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Letters Week of Oct. 8, 2009
Begin, the Son: Can He Be Right About Obama?
I would never ascribe to Benny Begin the qualities of a typical leftist dove, i.e., gullibility and naivété. However, reading the Sept. 17 issue of the Jewish Exponent, I came across the following sentence in the article describing Mr. Begin's recent visit to Philadelphia (City & Suburb: "Begin, the Son, Sees Hope on the Horizon"): "Many Israelis maybe are not cognizant of the fact that President Obama -- especially in a private meeting in the confines of his office with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu [emphasis mine] -- months ago emphatically reiterated the long-term strategic commitment to the well- being, security and qualitative edge of Israel over its enemies," said Begin ... ."
Usually, that kind of double speak -- private vs. public -- is the province of various Arab despots, who justify it by the need to be "sensitive" to the moods of the so-called Arab street.
But for the president of the United States, this is a first! And does Mr. Begin really take it seriously?
More than 80 percent of American Jews voted for Mr. Obama in the last elections.
However, more than 90 percent of Israeli Jews do not believe that he's a true supporter of Israel (according to a recent poll in The Jerusalem Post).
Maybe Mr. Begin is looking to reverse his political stance. But my money is still with the people on the ground.
Paper's Change in Policy; It's Only for the Better
When a local newspaper has been published for 122 years, it reports and records the numerous changes in the community that, of necessity, have evolved during each period.
The Philadelphia Jewish community of 1887 -- the year in which the Jewish Exponent first appeared -- bears little resemblance to the world we inhabit in 2009.
What has not changed, however, is our belief that it is important for the Jewish community to provide support -- spiritual, financial, emotional -- for all who are members of that community.
The recently announced change in the Exponent's policy regarding the publication of life-cycle celebrations by Jewish gays and lesbians reflects the continued evolution of our community and its institutions, and it is a change that should be applauded.
We come in all shapes, sizes, colors and outlooks, but most importantly, we are all Jews. That has been a constant for millennia and, God willing, will be so well into the future.
Kenneth I. Rosenberg
Guess They Represent the 'Other' Day Schools
While serving on the board of directors of a Jewish day school, we all heard that there were other Jewish day schools in the Philadelphia area. The Friends Schools were jokingly described (albeit in a bitter way) as the "other Jewish day schools."
Now I know this to be true.
On Page 6 of the Oct. 1 issue of the Jewish Exponent, there was a very telling advertisement for the Germantown Friends School.
First, it stated: "Where Quaker Values ... Thrive." Then it said: "Open House -- Saturday, Oct. 3, at 1 p.m."
I assume that because Saturday is not the Quaker Sabbath, that's why it was okay to have the open house then.
I forgot about Sukkot.
Edward S. Snyder