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Letters Week of Oct. 29, 2009

October 29, 2009
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Perelman's Participation: It's Missing From Story

Several weeks ago, the Jewish Exponent ran an "in-depth" article about the i-Center experience (Nation & World: "To Teach Effectively About Israel, Talk About Everything but 'Israel,' " Oct. 1).

The Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School sent five teachers and a rabbi to this amazing kallah. As a general-studies teacher, I was especially fortunate to be part of this group. The course offerings were thought-provoking and will help guide me to create a cross-curricular experience for my students this year.

Perelman has proven its dedication to teaching about Israel by sending its employees to experience this amazing event. 
Susan Miller 
Perelman Jewish Day School 
Wynnewood

Society Owes Its Children Every Possible Protection

As the executive director of an agency that partners with child welfare and police officers to investigate cases of alleged child sexual abuse, I never cease to be amazed that such assaults continue across all religious, socio-economic and cultural levels.

The case of Rabbi Stanley Z. Levitt reinforces the challenges that face us as we try to keep our children safe (Cover story: "Local Rabbi Faces Abuse Charges in Boston Court," Oct. 8).

This article details alleged victimization spanning three decades with multiple victims and the lifelong impact of sexual abuse.

The Philadelphia Children's Alliance works to ensure that when there are such allegations, there is a coordinated response that puts the child's best interests at the forefront, providing a child-friendly facility and specialized interviewers. Support services are offered to help the child get justice and begin healing.

Perhaps if there had been such a resource in 1975, the abuse would have ended then.

We owe it to our children to ensure that they're safe and sound in their homes, schools and religious institutions. 
Chris Kirchner, MSW 
Executive director, Philadelphia Children's Alliance

Writer Takes Exception to Decision to Sever Ties

Listing onerous consequences now that the Jewish Exponent plans to print announcements of gay unions, Ronald J. Werrin, M.D., has elected to sever his "relationship" with the paper (Letters: "Reader Ready to Cut Ties to Paper Over New Policy," Oct. 22).

In the face of his obvious education, Werrin's decision is confusing. He bases his action on a determination that the paper's decision is contrary to Jewish teachings.

Surely, it is scientific fact that sexual orientation, like right or left handedness, is biologically determined.

Given the mores of our society, one cannot envision that any human would purposefully elect to run counter to the masses and select a homosexual life. Rather than relate selected Torah writings, perhaps more benefit would come from following the intent of our religion -- ethics and respect for all.

If religious writings are to be referenced, perhaps Hillel provided the best summary of Judaism when asked to explain the Torah while standing on one foot: "Do not do unto your neighbor what you would not have him do unto you; this is the whole Law; the rest is commentary." 
Joel S. Steinberg, Ph.D., M.D. 
Huntingdon Valley

Just What Planet Does Mr. Goldstone Reside On?

Regarding your recent cover story ("Goldstone Report Shot Arrow at the Heart of Peace Process," Oct. 22), I had received an e-mail from another Jewish Web site, which indicated that Mr. Goldstone was surprised and dismayed that the anti- Israel crowd would use his report as a weapon against Israel.

Is the man totally tone-deaf?

Has he not paid attention to what's been going on vis-à-vis Israel and the rest of the world in the last several decades?

Let's see: The World Trade Center was Israel's fault because someone "told the Jews to stay home that day." Remember that one?

I'm surprised that Israel wasn't blamed for the tsunami that slammed Indonesia in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina that ripped through the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005. 
Rachel Garber 
Philadelphia

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