J.'s late former editor Marc Klein interviews Israel's then-Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir in the early 1980s.
J.'s late former editor Marc Klein interviews Israel's then-Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir in the early 1980s.

Connection with Marc Klein; Cal chancellor’s concessions; Pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel?

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A sweet connection with Marc Klein

In the spring of 2012, I saw Marc Klein’s short, articulate request in the J. He was asking for someone to donate a kidney to him. I listened to myself and decided to make the call to be considered a candidate. On June 13, 2012, I became a live kidney donor to Marc. 

I received a very thoughtful message from Marc’s family after he passed away on May 25 (“Marc Klein, former editor who led J. into the digital age, dies at 75,” May 28).

Marc and I were strangers when we met 12 years ago, and yet we had a very sweet connection over the years. We emailed twice a year: in the days leading up to Yom Kippur and on our June 13 “anniversary.” It was an honor to know Marc and his lovely family, including his wife, Sandy, and his daughters, Suzy and Emily.

Both daughters were expecting their first children at the time of the kidney donation, and Marc dreamed of meeting his grandchildren. The fact that Marc had the past 12 years to love and get to know his three grandsons — and they him — gives me great joy. One never knows which of our random acts of kindness might tip the scale to a whole new world of goodness for us all. 

What I do know is that meeting Marc and donating a kidney to him was one of my best acts. The return on investment has been beyond what I gave. 

May Marc’s memory be for a blessing. It will be for me. Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, J.’s CEO, recently put out a request to support the J. I made a double-chai donation of $360 in memory of Marc’s three-decade run as editor and publisher and because I love the J.

Toby Adelman
Mars Hill, Maine

Hopes for Mexico’s president-elect

It was very touching for me to read Ben Raab’s opinion piece on Claudia Sheinbaum’s election victory to become Mexico’s president-elect (“I’m a Mexican Jew. I wish Claudia Sheinbaum would embrace the complexity of our shared heritage,” June 6). Both my wife’s and my own family’s trajectory, like Raab’s and Sheinbaum’s have been majorly influenced from migration and residence in Latin America and particularly in Mexico. I couldn’t agree more with Raab’s contention of how wonderful it would be if Sheinbaum asserted her Judaism with pride.

There is a hushed saying and belief in Mexico that the reason that there are no free and fair elections is because the Catholic Church would win if the elections were free and fair. When you consider the influence of Catholicism and machismo on Mexican society, the election of Sheinbaum is an amazing feat of political astuteness. Furthermore and perhaps even more striking, considering the problems that exist in Mexico, one has to salute her courage. Arriba y adelante, Claudia!

Noah Stroe
San Francisco

Aquarian Minyan: Wonderful but imperfect

Your beautiful article on the Aquarian Minyan’s 50th anniversary was a wonderful trip down memory lane (“As Aquarian Minyan marks 50 years, its spiritual influence is felt far and wide,” June 10).

We met in 1994 at an otherwise-contentious Minyan community meeting, and Reuven Goldfarb married us in 1996. The J. did an amazing job of describing the many wonderful aspects of the Minyan, without avoiding its weaknesses — notably its mono-generational nature. Unfortunately, when our children arrived, the Minyan no longer worked for our family, and we had to move elsewhere. Despite its small size, the Minyan has been enormously influential in Bay Area and American Judaism, and we very much hope that the planned intergenerational programming will bring in younger people.

Spencer Klein and Ruth Ehrenkrantz

UC Berkeley’s chancellor made too many concessions

In his letter “When great leadership is criticized” (June 13), Bruce Goldberg excoriates the UC Berkeley faculty who have criticized outgoing Chancellor Carol Christ’s concessions to the Palestine protesters and who have signed a petition to urge that her successor, the UC president and the UC Board of Regents disown the deal reached by Christ. 

The signers of that petition, myself included, did not deserve to be mischaracterized as rejecting Christ’s overall leadership of the campus. Many of us have long expressed publicly our appreciation and admiration of Christ’s skilled and dedicated leadership of UC Berkeley during exceptionally hard times over the past seven years. 

In the present case, if one believes that the two most virtuous goals were to avoid deploying police to end the protests and to avoid provoking the protesters into escalating their militancy, then Christ’s leadership was masterful. But if one believes, as I and many others do, that Christ made too many important symbolic and substantive concessions to end the protests, then passionate criticism of those concessions was warranted. We reserve the right to criticize and renounce specific policies without being cast as myopic adversaries of our chancellor. 

George Breslauer
Professor emeritus
UC Berkeley

Colleges must enforce codes of conduct

Free speech is not characterized by violence, intimidation or interfering with the free exchange of ideas or the educational mission of colleges. It is because California colleges and universities fail to enforce existing codes of student conduct that this ugliness occurs, spreads and has become normalized. 

SB 1287 puts the onus on those in charge to ensure safety and inclusion on college campuses, but it does not guarantee that those in charge will actually act (“State bill meant to rein in college protests moves ahead but faces free speech questions,” online June 20.) 

We have seen that they are hesitant to enforce their own codes of conduct against groups that have a history of acting out in a loud, violent manner. But appeasement does not work, as President Richard Saller of Stanford recently discovered when his office was commandeered by supposed “free speech protesters.” 

Julia Lutch

Pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel?

Why does J. refer to anti-Israel agitators who burn buildings, assault Jews and threaten genocide as “pro-Palestinian”? I am aware that is the nomenclature that the mass media uses; however, it is not an accurate description. These people are not “pro-Palestinian.” If they were, they would be working to promote democracy in the “West Bank,” encouraging alternatives to Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, and supporting organizations such as Save a Child’s Heart, which helps children and the families of children, including Arab Palestinian children, undergoing cardiac surgery.

The organizations described in the article are not “pro-Palestinian.” They are anti-Israel and antisemitic.

The media that describes these hateful individuals and organizations as “pro-Palestinian” are by and large themselves anti-Israel and antisemitic. There is no need, as a Jewish newspaper, to follow their anti-Israel lead. 

Kerry Hurwitz
Newtonville, Massachusetts

J. Readers

J. welcomes letters and comments from our readers. To submit a letter, email it to [email protected].