Letters Jan. 11, 2018

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Great show not reviewed
I was dismayed not to have seen a review of the “Last Night at Ballyhoo” in the Washington Jewish Week. Did I miss it somehow? If not, why wasn’t it reviewed? It was a great production of a Tony Award-winning play. It’s disappointing not to see Theater J productions reviewed. They are of interest to the Jewish community and support Jewish theater. They should be covered in the Jewish Week!
ELLEN MALASKY
Washington

 

Tax code changes will be helpful
With respect, if you’re going to go to a tax lawyer (David De Jong) whose only political donations apparently are to Democrats and Democratic causes (per political donation tracking) for analysis of a Republican tax plan, it would be ethical to either provide the readers information about the individual’s political standpoint, or an alternate view (“New tax law means fewer deductions,” Dec. 28).


As a middle-class Virginia resident, where most of my friends don’t have million-dollar homes and where our municipalities don’t soak the taxpayers at the expense of the federal government’s coffers, the bill, for the moment, will be helpful and a nice break.
JON KANTOR
Herndon

 

Hold harassers accountable
I read Rhonda Abrams’ story about being harassed by a male donor (“One of my donors harassed me — I couldn’t afford to stay silent,” Voices, Dec. 28). Sexual harassment has no place in our society, whether we work Jewishly or secularly. No means no.

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

I was a victim of sexual harassment when I was 18 and working for a federal government agency. The male in question was about 45 to 50. I knew adults did not behave like that. It was only in the movies and on TV. I told my best friend and he spoke with the gentleman in question. It was never spoken about again.

#MeToo seems to be the catch phrase now, and let’s hope everyone does not experience a moment like that in their workplace in 2018. We need to hold all men accountable, whether or not they are major financial donors or CEOs.
ROBIN LISA ROSENBERG
Rockville


 

Photos of volunteers heartwarming
It was wonderful to see photos of Jewish people serving at Christian-related shelters on Christmas Day. It demonstrates that we are all in this together (“Helping out,” Jan. 4). Thanks!
FRANK BARLETTA
Silver Spring

 

2013 immigration bill died in House
In your editorial “Don’t gloat over Rubashkin’s release,” (Dec. 28, 2017) you claimed the following: “The year before the Agriprocessors raid, the Senate killed an immigration reform bill. That was the last time the legislature attempted an immigration overhaul.”

The Agriprocessors raid was in 2008, so your claim is that Congress hasn’t essayed immigration reform since 2007.

That is incorrect. On June 27, 2013, the Senate passed an immigration reform bill (the so-called “Gang of Eight” reform bill) by a vote of 68-32. That bill died in the House of Representatives, where it was never brought up for a vote. It would have passed with mostly Democratic support had it been brought up, but Speaker John Boehner feared a mutiny from within his Republican membership. If Boehner had allowed the immigration reform bill to be passed with a minority of Republican members in support, he would likely have been stripped of his speakership.

Of course, Boehner ended up resigning over two years later, in October 2015. He would have done well to have taken that blow in the summer of 2013. Had that immigration reform bill passed, it would have made the main rationale for Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy a matter of settled law — although one imagines Trump might have ended up campaigning on “repealing and replacing” the law instead.
BERT KATZ
College Park

 

Blame Obama for Syria mess
I disagree with Barry Dwork’s assessment (“Add this to 2017’s Top 10 list,” Letters, Jan. 4) that President Trump is somehow to blame for the present debacle in Syria.

The Trump administration has not acquiesced to the stationing of Iranian troops and proxies on the Israeli-Syrian border; nor has it encouraged Russian interference in the Syrian civil war. These dubious honors go to the Obama administration and its feckless foreign policy.

By ignoring its own red line on Syrian use of chemical weapons, by failing to effectively support opposition forces and by giving Iran sanctions relief and bundles of cash in return for a seriously flawed nuclear deal, the Obama administration virtually gave the Russians and Iranians carte blanche to intervene in Syria.

Donald Trump now has an extremely difficult task — to clean up the foreign policy mess left by Barack Obama.
MARC CAROFF
Virginia Beach, Va.

 

School resolution for 2018
I would like to add a suggestion to the “Rabbi’s Resolutions” (“Rabbis’ Resolutions foretell a busy 2018,” Jan. 4).
Why not start a movement to provide free Hebrew school and/or day school education to every single Jewish child. We, as a community, seem to be able to raise money for a litany of social justice causes. Yet our young families can hardly afford the costs of belonging to a synagogue and/or educating their children in a Jewish school. If we want our Jewish values and our Jewish institutions to survive, should we not teach our children our values and their history?

Perhaps it is time for the community to assume responsibility for our own Jewish survival — to educate our children and our children’s children so that our work of tikkun olam, prevails for generations to come.
ELLEN EXELBERT
Rockville

 

Nonstop, not direct, Tel Aviv trip
Regarding your article in the Dec. 21, 2017 Washington Jewish Week (“Tel Aviv flights eyed in survey,” I suspect that what people from this area really want is a nonstop flight to Tel Aviv, not a direct flight. The two terms have very different meanings in travel industry parlance.

A direct flight may make one or more stops before reaching the intended destination. However, the passenger is not required to change planes.

A nonstop flight makes only one stop — at the intended destination.
Howard Libit got it right. He said, “It would be wonderful if we were able to attract a nonstop flight.”
ERIC GOLDBERG
Bethesda

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