Paula Goldman’s candles
Regarding “Lighting candles for the community with Paula Goldman” (Last Word, Dec. 22):
Fine story about a wonderful person. Congrats to Paula Goldman on her decades of service to the Jewish community.
A free trip is not a birthright
Regarding “The Birthright imperative” (Editorial, Dec. 8):
It is time for the Jewish community to end funding $4,500 vacations to Israel for mostly wealthy young people to get a “free” vacation to Israel via Birthright, and for the U.S. taxpayer to not have to subsidize Birthright via tax-deductible contributions.
Birthright notes the much lower intermarriage rate of participants as a reason for continuing the program. This is due to the self-selection of who chooses to go on the trips.
I would tell WJW readers to use their hard earned money to help people who actually need it, the Jewish community to stop promoting Birthright and the IRS to revoke its tax-exempt status.
Threat to diversity
Noama Abu Heichal is an excellent example of how non-Jewish citizens of Israel play a critical role in its day-to-day life (“My second family, unified by common value,” Opinion, Dec. 15). Another are Bedouins who serve in the Israeli military.
However Heichal’s contributions as a Muslim emergency medical technician with United Hatzalah may be jeopardized if incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allows his appointed cabinet ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, Jewish supremacists, to apply their views as a policy addressing Israel’s Muslim population.
Fur is dead
I was surprised and saddened to read about Jack Green’s “love” for the fur industry (You Should Know, Dec. 8). I want to believe that the Greens are decent people who are somehow unaware of the unspeakable cruelty inherent in this business, both before the animals are killed, and during the killing itself. Thankfully, in the modern era, humans have no need to make garments from the bodies of other animals. Rarely have I met a person in recent years (especially a young person) who finds this acceptable. In the words of some animal protection groups, Fur is Dead.
SHIRLEY CHARNEY FELDMAN
The ‘forest’ in the affirmative action debate
The editors are not seeing the forest for the trees regarding finding alternatives to affirmative action (Editorial, Dec. 8).
The answer to improving educational outcomes among Black youth is simple: (1) End public school education monopoly on K to 12 education — competition improves quality. (2) Get politics out of public school education by disenfranchising teachers’ unions — COVID shutdowns proved that unions care more about teachers than student outcomes. (3) Promote school choice in the poorest neighborhoods, including predominantly Black neighborhoods.
Increasing college scholarships for Blacks and reducing white legacy enrollments, as WJW suggests, will not repair the poor services that public schools deliver to Black populations.