Part of problem?

Your Nov. 17 article about Franklin Fisher, chairman of Americans for Peace Now, shows once again that Peace Now is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Fisher is pleased that former Peace Now member Amir Peretz has become defense minister. But he ignores the fact that under Peretz’s leadership, the IDF has gone from one humiliating failure to another, emboldening Israel’s enemies and exposing the nation to its gravest danger in decades.

This is the same Peretz who expresses more concern for Arab casualties than Jewish ones, and tells the citizens of Sderot that they’ll just have to get used to daily rocket attacks since he’s unable to find a way to stop them.

Peace Now is based on outright repudiation of God and the Covenant, as shown by its willingness to make needless concessions of territory and its eagerness to surrender Judaism’s holiest places without a fight.

Peace Now works with foreigners to promote the dismemberment of their own country. They undermine Israel’s spirit, and demonize Jews who stand firm in their faith. Despite their protestations to the contrary, their deeds place them squarely in the camp of Israel’s, and Judaism’s, enemies.

Martin Wasserman | Sunnyvale

Skeptical of success

The OneVoice Movement was described in your Nov. 3 issue as “a joint Palestinian-Israeli organization devoted to finding a peaceful resolution to the seemingly intractable conflict.” I am skeptical of its success after reading the Palestinian delegates proudly describing a heated argument with an Israeli soldier, the subject of which was her heated insistence that Haifa was in Palestine, not Israel.

Michael Roman | Piedmont

AIPAC’s importance

In her Nov. 17 letter, Barbara Mortkowitz describes elected representatives who are “uninformed and confused about the situation in the Middle East.” This clearly demonstrates how important AIPAC is, with its mission to educate and inform representatives of both parties with the facts about the Middle East, thereby leading to a body of elected officials making decisions based on truth and not on propaganda.

Israel has made many concessions over the years to achieve a peaceful solution to a complex and difficult situation. By supporting the upcoming AIPAC membership events throughout Northern California in December, we can learn more about this organization’s vital work, as well as receive tips on how to become effective advocates for a strong, viable, and peaceful Israel.

Karla Smith | Alamo

Aid for stutterers

I am writing to address an issue what goes largely unnoticed in the Jewish community, as well as in the mainstream press for that matter. Stuttering affects 1 percent of adults worldwide as well as about 4 percent of children at some point during their development.

I would like to bring to the attention of your readers the Web site of the Israeli Stuttering Association (www.ambi.org.il), which can be accessed in both Hebrew and English. The ISA is an outstanding organization committed to helping people who stutter and their families.

Also, the Web site of the foundation (www.stutteringhelp.org) provides excellent resources. It offers a national listing of qualified speech therapists that specialize in stuttering.

Also, it features a fascinating list of “Famous People Who Stutter.”

Furthermore, the foundation makes available countless books and DVDs for adults, children, parents and teachers; most of the material is sent out free. Their toll-free helpline is (800) 992-9392. The foundation sends their materials to more than 70 countries each year.

Michael Feld | Springfield, Mass.

A thank-you for j.

This is a thank you for your June 16 Senior Supplement story that I just found on the Web. It was an encouragement.

Married twice, I am now grieving the loss of a wonderful woman to whom I was married for 3 1/2 weeks. The future does not look as bright since her passing. We were eager to begin a new future together.

My first marriage lasted 33 years.

But I thank you for the uplift.

Dan Thiessen | Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada

Not palatable

Dan Pine’s columns describe his personal feelings and needs. They neglect to address a very important fact. Organized religion, as we know it, is in big trouble. Membership, attendance and other barometers show significant declines. Assimilation is everywhere.

Reason: Organized religion is not providing a palatable product.

No matter how they dress it up, or disguise it, they depend on an omnipotent “god” as the basis of their belief, and pray to this all-powerful force for strength and guidance.

Jewish Humanism recognizes that this was the “Judaism of our ancestors,” and validates this for them. Jewish Humanism does not feel it is appropriate for modern man.

Jewish Humanism deals with the morals and ethics of leading one’s life, leaning heavily, but not exclusively, on the Jewish experience.

Rather than making them hear about “god,” I’d like my grandchildren to know who Moses, Judah Maccabee, Theodore Herzl, David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan were, and how we’re all “related.”

Maybe it’s too late for Pine, but he and his friends from the Bay Area should get a “taste” of Humanistic Judaism and even consider driving to Kol Hadash.

It makes sense, and “think of the kinder.”

Arnie Kanter | Deerfield, Ill.

‘Lit’ alternative

Your Nov. 3 cover story, “Page-turners,” was a bright spot in local Jewish culture. It’s heart-warming to learn about the many Jewish book clubs that are proliferating in the Bay Area, one comfortable way of maintaining contact with the Jewish world at large.

Another alternative is also possible. We’re very pleased that under the auspices of OLLI (Osher Life Long Learning Institute), Lehrhaus Judaica and Cal State Extension have joined together on its Concord campus to present classes in Jewish literature.

If you aren’t involved in a book club, we’re open to anyone, a feat for “this side of the tunnel.”

Contact the coordinator, at

Cal State or Lehrhaus — [email protected] — or Lehrhaus at (510) 845-6420.

Elaine Starkman | Walnut Creek

Israel and USSR

Your Oct. 6 article about Israeli Special Olympics in Tiburon was very interesting. Writer Joe Eskenazi made some interesting points.

So let’s talk about that people who were talked about in that article: Yuval Hirsh, Guy Wartikowsky and Vicly Oren. Nice and friendly people, they are working hard to support Israel.

The Special Olympics meet reminded me of an Olympics game in the Soviet Union about 26 years ago, when no Jew would be allowed to participate — for one reason, being a Jew.

Now look at Israel: It would allow everybody to participate in such sports, no matter if they are Jews or not.

Hirsh, Wartikowsky and Oren showed everybody how to be good winners in Olympics game — and be proud to support Israel.

Paul Shkuratov | San Francisco