Letters, June 3, 2015


Another presidential visit to Washington-area synagogue
The article about visits of sitting presidents to synagogues omitted a visit by President Bill Clinton to Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Potomac in April 1996 (“POTUS on the bima,” WJW, May 21).  President Bill Clinton came to attend and speak at the funeral of his close friend and associate, David Ifshin.

Just before the start of the service, those who were going to speak congregated in the library of our synagogue.  As we were about to enter the sanctuary I quietly turned to the Secret Service agent in the room and informed him that the president was the only person not wearing a yarmulke and asked if he wanted me to get one for him.  The Secret Service agent said to me, “No, that’s not necessary.  The president has his own,” and with that the president pulled a yarmulke out of his pocket and put it on as we proceeded into the packed and overflowing sanctuary for a memorial service and tribute to a remarkable individual.
Congregation B’nai Tzedek

What about Elad Covaliu?
I enjoyed reading the article on future NFL player Ali Marpet in your May 21 issue (“Meet the Jewish 300-pounder from Hobart College heading to NFL,” WJW).  You mentioned in the article that Ali was named to the Jewish Sports Review’ 2014 All-America football team.  I have been writing for the Jewish Sports Review since it began in Los Angeles in 1997.

It is a great story that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Ali in the 2015 second round when he was playing for Hobart.  It is very rare for a Division III player to be drafted so early, and I wish Ali the best of luck.  However, we also have Elad Covaliu on our JSR 2014 All-America team and he should get some recognition, too.  While Ali grew up in the New York City area, Elad is from Rockville and was an amazing three-sport athlete at Walter Johnson High School.  A former state champion wrestler, Elad has decided to pursue football, and as a junior this past season he led Saint Anselm College in rushing yards and also had eight touchdowns.

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