Food sense

Too often we take the food in our homes and our table for granted (“A lesson in hunger,” cover story, Nov. 30). I grew up working class and am working class now. When our children were young we decided to keep a kosher home and buy as much organic as we could. We belong to a farmer’s cooperative, and buy a lot of frozen vegetables to maximize our money. It is not easy but well worth it. Lunches at work and noshes at synagogue are a treat! We work together as a family to set and meet our goals, and that is the key to success.

Joseph Kuperberg   |   Rochester, N.Y.


Worthy partner for peace

Whether or not one agrees with the P.A. gaining U.N. recognition, wouldn’t it be prudent to embrace their moderation when Israel and the U.S. are seeking to encourage diplomacy?

Indeed, long-term security for Israel in the context of a two-state solution requires that the U.S. nurture robust diplomatic relations with both parties. Given this, it’s imperative to ensure that the P.A. is permitted to maintain its diplomatic mission to our country.

Israeli President Shimon Peres was quoted in April as saying that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a “worthy partner for peace” Peres also noted, “We also built a state before we became a state. To a great degree, that’s what the Palestinians are doing today.”

The second half of that statement is especially poignant following the U.N. resolution that elevated the P.A. to “non-member observer state” on the same date that the U.N. recognized the State of Israel 65 years ago. As Jewish Americans, we are deeply committed to Israel as the secure and democratic homeland for the Jewish people. If Peres views the P.A. under Abbas as a “worthy partner for peace,” shouldn’t we?

Michael Cooper   |   Lafayette


Hitching their wagon to Hamas

Hardly innocent, “civilian” Gaza Palestinians have to accept responsibility for the peril they recently found themselves in. They seem to conveniently downplay the fact that they freely elected Hamas to lead them.

Prior to that election, Hamas made no secret of its character: suicide bombers, brutality, intransigence, fundamentalism and connections with other nefarious organizations. Should they be surprised at the devastation Hamas was sure to invite from Israel?!

Oh, and have they noticed all the rocket launchers Hamas placed in Gaza neighborhoods, schools and mosques, but without even an afterthought of any bomb shelters for women and children that they claim are so “precious.” And they continue to forever demand more vengeance toward Israelis, somehow indignantly surprised when their violence provokes a response.

Gaza is a demonstration of how Gaza Palestinians tragically squandered the return of “occupied territory.” The result could have been so very different if those living there had gone in a more constructive direction. By choosing to hook their star to Hamas in free elections instead, their fate was sealed: to live on a platform of hate and self-destruction.

The only way Palestinians can move toward hope and safety is to rid themselves of Hamas.

Stephen Markowitz   |   Oakland


Yiddish? Yes. Shlep? No.

Thanks for mentioning that Yiddish is thriving in the Bay Area (“The joy of oy!” cover story, Nov. 16). However, most of it seems to be in San Francisco and the East Bay. There seems to be a dearth of activities for those of us who relish speaking Yiddish in the mid-Peninsula area.

Yes there is a group that meets at Stanford to read Yiddishh classics, but even there the level of reading Yiddish is almost prohibitive. Also, parking on campus is next to impossible.

Fortunately we have a very small group that meets every other week at the Peninsula JCC in Foster City for an hour and half, but what about the other types of events? Since most of us can’t go shlepping to San Francisco or the East Bay to participate, we’re isolated. Any suggestions?

Rochelle Goldman   |   San Mateo


Lincoln in Jerusalem?

“Lincoln” is a great American movie for all to see and learn from. I watched spellbindingly as Steven Spielberg’s brilliant epic, about the last four months in the life of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, came alive with the phenomenal Daniel Day-Lewis (definitely a serious Oscar contender) as Lincoln and a tour-de-force performance by Sally Field as his kvetchy and depressive wife, Mary “Molly” Todd.

My personal and emotional highlight of watching this movie came in the final moments, when Abe and Molly ride in the horse drawn buggy on their way to the infamous Ford’s Theatre — when he wishfully says to her: “Now it will be nice to travel, visit the Holy Land and walk on the streets of Jerusalem.”

Yes, “Lincoln” — an American history in the making, and more.

Lina Broydo   |   Los Altos Hills