Letters, March 4, 2015


Enjoyed article on campers with disabilities programs
I am resident of the Jewish Foundation Group Homes program.

I loved the article about Camp Ramah’s Tikvah program (“Ramah’s Tikvah Program for campers with disabilities offers summer fun in Jewish setting,” WJW, Feb. 5). I went to Summit Camp located in Honesdale, Pa. I did activities.

I was also bat mitzvah at Summit August 13, 1977. That was inspiring! I also did their vocational program. I was a waitress, and an aide to Rabbi Mike Weinstein. I am also an advocate for all camps and organizations that support the challenged.  Way to go to all the camps, orgs that include the challenged.

Beltway Vaad is an overdue addition
The Beltway Vaad is a welcomed overdue addition to the Greater Washington Orthodox Jewish community (“Orthodox Leaders Create New Council,” WJW Feb. 12).


For decades, the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington has failed to adequately serve our community. They operate without transparency or lay leaders. They have excluded significant portions of the community including three of the four Orthodox Rabbis currently involved in the Beltway Vaad. The Vaad has an exclusive list of affiliated congregations on their web site which excludes several local Orthodox synagogues.  Most vaads, including the Star-K in Baltimore, serve the entire community without any affiliated congregations.

With regard to kashrut, the Vaad maintained a monopoly over the D.C. area.  The Vaad has made it clear that outside kosher supervising authorities including national organizations such as Orthodox Union are not welcome. Anyone opening a kosher establishment locally had no alternative option to the Vaad.  Kosher restaurant owners wanting to attract visitors to D.C. could not obtain certification from a nationally known hechsher such as the OU. This policy is unusual in that most Jewish communities including Baltimore, there is choice with local and national kashrut organizations. The kosher market dictates which organization an establishment owner decides to use.  As with most services, competition drives the kosher certifier to provide the highest quality service with the best customer satisfaction. The Beltway Vaad will provide an alternative not only for kashrut, but also for bet din services. This new vaad pledges to serve the entire community.  They have established a lay advisory council to ensure that they are open an accountable.  These are important first steps which will benefit the Greater D.C. Jewish community. I wish them great success, and hope this new Beltway Vaad will be a source of unity.
Silver Spring

Freundel’s rabbinical credentials should be removed
The rabbinical council should take away his credentials for being a rabbi and testify that he was guilty of being a peeping Tom and get rid of him from any publicity (“Freundel pleads guilty;
sentencing set for May 15,” WashingtonJewishWeek.com, Feb. 19). He is a first class bum.
From WashingtonJewishWeek.com

Freundel coverage praised
This is a better story (“Freundel pleads guilty; sentencing set for May 15,” WashingtonJewishWeek.com, Feb. 19) than is in the Washington Post.
Editor, Biblical Archaeology Review
From WashingtonJewishWeek.com

Appreciated details in plea article
Thank you for the excellent article on Rabbi Freundel (“Freundel pleads guilty; sentencing set for May 15,” WJW, Feb. 26) in the current issue. It had interesting details the Washington Post did not report.

Wiesel ad produced by Boteach
Three observations about the editorial (“Icon makes political statement,” WJW, Feb. 26).
Note that the ad cited was produced and paid for by Shmuley Boteach, the very same (Sheldon) Adelson-funded reality TV celebrity whose vainglorious mischief-making was unmasked and excoriated in last week’s WJW editorial (“All about Shmuley”)!

Readers of WJW need to know that Wiesel is a long-time, rock-ribbed Likudnik.  Indeed, early on as a writer, he was published by the Irgun.  For a polished analysis of the retrograde nature of Wiesel’s political views, see Arthur Hertzberg’s “Letter to Elie Wiesel” in the New York Review of Books, Aug. 18, 1988.  Further proof of Wiesel’s bracing lack of acumen and insight into character may be found in the fact that Bernie Madoff was his money manager.

Speaking of which, the editorial ends by claiming that “as Wiesel himself has taught us, no one is above criticism.”

You have got to be kidding!

Has WJW forgotten its coverage (September 2010)  of  the threats he levied upon playwright Deb Margolin if she proceeded with a Theater J drama (Imagining Madoff ) she was penning about the relationship between him and Madoff? An incident which even drove the Wall Street Journal’s drama critic to proclaim “Shame on Elie Wiesel; he trampled on a playwright’s freedom of speech” (Aug. 13, 2010).

The only explanation for such shameful and bullying behavior is unabashed narcissism, which explains Mr. Wiesel’s ties with huckster Boteach.
College Park

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