Letters | Mar. 30, 2022

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A fountain pen, at long last

Thank you for your March 17 article “A century after first Bat Mitzvah, Jewish Coming-of-Age Still Evolves,” marking 100 years since Judith Kaplan’s landmark service.

Like most Jewish-American girls of her era, my mom, Phoebe Silver, never became a bat mitzvah as a child. However, in 1980, she was part of the first adult bat mitzvah class at Congregation Olam Tikvah in Fairfax. While Jewish parents have kvelled during their sons’ bar mitzvah services for thousands of years, I had the rare privilege at age 10 of kvelling for my mom as she stood at the bimah and chanted her haftarah portion and “became a fountain pen.”


Thanks to the revolution in women’s rights, my daughter Sophie, age 9, won’t have to wait until adulthood for her bat mitzvah. She is already studying for it.

STEPHEN A. SILVER
San Francisco

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

Israel must condemn Putin

Ukraine is experiencing an invasion by a foreign army, missile attacks on civilians and no protection like Iron Dome to protect itself from incoming missiles. Ukraine’s civilians are in the same predicament Israel was in 1948: being attacked on three sides and having many untrained civilians being given guns, in addition to those who are trained to defend their country.

It’s good that Israel is sending medical supplies to Ukraine. But, Israel must publicly condemn Putin’s forcing millions from their homes, destroying Ukraine’s entire infrastructure, de facto committing ethnic cleansing and repeatedly murdering many innocent civilians in hospitals, schools and shelters prominently labeled children sheltering.


There is no rationalizing Putin’s bullying and murderous actions. What mutual promises are there with Putin? At what point will Israel change its policy before it further compromises its relationships with the European community, the rest of the world and especially the United States?

MARK CZARNOLEWSKI
Silver Spring

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