Letters week of March 6, 2008



Advertisements Do Not Belong on the Front Page

The front page of the Feb. 21 issue of the Jewish Exponent carried three major news items: 1) Hezbollah's new threats, 2) The future for the Jews of Kosovo, and 3) The willingness of Govberg Jewelers to buy unwanted jewelry.

Wait a moment! That last item was an advertisement.

Given the amount of space given to the ad, it appears that the Exponent thinks this bit of "news" is of equal importance to the other two items that enjoyed approximately equal space on Page 1. This trivializes what is otherwise important, true news, while it demonstrates the relative frivolity of the jewelry business.

While cover advertising may be tolerable for a full-size newspaper, advertising on the front page of a tabloid takes up too much space and inappropriately dominates the page.

By accepting this, the Exponent has stepped on to a slippery slope toward becoming a trivial bulletin or, worse yet, a local shopper.

I oppose the decision to place ads on the front page of the Exponent, and I will not do business with any advertiser that buys such an ad.
Michael J. Rosen


Mixed Messages Portray Newspaper's Priorities

Seeing advertising on the front page will certainly take some getting used to (Editorial: "Front-Page Fix," Feb. 21).

While the need to generate additional advertising revenue is understandable given that many people now get their news from online sources, the type of advertising and the message it conveys should be carefully considered.

When the ad has almost as much prominence as the lead story, one may question what the true priorities of the paper are. More importantly, certain types of ads may cause one to think that all is well in our community — when we know it is not.

With 25 percent of Jews in Philadelphia living below the poverty level, and many others facing economic and social hardship on a daily basis, the success of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's annual campaign is vital in supporting agencies like the Mitzvah Food Project, the Jewish Relief Agency, the Jewish Family and Children's Service and JEVS Human Services, if people at risk or in need are to be positively affected.

Hopefully, the Jewish Exponent can find a way to increase its ad revenue without sending mixed messages.
Michael Dvorak
Lafayette Hill


Jewelry Ad Inspires Haiku on 'Front-Page Fix'

Concerning the Exponent's decision to accept advertising on its front page (Editorial "Front-Page Fix," Feb. 21), I have composed a haiku titled "Front-Page Fix, or Was It Really Broken?"

Just what we needed

Yet another jewl'ry ad.

Front page — how tacky.
David Bell


Terrorist's Funeral Photo Conveyed Legitimacy

The Jewish Exponent's decision to publish a photograph depicting the funeral of Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh was dead wrong (Cover story: "Hezbollah to World: Expect Retaliation," Feb. 21).

The entire essence of the image that is portrayed is one that gives political substance and legitimacy to a thug and a terrorist. The stature, the military bearing, the French-style beret, even the black uniform suggest legitimacy.

That has no place on the front page of the Jewish Exponent.

Even more so, in the eyes of impressionistic youth, who are perhaps not cognizant of what Hezbollah stands for, one might actually see something to be admired.
Jeffrey Camson
Cherry Hill, N.J.


Catholic Prayer Change: Vital Enough to Protest!

Concerning the recent move by the Vatican to bring back a prayer regarding conversion of the Jews, I believe that it's appropriate for Jews to protest this prayer since words can ultimately affect actions (A Matter of Opinion: "Other People's Prayers," Feb. 14).

While, of course, there are millions of decent Catholic people, the actions of the Catholic Church still do not generally support the Jewish people on the level that is so often claimed.

Lack of support for Israel is one major example, as well as the less-than-needed action to combat the anti-Semitism that is still pervasive among Catholic populations in areas like Europe and Latin America.

Moreover, given the history of the Catholic Church toward the Jews, I would hope that its emphasis would be less on trying to change Jews and one more of repentance through action.

I realize that many evangelicals who support Israel would also like us to convert. However, it's vital to understand that they reject replacement theology, and that their support is directly tied to their understanding of important biblical passages in our Torah that command them to love Israel and the Jewish people.

We should state our protest about the prayer, and then move on to continue to be good neighbors and work together on areas of commonality.

Whatever the Catholic Church does or doesn't do, the first responsibility of Jews is to maintain the Torah-based way of life that has been the key to our survival and to our immense contribution to all peoples of the world.
Sam Oberstein
Binghamton, N.Y.


What Does America Need? A Candidate Like Moses!

Regarding Rabbi Alan Iser's commentary on the Torah portion of the week (Religion & Ethics: "Aaron, Moses, Chur: Very Different Leaders," Feb. 21), I'd like to comment that in the United States today, we need a leader like Moses, who is strong and able to bring people together.

The United States is in a long, hard war in Iraq, and much of the world is against us.

Of all the presidential candidates this year, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama best fits these criteria.

In addition to being strong and skillful in bringing people together, Obama would be an inspiration to our country's youth and bring a welcome change to our nation's image.
Nathan Weissler
Chevy Chase, Md.


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