I was delighted to read your recent article about the JWI/Betty Ann Krahnke Center children’s library (“Helping kids make memories,” WJW, June 20). In 2009, I founded another JWI library in memory of my mother, Ida Kozatch, who was a Colorado native. This library is housed within the Gateway Battered Women’s Shelter in Aurora, Colo. My ongoing experience with the children’s library project has been profoundly gratifying, and feedback from shelter staff and residents has been overwhelmingly positive. I hope that your article will inspire other individuals and families to initiate their own libraries with the guidance and partnership of Jewish Women International.
RIFKA YERUSHALMI, Silver Spring
Show due respect
Bravo to Maayan Jaffe on her informative article about One Israel Fund and its efforts to protect and nurture Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (“One Israel Fund’s Provisor talks about security in Israel,” WJW, June 20). Indeed, Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, as well as Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, played a central role in Jewish history and, accordingly, are a key element of our Jewish character and identity.
This should be self-evident, yet many Jews today fail to embrace this basic fact. Sadly, there are too many Jewish organizations today which ignore, or even worse disparage, the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and the pioneering families who live in those communities.
Perhaps the fault lies in the misconception that Jewish settlements are an obstacle to peace. On the contrary, peace requires respect for the fundamental rights of all individuals. As suggested by Marc Provisor of One Israel Fund, full acceptance by the Arabs of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria should be the litmus test of their willingness to live together in peace. The Palestinian Arab residents of this region should accept and respect their Jewish neighbors, just as Jews accept and respect the Arab citizens of Israel.
Isn’t it also time for every mainstream Jewish American organization to show due respect for the pioneering communities in Judea and Samaria, which are the living embodiment of our shared Jewish heritage?
MARC CAROFF, President, Louis D. Brandeis chapter, Zionist Organization of America,
It is unfortunate that Washington Jewish Week continues to provide a forum for Rafael Medoff ‘s (“Jews were saved — but not by FDR,” May 30) slick partisan propaganda disguised as historical scholarship.
I recall seeing in print a comment by neoconservative bullhorn Jonathan Tobin — probably when he was still at the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent —- to the effect that an (if not the) objective in Medoff et al.’s work was not simply the rehabilitation and beatification of the Bergson Group — although that is one of its major components. No, the ultimate raison d’etre of this (right-of-center) enterprise is to discredit FDR in the eyes of American Jewry and, thus, Limbaugh-style, by undermining American Jews’ nostalgic attachment to FDR, hoping thereby to drive a wedge between American Jews and the Democratic Party and New Deal liberalism in general. Not to mention, by extension, discrediting today’s liberal Jewish establishment, as well.
Ideologically, for all intents and purposes, Medoff’s Wyman Institute functions as an adjunct to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Jewish Policy Center. It may be seen as comparable to the relationship uncovered by a previous letter-writer (“Full disclosure needed”) between the Zionist Organization of America and Z Street.
STEPHAN ARKAN, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.