President treated federal workers as pawns
I appreciate the recent editorial on the temporarily-concluded government shutdown (“Open the government now,” Jan. 24).
Some things to remember, though: 1) The Democrats wanted the government workers and contractors to be paid, and local businesses to be fully functioning during negotiations; the president did not evince those considerations. 2) The Democrats appeared in touch with those not getting a paycheck and those not being allowed to work to make up for lost income, and with those companies and workers losing large portions of their livelihoods, while the president and members of his Cabinet appeared oblivious to the challenges workers and their families, and businesses were facing.
Would the WJW lock out its employees while senior executives argued over critical management issues?
There were reductions in force in the government during the administrations of both Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic President Bill Clinton. But neither president ran pawnshops, dangling the financial security of government and other workers for personal or short-term political gain.
Make synagogues more welcoming
I continue to be amazed that with the dwindling of Jewish involvement in joining synagogues and practicing Jewish rituals, especially among young people, that there has been little effort to make it less expensive and more welcoming to potential new congregants (“Coke or Sears? New head of Reform seminary hopes to steer beyond ‘slow existential threat,’” Jan. 10). The truth is that interfaith marriages are contributing to the lower rate of moderate Jews practicing the faith.
Are synagogues welcoming? Not really.
It costs a lot to join and if a family does join, the non-Jewish spouse is excluded from activities like holding the Torah or joining the minyan, even after taking classes. The children can’t participate in activities in the synagogue unless the family are members, so the next generation gets less exposure to Jewish beliefs and culture.
It shouldn’t be a requirement to convert to Judaism to make non-Jewish family members feel like part of the Jewish community. Reasons to keep them out are steeped in religious rules and beliefs, as well as costs, but this is a new world. If we want to hold on to Jews being Jews, there is plenty we can do need to make it easier for people to be connected as Jews.
Photo was inspiring endorsement of diversity
One could argue the pros and cons for attending the Women’s March two weekends ago, and having been on previous marches, we opted not to attend (“Some march for, others against, Women’s March,” Jan. 24). However, the picture on the front page of the WJW made us feel proud to be part of the greater Jewish community.
The diversity of marchers holding Jewish women signs was heart-warming, and says something about the willingness to accept diversity into our community.
JOYCE AND LARRIE GREENBERG