Cheers for Jewish-Latino relations, apprehension over interfaith and a lament over the new placement of the candle-lighting times.
Groups Have Worked to Form Jewish-Latino Link
We applaud the Nov. 15 cover story “Latinos and Jews Seek a New Political Alliance,” concerning a leadership meeting between Latinos and Jews convened by AJC Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey. Over the past two decades, AJC, both nationally and locally, has prioritized outreach to Latino leaders.
It should be noted there are other existing collaborations between Jewish and Latino organizations. Over the past 15 years, HIAS Pennsylvania has partnered with the Latino community to expand immigration services in multiple ways: assisting immigrant victims of domestic violence, representing immigrant youth eligible for work permits and providing service for citizenship. HIAS Pennsylvania and AJC also have collaborated with others to promote immigration reform.
Judith Bernstein-Baker | Executive director HIAS Pennsylvania
Rabbi Mark Robbins | Regional director AJC Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey
Cycling’s Not Only Healthy; It Can Help Others
It’s always great to read a human interest article about cycling, and even better when it involves other rabbis. As director of Bike4Chai, it’s amazing to see how cycling has evolved as a popular sport within our community.
Bike4Chai began with a lone rider from Lakewood, N.J., determined to ride the 160 miles from the Jersey Shore to Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, N.Y. Camp Simcha is Chai Lifeline’s summer camp, designed to meet the medical and social needs of children and teens with cancer and other serious illnesses. In August 2012, Bike4Chai was comprised of 200 riders who collectively raised almost $2 million to benefit the ill children of Chai Lifeline.
Rabbi Sruli Fried | New Jersey Regional director Chai Lifeline
Lots of Misapprehensions Over Interfaith
In editing my letter “They Do Feel Completely Jewish — Yes, They Do,” in the Nov. 8 issue, an error was introduced about where my daughter Lia attends Confirmation Academy. It is at our synagogue, Congregation Kol Ami in Elkins Park.
But there’s a much larger point to be made about the original cover story that elicited my letter, “Do They Ever Feel Completely Jewish?” One could conclude from the piece that children of interfaith families can never have strong Jewish identities.
My own experience is quite different. For the past 18 years, my wife and I have raised two daughters to be active and proud Jews. Both have become Bat Mitzvahs who continue to be involved in youth programming at our synagogue.
Under the leadership of Rabbi Elliot Holin, Kol Ami is one synagogue that has managed to make interfaith families feel not only welcome but valued.
Bill Hyman | Elkins Park
New Format Nice but Missing Candlelighting Time
The newspaper’s new format, different fonts and new departments are impressive. One request: Please restore Shabbat candle-lighting times to the front page.
Rabbi Robert Layman | Wyncote
Editor’s Note: We appreciate all the positive feedback about our newspaper redesign. We apologize to those who are missing candle-lighting times on the front page. Those times can now be found on
the Torah commentary page and we will list that page each week in the Page 3 index.