Hypocritical ideology

Your July 20 article on Rainbow Grocery’s anti-Semitism is appalling, but not at all surprising. 

It has become apparent to me that the “left” or “liberal” crowd, such as the Rainbow Co-op, chooses Israel and Jews as their target for hatred. The “left” seems to be a breeding ground for anti-Semitism. I believe it is their blind ideology of protecting whom they see as the “poor oppressed Palestinians.” I have asked many of my friends (many of whom are Jewish and “liberal”) to explain to me what Israel could do differently to protect herself from people whose only goal in life is to wipe them off the map.  Their response is unanimously the same “I don’t know, but whatever Israel is doing is wrong.” Never do they see the perpetrators of the violence, namely the Palestinians, as the problem. 

The rainbow has become a symbol of tolerance, from the gay community to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow coalition.  Imagine the outcry and legal actions against any store saying, “Blacks need to be killed” or “You’re just a stupid queer.” The community would be outraged, and rightfully so. But, when it’s the Jews, their tolerance is missing, and their ideology hypocritical.

Diane Whitten-Vile | Oakland

Pearl’s last words

Howard Roth (Letters, July 13) laments that “A Mighty Heart” omits the statement that Daniel Pearl made just before he was murdered. As I was watching the film last week, I had the same reaction. But then, at the end of the film, these words are repeated clearly and pointedly — Pearl states that his father is Jewish, his mother is Jewish, and that he is Jewish. One leaves the theatre knowing exactly what Pearl’s murder was about.

Anne Treseder | San Francisco

Magic of camp

Hail to j. and your intrepid camper/reporter Stacey Palevsky, for so vividly capturing the magic of Jewish camp! (July 20) Joy knows no greater manifestation than Shabbat at camp, as your story beautifully attested. Talk to a returning camper from any of Newman, Tawonga or Ramah or elsewhere and you will see in the dazzle of their eyes and hear in the passion of their voice, the wonder of Judaism and the conviction of Jewish identity. Jewish camping is alive and well and decisively on the rise, replete with waiting lists.

Many thanks to j. for showcasing what study after study has shown to be one of our community’s foremost assets in forging an enduring and strong Jewish identity: Jewish camp. Who knew being Jewish could be so much fun? Tens of thousands of Jewish camper kids nationwide know it all too well … and can’t wait for next summer.

Howard Zack | Kentfield

Board member, Camp Ramah

A sensitive portrait

I must take issue with Michael Fox’s negative review (July 20 j.) of “The Cemetery Club,” playing at the S.F. Jewish Film Festival. Far from being “tiresome,” the film presents a sensitive portrait of elderly Israelis, all survivors, who are still inspired by politics and culture. The author gently inserts herself and presents a personal view of the complex relationship between her grandmother and great-aunt. The result is powerful, poignant, funny, sensitive and compassionate.

I have seen tens of Holocaust-related films as a member of the JFF screening committee for several years, and also in my capacity as a teacher and researcher. Unfortunately, too many of these films are formulaic, uninteresting, and poorly done. The Cemetery Club is unusual and spirited contribution. I urge readers

of the j. to see it and judge for themselves.

Diane L. Wolf | Berkeley

Hiking and God

Kudos to Janet Silver Ghent on her June 22 column about the Beth Am Torah Trekkers. A most refreshing article.

I ride my bicycle regularly to the Baylands and find my inspiration, tranquility and peace. Taking in the beautiful scenery you can truly find God there in the marvel of nature.

A cacophony of bird songs fills the air, and along the walkways you see egrets, majestic pelicans, sandpipers and Canadian geese living side by side in harmony.

Janet mentions the 121st Psalm, which fits the picture. Overworked in this hectic world, it brings calm to body and soul.

The Torah Trekkers are right on track. Truly you can find God anywhere. I don’t tell that to my friends because it mightkeep them from going to the synagogue. There is a time and place for everything.

On Shabbat, you will see me regularly at services.

Cantor Hans Cohn | Palo Alto

Remembering Swig

I enjoyed the article about Jewish summer camping (July 20). It certainly brought back lots of memories for me.  However, I was disappointed that a mention was not given to Camp Swig (formerly Camp Saratoga). Although it is no longer a functioning camp, it was the precursor to Camp Newman, and set the tone for Jewish summer camps in Northern California for many years. The kind of Shabbat experience described at Camp Newman was first experienced at Camp Swig by many of us in the Bay Area.

Maureen Rittenberg | Sunnyvale

‘It’s a struggle’

Regarding Rachel Sarah’s July 13 column, first of all JDate is useless for anyone over 40, at least females. I don’t know one person who has had success on JDate if they’re over 40, much less 50, as I am.

As far as the single parent Web site Rachel mentioned, I checked it out. There was not one male over the age of 50. Since signing up for eharmony.com, I received three “matches.” One was not Jewish. The others sent me a form email that “the distance between us was too far.” Out of supposedly hundreds of people registered with eharmony.com this is my experience.

I have (mostly) stopped feeling sorry for myself and have more or less accepted that I will not find a partner, although I’m working on my profile for match.com. I do know a few middle-aged people who have had success with them.

Sorry to sound so negative, but after so many years and attempts, it’s a struggle to stay positive. Everyone tells me how attractive, smart, etc. I am, why don’t I meet anyone?

I know of men my age who say they would rather be alone than with someone older than their 30s. Like they’re such a prize.

Susan Sholin | Berkeley