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Letters Week of Oct. 22, 2009
Agencies Should Have Received Proper Credit
The Jewish Exponent's story about Dara Horn's book and "One Book, One Jewish Community" was very well-written (City & Suburb: " 'One Book' Program to Sound the 'Horn' Over Writer's Work," Oct. 15).
Unfortunately, what was omitted is the fact that this program -- the largest of its kind in the country -- is run by the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education/Jewish Outreach Partnership and funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
While Dara Horn's book, as has been true of each of the books before it, is significant, the fact that our Federation and this agency make it possible for more than 70 partner synagogues and agencies -- and thousands of individuals -- to participate in a region-wide Jewish conversation is what gives "One Book, One Jewish Community" its power.
Rabbi Philip Warmflash
Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education/ Jewish Outreach Partnership
Brandeis Story Needs a Slight Bit of Tweaking
As a trustee of Brandeis University, I can attest to the accomplishments of Jehuda Reinharz as president of the school (Nation & World: "Set to Depart Brandeis, His Influence's Still Felt," Oct. 8).
But I must also point out that Jacob Berkman erred when he stated that Reinharz is "closing the Rose Art Museum and selling off its art ... ."
In January of this year, the board, in the face of a significant drop in the endowment, unanimously passed a resolution stating that " ... the University administration is authorized to take the necessary steps to transition the University's Rose Art Museum to a teaching center and exhibition gallery. These steps shall include, to the extent appropriate, review by the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and court approval, followed by an orderly sale or other disposition of works from the University's collection. The proceeds shall be used to help address the University's needs and preserve the University's assets during this period of economic challenge."
We all agreed that the advancement of students and faculty had to be placed before our art collection. Brandeis is primarily a teaching institution; the museum is secondary.
Meanwhile, the Rose, for the time being, is still open.
Kenneth S. Kaiserman
Reader Ready to Cut Ties to Paper Over New Policy
It is with a heavy heart that I feel obligated, in protest, to sever my relationship with the Jewish Exponent over it's policy to include life-cycle notices of gay unions.
I have been continuously exposed to the newspaper since my parents, may they rest in peace, moved back to Philadelphia with me as a 4-year-old in 1948. I have been a subscriber since 1981.
While I have been offended by the drift away from traditional Jewish values over the years, I have not elected to express my protest until now.
Judaism gave the value over to the world of the sanctity of the family. While homosexuality was practiced openly in antiquity by all known cultures, only the Torah exclaimed this to be an "abomination."
The world was thereby transformed, and civilization became possible. Male sexual nature became obligated to be focused on a wife.
While people may individually not always be able to live up to a standard, the standard should not be dropped in order to feel "compassion" for those who fall short.
It is acceptable that some Jews may, as individuals, find marriage between a Jewish man and a Jewish woman impossible to fulfill. However, the standard must be upheld, as this is the lifeblood of the Jewish people.
By publicly advancing a homosexual agenda, which is counter to the Torah and regressive to civilization, the newspaper is shutting down Jewish generativity.
I write this strong letter of protest on my 65th birthday (first day Chol Hamoed Sukkot). My strongest desire is to see within my lifetime the return of the Jewish people to be at peace with our Creator.
Ronald J. Werrin, M.D.