (Deuteronomy 20: 19 -20).

These fundamental Reform Jewish beliefs have been articulated by the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) in recent resolutions and lay the foundation for Jewish Values Investing as a way to engage companies to adhere to best practices on the management and reporting of social and environmental concerns.

We encourage and support the Reform Pension Board’s program of using our values to engage corporations in positive social change and would love to see more Jewish organizations and communities do the same. Therefore, our synagogue and its members are eager to support Jewish Values Investing and bend the arc a little more towards justice. We plan to reach out to other congregations to coordinate how to amplify the good works of the Reform Pension Board and explore ways to use the power of our money and investments in corporations to do good while doing well for our portfolios. The TRS website has archived streaming of the presentation and additional resource materials available for those wanting to learn more following the WJW article.

GREEN TEAM AND SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF TEMPLE RODEF SHALOM
RABBI JEFFREY SAXE
CANTOR RACHEL RHODES
JOE COHEN
GERI MASKELL
KAREN MENICHELLI

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