Letters Week of April 26, 2013


Bemoaning gun violence in America, applauding efforts to make religious education more inclusive and questioning the Jewish background of a local teen boxer.

Only America Has Astronomic Gun Carnage

Steve Heitner has written a truth-aversive letter that simply proves he’s soft on crime (“Demonizing the NRA Isn’t the Answer,” April 18).
Contrary to his assertion, the National Rifle Association does not represent American gun owners (the majority of whom support background checks) but rather gun and ammunition manufacturers. The proof of this may be found in the composition of the NRA’s board of directors and an examination of its funding sources.
Heitner alludes to a recent incident where “an unstable individual knifed 14 people at a Texas university.” Imagine what the casualty count would have been if that person had possessed the weapons and ammunition of Newtown’s Adam Lanza!
Violence-prone mentally ill individuals and violent video games exist worldwide. But only America has an astronomic gun carnage rate.
Mah nishtanah? Answer: Lax regulation that facilitates a promiscuous availability of firepower, buttressed by an anti-life gun culture.
Stephen Arkan | Wilkes-Barre
No Child Should Be Denied Access to Lear​ning
We applaud the recent piece by Jamie Bassman (Opinion: “Applying Techniques to Address Inclusion,” April 18). At Temple Sinai, we also have realized the need for inclusion of children with special needs, both in our preschool and our religious school.
By starting a “Students’ Resource and Enrichment Center,” we eliminate barriers to synagogue involvement by providing all-inclusive early childhood and religious school educational programs to address challenges ranging from autism and ADHD to speech impediments and developmental delays. We currently have 12 students enrolled who would not have had access to a Jewish education without this initiative. Most importantly, our program is open to the entire community, not just members of Temple Sinai.
We hope that the world of education continues to evolve so that no child is ever denied access to learning, especially about something as rich and important as their Judaism.
Joseph Maghen, Director of Congregational Learning 
Temple Sinai | Dresher
If Young Boxer Wants to Be Jewish, ​Do It Right
The young boxer featured in the April 18 Exponent story, “15-Year-Old Jewish Boxer Wins Amateur Heavyweight Title,” does not have a Jewish mother and nothing in the article tells us that this young man was raised Jewish. Since he had no Bar Mitzvah, it would be a long shot that he was raised with any Jewish education, a brit — or even a dip in the mikveh.
Wearing a Jewish star on your shorts does not make you Jewish. If he really wants to be a Jew, he should do it right.
David Mermelstein | Elkins Park


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