Letters Oct. 12, 2017


Cooperation with Nazis

My mother’s diary, written while she, her husband and small child were hiding in Ukraine during the Holocaust, describes how the local population more than cooperated with the Germans in the final solution (“Holocaust in USSR is a story asking to be told,” Oct. 5).

The diary was translated from Yiddish into English and published in 2004 as “A Mother’s Diary — Surviving the Holocaust in Ukraine 1941-1944” by Sosia Gottesfeld Zimmerman.



Short Hills, N.J.

Learning from the YSK interview

It was wonderful to read your interview (“You should know … Ian Garland” Sept. 28).

I have a greater sense of the significance of mapping and why the need goes beyond Google.


Sands Point, N.Y.

Support for Melissa Landa

Give Melissa Landa back her job and look at the motivation of those who are so threatened by her (“Petition launched for fired U-Md. prof,” Sept. 28).



Return Landa to her U-Md. job

Stop institutional prejudice and anti-Semitism. Give Melissa Landa back her job and full place on the faculty (“Petition launched for fired U-Md. prof,” Sept. 28).



Don’t pull financial support from Israel

Reading the article on the suspension of the Kol Shalom Congregation’s Yom Kippur Israel Bonds appeal “in line with the congregation’s values” over the issues with the Israeli Rabbinate and government was like an emotional punch to the gut (“Kol Shalom skips Israel Bonds appeal,” Sept. 28).

Will this angry gesture change Israeli religious policy? Will it promote constructive dialogue? I am struggling to comprehend what benefit will arise besides a solipsistic sense of feeling better about one’s anger.

The deleterious outcomes are clear. In conflating the action of a democratically elected Israeli government under political pressure with the enduring hope, promise and presence of Israel itself, the congregation’s suspension of the Israel Bonds appeal places our homeland in jeopardy and ties the congregation to the nefarious BDS movement. Is the money we raise as part of the appeal lining the pockets of the Israel Rabbinate or is it going for defense, for education, for medical care and for social programs?

What if many of us in the diaspora had our piques about all sorts of issues within Israel? Would it be right for us, like the child with his marbles, to pull our financial support and in the process shred the fabric of our Am Yisrael community?

Perhaps worse, Rabbi Jonathan Maltzman compares the congregation’s actions to a “marriage that’s hit a rough spot and [we’re] trying to work through it in various ways without a divorce, which, of course, would never happen.” Why wouldn’t it happen? What will occur next year, if according to the congregation, nothing has changed to meet its expectations? Is the love over? Why wouldn’t a divorce then occur?

I am saddened thinking of how much Israel after 69 years is still in danger and how much I wish that our indispensable support does not wither.



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