A thorough search

We offer congratulations to the Jewish Community Federation’s search committee on its hiring of Daniel Sokatch as CEO. The committee was comprised of dedicated community leaders who gave of their time, energy and wisdom. Co-chaired by Tom Kasten and David Agger, the committee represented all aspects of the Jewish community. The search committee’s process should be respected and applauded for its thoroughness in review and selection of Mr. Sokatch.

Richard N. Goldman | President, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund; Past President, Jewish Community Federation

‘Seriously undermined’

I too am nervous about Progressive Jewish Alliance and the selection of its prior director, Daniel Sokatch, to CEO of the Jewish Community Federation. Allow me to share my concerns by addressing Douglas Mirell’s letter: PJA has “consistently articulated a pro-Israel/pro-peace position” (May 2) and a prior letter by Regional Director Rachel Biale: “PJA is focused on domestic social justice issues” (March 28).

I am all for the important social action work that PJA has selected for itself. It’s very important work. I’m only suggesting that those of us who work day and night to advocate Israel’s biblical, religious, historical and legal rights to the land of Israel and point out that the Arab world has enormous responsibility as well (Jewish refugees from Arab lands, refusal to give rights to Palestinians, incitement to hatred) feel seriously undermined when a prominent Jewish group, whose focus is elsewhere, uses hot-button words like “occupation” and “settlements” on their Web site without proper explanation and background. It doesn’t help that PJA’s Web site highlights only concessions needed from Israel and doesn’t even mention the responsibility of the Arab world for justice and for peace.

Daniel, welcome to the boisterous Bay Area!

Sheree Roth | Palo Alto

Survivors’ needs

As members of the Holocaust Survivors Advisory Committee for Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay, we were delighted to see Anita Friedman’s editorial (“Holocaust remembrance is about honoring the living, too,” May 2), concerning the increased needs of Shoah survivors, and we are grateful to the j. for underscoring this current challenge faced by our social service agencies.

We would like to call attention to the fact that these same problems are also faced in the East Bay, specifically Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Due to the aging and increased longevity of the survivor population, Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay is experiencing a growing demand for Holocaust survivor services. Despite the increasing cost to meet these demands, the Claims Conference allocation to the agency remains constant. It is vital for the Jewish community to be aware that there are Holocaust survivors in our midst who are in great need of help at this very moment.

Louis de Groot | Berkeley

Diane L. Wolf

No cheer for Eichmann

In regard to a small JTA article entitled “Did Eichmann save 800 Jews?” (March 21): The answer is an emphatic No! The Jewish Hospital in Berlin did remain open all through WWII. It was used as a hospital for Jews married to Christians, a prison for foreigners who were Jewish and trapped in Berlin, a Gestapo headquarters, a hospital for German soldiers, an outpost of Sachenhausen concentration camp and towards the end of the war a hospital for all civilians. The only Jews saved were those the Jewish doctors marked “contagious.” Eichmann used it as a staging area for Auschwitz and periodically came through rounding up anyone around to make up the quota.

How do I know all this? There is a book entitled “Refuge from Hell” written about the hospital. It was recommended to my late husband, Kurt Schweizer, to read as he was one of those inmates kept there for three years as a Jewish prisoner. He also gave written testimony against Eichmann at his trial. I’m sure Eichmann never knowingly saved a single Jew.

Barbara Cohen-Schweizer | San Francisco

Carter’s bias

There is little doubt that Jimmy Carter is anti-Semitic and biased against Israel.

His current trip included a warm embrace of Hamas’s leader, plus laying a wreath at the grave of Yasser Arafat, the man who invented plane hijacking, suicide bombing and other wonderful modern-day attributes the Muslim world embraces.

Another telling fact about Carter’s bias is his supporters. The list of donors who have contributed more than $1 million dollars to the Jimmy Carter Center include:

• Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Fund

• The Sultanate of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said

• The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

• Bakr M. BinLadin for the Saudi BinLadin Group

• The Saudi Fund for Development

• Government of the United Arab Emirates Mr. Carter, your true colors abound. Case closed.

Dan Calic | San Ramon