Singles gap

I concur with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s assessment of disenfranchised Jewish singles over the age of 35 (March 19 j.). As a former singles coordinator at the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center who, incidentally, met her late husband at the BRJCC, I am surprised and saddened by the lack of ongoing programming at synagogues and community centers that addresses the needs of single men and women between the ages of 35 and 60.

In fact, I was told by the BRJCC leadership that no money exists to develop programming for people in this age group.

I’m sure that hundreds of single Jews in the Bay Area would welcome an invitation to join a synagogue or JCC where there was more than generic programming to meet their needs.

Nancy Kron | Kensington

A local connection

I read with sadness your March 19 article, “Mourning the victims of terror.” Its last sentence mentions that one of the victims of the port of Ashdod bombings was Avi Suissa, age 55.

The late Avi Suissa was a resident of Kiryat Malachi, which through the Partnership 2000 program is a sister city to the UJC Western Region Consortium, including the Jewish community federations of the Greater East Bay, San Jose and Sacramento.

At his funeral, friends recalled how Avi ran to help the wounded the moment he heard the first explosion. “He ran next to the fence, and then came the second explosion from across the road. He was killed by shrapnel,” said co-worker Meir Barbout.

Kiryat Malachi is a small town where everyone knows each other. Hundreds of people came to sit shiva, including Israel’s president, Moshe Katsav, who is from Kiryat Malachi and delivered a condolence speech.

The Western Region Consortium presented condolences to Avi’s wife, Ruti. She was touched to know that people in the United States were concerned about her family.

Thank you for helping to keep a human face on the near daily tragedies that occur in Israel.

Jody Linick | Alameda
volunteer chairman, Partnership 2000 Committee
Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay

Failed logic?

I fail to see the logic in Robert Flieger’s March 26 j. denunciation of the anti-war marches that took place in San Francisco and around the world March 20. Millions of the people gathered that Saturday to protest the illegal invasion of Iraq and the Bush administration’s lies, both of which have cost nearly 600 American and 10,000 Iraqi lives.

I marched from Dolores Park to the Civic Center and found everyone to be friendly and energized by the crowd of nearly 50,000. There may have been a small percentage of people who spewed hatred, but how many? The overwhelming majority of people were peaceful.

I guarantee that a pro-Israel march with the same number of bodies would yield the same percentage of “vile hatred and lies.”

I also resent Flieger’s suggestion that a marginal political group, International ANSWER, duped us. It just happens to organize great rallies, just as the Communist Party often did for Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. Associating with fringe groups does not necessarily dilute the cause’s message.

Verna Wefald | San Rafael

Touching, but…

It was so very touching to read that the Jewish Voice for Peace group that protested at the Peterson Tractor Company said Kaddish for Rachel Corrie (March 19 j.).

Of course, I didn’t see any mention of their taking note of the 10 Israelis who were killed by a suicide terrorist in Ashdod just a few days earlier.

Perhaps they didn’t realize that the bomb that shattered the bodies and the families of those Israelis probably had come through the same type of weapons-smuggling tunnel that Corrie died trying to protect.

Perhaps they didn’t want to think about the fact that the International Solidarity Movement, to which Corrie belonged, has actively protected terrorists both in their own office in Jenin and by acting as “human shields” in Bethlehem.

Perhaps they chose to ignore the fact that the founders of the ISM have endorsed all aspects of “Palestinian nnnfrom 3

resistance” — both nonviolent and violent.

Or perhaps they did know all this and didn’t care, in which case they are so very wrong.

Michael Harris | San Rafael


Your March 26 article about my ad in the San Francisco State college paper reveals the power of denial among some Jews.

The agenda of the Palestinian leadership — supported by the majority of the Palestinians — is the annihilation of Israel. Failure to understand this fact is what led to Oslo, the return of Yasser Arafat to the West Bank, the arming of Arafat’s army and the launching of suicide bombings.

Yet my statement of the agendas of the Palestinians and the baselessness of their claims inspires some Jews — and apparently j., the Jewish news weekly — to dissociate themselves from the truth and call it “hate.”

Should Jews not mention that the Arab world in its majority supports the killing of Arab and Jewish children for their political cause? Or that the Arabs have rejected the offer of land and a state twice? Or that they have conducted, instead, a 50-year war against Israel to “liberate Palestine from the Jordan to the sea?”

I don’t mind when my Arab enemies attack me for stating these truths, but I do wonder when Jews are so ready to appease those who want to destroy them.

David Horowitz | Malibu

Knee-jerk accusation?

Why the overused knee-jerk accusation of racism? What is racist about any of the issues that David Horowitz addresses (March 26 j.)? Everything in his paid San Francisco State advertisement can be verified as fact:

• Doesn’t the Palestinian Authority use children as human bombs? 

• Don’t Palestinian polls reflect widespread Palestinian support for terror against Israeli civilians? 

• Doesn’t the “left” (eg., ANSWER) strive to delegitimize the existence of the state of Israel? The “peaceful anti-war protestors” repeatedly scream that Israel was responsible for 9/11 and Jews control (fill in the blank). Attending “peace protests,” I’ve been personally subjected to more racism and hate in one day than in my lifetime.

Why, then, the furor over the truth? Publishing the truth takes courage that most media outlets lack. Acknowledging that not all cultures aspire towards a universal, democratic peace is an uncomfortable reality.

Reality is that the goal of extremist Islam is the destruction of western civilization, not only Israel. Exposing these realities is no more racist than highlighting atrocities of Catholic Spain’s Inquisition or today’s enslavement of black Sudanese by Arabs. 

Horowitz offers information that enables us to alter reality instead of succumbing to it.

Lisa Cohen | Menlo Park

Help the deportee

I read recent j. stories about Yana Slobodova and I was shocked. What’s happening to her is crazy.

She is a very nice young Jewish woman. She is 30 years old. I disagree with the Immigration and Naturalization Service who treat her cause inhuman.

She deserved to be in this country together with her family. Why did INS forced her to go back to Russia? Russia, it is a dangerous place for Jews.

She shouldn’t be separated from her family. She entered the United States with false papers. Might be she could not get a good paper.

I know that the JCC of San Francisco and JFCS of San Francisco tried to help her. Why didn’t one synagogue in the Bay Area or in San Francisco help her?

Look, my friends: If we stay all together, us the Jewish people and us the Jewish community, we should help her. She has a 20-month-old son and a disabled husband who can’t even pick up his and her son because of his disability.

Her life is in danger in Russia. Let’s support Yana Slobodova, a person who belongs to our Jewish community because she is Jewish.

Paul Shkuratov | San Francisco

‘Blind to abuse’

Marcia Freedman argues the targeted killing of Sheik Ahmed Yassin was immoral and un-Jewish (March 26 j.), that he should have been arrested instead. But to have done so would have meant far more Israeli and Palestinian lives lost in the inevitable ensuing firefight than died in the targeted killing.

Is that any more moral than to have waited for a propitious moment, as the IDF did, so casualties would have been minimized?

One could make a case that moral and Jewish standards regarding respect for life were considered as part of the decision in carrying out this self-defensive action against a brutal murderer, wheelchair and all, of more than 377 Israelis.

Overall, Freedman’s skewed sense of morality leaves much to be desired. She sees only Palestinian pain and suffering, none on the Israeli side. Only Palestinian children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder — as if Israeli children were immune.

She seems blind to the corruption, lawlessness and violence in Palestinian society — the abuse of women and children — and the support of violence against Israeli civilians by the majority, revealed in a recent poll, that create and foster, with or without Israel’s defensive measures, a culture of death and suicide bombers. 

Seymour Kessler | Berkeley

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