NJY Camps president responds
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that new lay leadership is in the best interest of NJY Camps (“When leadership is discredited,” Jan. 3). And as president I can say that we are moving responsibly in that direction. Sadly, your editorial mischaracterizes the situation. Upon learning of Debbie Findling’s allegations against Len Robinson regarding his time before coming to NJY Camps, we immediately launched an internal investigation of his tenure with us. The results of the investigations were deeply troubling.
Far from burying it, our entire 60-member board was invited to review the results and was fully briefed by the team that led the investigation. The board then took action to fully implement all of the report’s recommendations. While it is true that we have not released the investigation to the public, we have done so in order to protect the confidentiality of the brave women who came forward to share their stories with the investigators. A number of these women have reached out to us in recent weeks to reconfirm that they do not want their identities compromised.
While this has been a difficult year for NJY Camps, the structural changes to our governance will not have any impact on our ability to provide an amazing summer for thousands of campers. In fact, we are seeing strong registration numbers for this summer. Our professional staff is hard at work preparing for the 2019 camping season. I also need to note that while we have always had a strong collegial relationship with the Jewish Federations in New Jersey, they are not sponsors of NJY Camps, nor are they significant funders of our operations. Finally, while new board members come in to replace those of us stepping down, the NJY Camps board remains fully operational and will continue to do so through this transition.
President, NJY Camps
President’s support not a given
While bipartisan support for Israel would be welcome, the ultimate decisions on Israel lie with President Donald Trump (“AZM Washington Forum highlights bipartisan support for Israel,” Dec. 20).
With his recent statements, supporters of a safe and secure Israel have cause to worry. The mention by Trump that Israel should not be concerned about Iran’s presence in Syria shows not only an ignorance of the situation but a bias toward the dominance of the Russian-Iran axis in that nation. With seaports in Syria open to Iran, massive shipments of both munitions and military personnel will be feasible, exacerbating the conflict designed by Iran to destroy the Jewish state.
Recent statements by those aware of the Trump plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have also been disconcerting, hinting at obviously substantial concessions required of Israel. The resignation of the U.N. ambassador, the fiercely pro-Israel Nikki Haley, should be an omen.
Unfortunately, Trump does not brook interference and is stubborn in having his way. He may yet become Israel’s worse nightmare.
New York City
Israel’s embrace of Hungary
A sobering article addresses the current environment of anti-Semitism in Europe (“The latest poll on anti-Semitism looks bad, and is true,” Dec. 27). Although the author points out that “watchdog groups say that the vast majority of violent attacks on Jews in Western Europe come from people with a Muslim background,” he omits one significant alarm coming out of Hungary. There, the white Christian-led government of President Viktor Orban, known for its promotion of an anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic political environment, enjoys a close alliance with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The government of Israel should not have any diplomatic relationship with any government that espouses anti-Semitic sentiments or policies, whether it be Muslim-led or Christian-led. Instead, it should unequivocally condemn them.
College choices should take a holistic approach
In response to a recent letter condemning some colleges for pro-BDS climates, avoiding a problem rarely solves a problem (“Keep an eye on college campuses,” Dec. 27). Developing resiliency in confronting a problem is a far better choice.
In choosing a college, a student in consultation with her family should focus upon what is both the best academic and social atmosphere for the applicant. It is logical to avoid campuses with extreme anti-Semitism, but to avoid a campus which is not extreme is not. Doing so does not help develop the student’s maturity, nor does it help in confronting anti-Semitism on the campus.
KENNETH D. FEIGENBAUM