Letters the Week of July 24, 2014


Readers respond to articles about the Gaza conflict, a new bakery in Philadelphia and the Perelman Jewish Day School's teacher union dilemma.

If Press Won’t Tell Truth, Jewish Leaders Must
Who will tell our truths? Who is going to write the definitive op-ed about Israel versus Hamas for every major newspaper in the U.S. and other Western countries?
If the press won’t tell the unbiased truth, why have so few Jewish leaders come forth to speak about what Hamas and the Arab world did when Israel left Gaza nine years ago: the destruction of thousands of thriving Israeli greenhouses; the building of vast networks of tunnels instead of livable housing and shelters to protect their civilians; the perpetuation of a refugee mindset and environment seven decades after the establishment of the State of Israel.
Why isn’t there a barrage of full-page ads in major newspapers telling the truths that the press won’t tell, to speak of the terror with which Israelis live daily? Why aren’t there ads about the Big Blue Box, that extraordinary yet heartbreaking indoor fortified playground in which the children of Sderot must play so they are not murdered by the daily barrage of rockets on their streets?
Jews must be their own truth-tellers. Whining about twisted coverage by the major media gets us nothing. 
Linda Brodsky Cooper | Penn Valley
Welcome New Favorite, Remember Old One
Since 2005, when I (and my four bagel eaters) returned to Philadelphia, one of the most welcoming members of the Jewish community was Nick Abdoul at New York Bagels in Overbrook. He is the hard-working proprietor of our most favorite kosher carbohydrates and is not even Jewish. Nick provides a schmear, a break-the-fast and a classy Kiddush.
The arrival of Six Points Bakery (Lifestyle & Culture, “Beyond Schnecken and Challah: A New Kosher Bakery Opens,” July 17) is a most welcome, and wanted, complement to our community kashrut, and I wish the new bakery well.
As for Nick, we are his bread and butter as he is our bagels and cream cheese. Let’s remember that while Six Points is serving the community, it is Nick, as well, who deserves our service.
Yael Sandler | Bala Cynwyd
PJDS Bound by Halachic Rulings on Labor Law
Jan Sklaroff is correct that “nowhere in the Torah does it say we must have organized labor unions or increased public funding.” (Letters, “Teachers Unions not a Talmudic Directive,” July 10). It is also true that nowhere in the Torah does it say we should recite Kiddush on Friday night, light Chanukah candles, etc. Judaism is not limited to the written Torah but also includes the oral Torah and a number of rabbinical enactments. 
The Perelman Jewish Day School is part of the Conservative movement and as such is bound by the halachic rulings of the movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. This committee passed a (legal position) on Jewish labor law: “Conservative day schools and other institutions must pay a living wage to their workers and may not interfere in any way with organizing drives.”
When the Conservative movement passes a teshuvah by a simple majority, the minority opinion is still considered to be a valid alternative.
However, Rabbi Jill Jacobs’ teshuvah, “Work, workers and the Jewish owner,” was passed by a vote of 13 in favor, one opposed and three abstaining. As a result, it is halachically binding on all Conservative institutions. 
Daniel E. Loeb | Wynnewood


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