Chesa Boudin celebrates his district attorney win, Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo/Natasha Florentino-Courtesy Boudin campaign)
Chesa Boudin celebrates his district attorney win, Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo/Natasha Florentino-Courtesy Boudin campaign)

Missing the point on Boudin; Jewish bogosity on abortion; etc.


Missing the point on Boudin

Chesa Boudin’s tender story of celebrating Passover as a little boy visiting his mother in prison, and its long-lasting impact on him, gave rise to two cynical and biased letters published in J. (​​”My take on Chesa Boudin” and “Criminals ‘needn’t worry,’” April 28).

Neither had anything to do with Boudin’s personal meaning of Passover (“How Passover themes I learned as a child guide me as San Francisco DA today,” April 8).

Instead, the writers took the opportunity to support the recall. One called Boudin’s memory “self-serving” and the other attacked his biological parents. A little boy searches for the afikomen in the prison visiting room and one writer only interprets it through the lens of an alienated politician. The other writer convicts Boudin himself of the misdeeds of his parents. Neither of these responses is consistent with the message of Passover.

We strive for our children to integrate Jewish values into their lives. Our privileged children relate to Passover abstractly, but that was not the case for Chesa Boudin. His reality was a living lesson in redemption, perseverance and the struggle against oppression as he walked through the steel doors of prison to celebrate Passover.

Unfortunately, the letter writers refused to appreciate the spirituality of his experience. His spirituality evolved into the search for social justice, one of the cornerstones of Judaism.

Marsha Rosenbaum
San Francisco


Life’s great gift: friendship

Janet Silver Ghent’s column hit home. I loved hearing about her connection with her six friends (“That’s what old friends are for — especially as we age,” April 29).

Simply wonderful!

Three of my friends just lost their husbands within weeks of each other, and one more on May 4. I can only imagine how they feel. I lost my wonderful husband two years and four months ago. Mine was a second marriage of 33 years. We know when we have a good marriage.

Twenty-two years after Judy Jacobs (far left) and Mary Garmo Gold (third from right) were bridesmaids at her wedding, Janet joins them every month or so for lunch in Alameda. (Photo/Cathleen Maclearie)
Twenty-two years after Judy Jacobs (far left) and Mary Garmo Gold (third from right) were bridesmaids at her wedding, Janet joins them every month or so for lunch in Alameda. (Photo/Cathleen Maclearie)

I certainly will be there for my friends, both emotionally and physically.

I so appreciated Janet’s article. I have always said, friends are so important. You can never have too many good ones.

Jerilyn Paley
Belmont


Jewish bogosity on abortion

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan claims denying women access to abortions is a violation of a “a clear dictate of our faith” (“2 Jewish legislators take lead on abortion rights in California,” online, May 5).

Where exactly is this dictate clearly elucidated?

One can wonder what the supposed dictates of our faith have to say about the pain a late-term fetus experiences while undergoing an abortion. Does our faith support a man insisting a woman “get rid of it” and thereby avoiding financial responsibility for a potential life he fathers?

Early (maximum 3 months?) abortion needs to be safe and legal for many reasons, but it is unwise to reframe our faith to promote contemporary politics.

The wisdom of Judaism was codified over 1,000 years ago. It is a goodly heritage and needs to be known, not swept aside by those who wish to be seen as leaders of whatever new wisdom is currently in vogue.

According to Assembly member Laura Friedman, Jews “want to heal the whole world.” The world has never been open to or grateful for (quite the contrary) this supposed Jewish desire to cure human imperfections. Best to stick to ameliorating our personal imperfections.

Yom Kippur, anyone?

Julia Lutch
Davis


JVP is no friend of the Jews

It is time for journalists to stop citing “Jewish Voice for Peace” as any kind of legitimate representative of anything (”Napa schools OK contract with breakaway ethnic studies group,” online, May 6).

In December 2021, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, led by Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, declared JVP to be one of the 10 most antisemitic organizations in the world.

Now, as reported recently in Haaretz and the Forward, the Anti-Defamation League’s director Jonathan Greenblatt has declared that JVP and other groups “indisputably and unapologetically regularly denigrate and dehumanizes Jews”

Aside from possibly giving JVP an award as the most misnomered organization on the planet, what is the purpose of citing it?

Richard Sherman
Margate, Fla.

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