Letters week of Oct. 14, 2010



No Need to Ask for Any Sort of Special Protection
In response to the article "Legislation to Protect Students From Anti-Semitic Harassment" (Editorial & Opinions, Oct. 7), I object to special legislation singling out Jews as a minority group.

The assault by a shopping cart, the destruction of a Holocaust memorial and the painting of swastikas should be prosecuted under existing criminal laws.

On the flip side, the ugly words described in the column are political speech, and therefore constitutionally protected.

The Jewish community in the United States is strong and proud. We are equal to all Americans. We can stand up for ourselves. We need not beg the federal government for special protection.
Aaron Finestone


The Wave of the Future? Donor-Centered Giving
When I served as a trustee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and a member of its Financial Resource Development Governance Committee, I was an early advocate for the organization to adopt a donor-centered philosophy. So I was gratified to read "A Message From Mark Fishman" in the Oct. 7 issue, which outlined Federation's progress in this regard.

As the author of "Donor-Centered Planned-Gift Marketing," I know that Federation must still do more to address the concerns of potential donors and even existing supporters.

For example, Federation needs to explain to all of us why we need this. After all, I can fulfill my Jewish responsibilities of tzedakah and tikkun olam by giving to my synagogue or directly to service organizations, particularly those that assist the Jewish community.

So, what is the value-add of Federation? That question must be answered in a compelling manner in every solicitation, annual report, and in communication to donors and prospects. While progress has been made, the journey to a truly donor-centered organization continues.
Michael J. Rosen


Is Rabbi Really on Right Path About J Street?
Rabbi David Teutsch in his letter ("Despite Personal Attacks, J Street Is Flourishing," Oct. 7) tries to run from the evidence that J Street has taken money from those who are sworn enemies of Israel by suggesting such criticism falls under that superficial defense: "guilt by association."

George Soros, Saudi Arabian money, the so-called peace groups and others who hope that the Jewish Democratic State of Israel would just disappear are generous supporters of J Street. They are given a free pass from the rabbi.

The American Jews who have been duped into becoming part of J Street should reconsider their participation.
Doris Yarczower


Sing Out, Local Jews; Nashirah Wants You!
Thanks for the cover article (" 'Idol' Worship," Oct. 7) on the benefits of Jewish choral singing for those not otherwise affiliated with the Jewish community.

As a member of Nashirah, the Jewish Chorale of Greater Philadelphia, for the past five years, I have seen that choral singing can also deepen the experience of those already involved Jewishly.

Nashirah welcomes new voices from throughout the Delaware Valley to our warm, vibrant and talented choral family. Singers interested in joining us in our spring 2011 concert may audition between now and January.

For details, go to: www. nashirah.org/audition.htm.
David Weinstein


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