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Endowing Day Schools

A response to Ari Segal’s 1% solution to the high price of Jewish Day School.

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Defending the Poles

A response to Jane Eisner’s exploration of Jews in today’s Poland.

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A Challenge to J Street

In its April 4 issue, the Forward reported that some Philadelphia Jewish officials objected to the March 27 screening of our film, “The J Street Challenge,” in the City of Brotherly Love (“Tough Road for J Street as It Bids for an Official Place Within the Communal Tent”). We are perplexed. We made the film to air and debate J Street’s views on Zionist policy and its unprecedented approach to our community’s relationship with Israel.

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A Bubble Not Burst

Martin Buber tells the story of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev. Before Passover, the great rabbi was inspecting the local matzo factory to make sure it was kosher. Afterward, he said, ”This factory is not kosher.” When the shocked factory owner said, “We have followed all of the laws of kashrut,” the rabbi explained: “The women in this factory work from early morning until late at night. They are laboring too long and too hard. They are not being paid fairly for their labors.”

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Dialogue, Not Diktat

A column from March 21, “Only One Way To Change Hillel: Leave,” contains some gross inaccuracies that need to be corrected.

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No Conclusive Evidence on Circumcision Rite and Herpes

The Forward suggests the metzitzah b’peh circumcision rite should be curtailed because it may lead to herpes. It is misguided in its medical and policy claims.

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Abandoned

In two recent columns, on November 16 and December 21, J.J. Goldberg has written of the Senate coalition that consisted of Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans from the prairie and mountain states that blocked efforts to admit Jewish refugees in the 1930s and 1940s.

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True Help

In his recent piece “Who Benefits From Service Trips?” (November 16), Brent Spodek highlights an issue that has long troubled many of us in the Jewish volunteer world: Sometimes service-learning trips for Jews in their 20s and 30s focus more on cultivating “effective Jewish citizens” than on working with communities that could benefit from volunteer service.

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Not Stepping Back

The December 21 front-page story on the American Jewish Committee inexplicably repeated an egregious error that the Forward published one year ago.

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Not Critics

We were surprised and disappointed by the headline and thrust of your article (“Israelis Stunned By Lack of Help for Sandy Victims,” November 23).

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More Than Giving

As a social work advocate, I was delighted to read Joel Berg’s article, “The Ethics of Street Giving” (November 16).

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Action, Not Talk

As a Jewish climate activist, I was pleased to see the tight causal linkages drawn by the Forward between climate change and Hurricane Sandy in the November 9 editorial “Sandy’s Lessons.”

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Next Steps

You omitted key information about the role of NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation as an igniter of systemic change in the field of Jewish young adult engagement (“Birthright Reshuffles Follow-up Effort,” November 9). Furthermore, what you present as a reduction in funding from Birthright Israel Foundation was a result of many donors giving directly to NEXT — instead of via the foundation — after NEXT was incorporated, in 2009. Birthright Israel Foundation provides no support to NEXT from its general campaign.

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Who’s To Blame?

Jane Eisner’s comments on Monica Lewinsky (“Mulling Over Monica,” October 5) and her new book made me lose my breakfast. Coming off of the Yom Kippur fast, I did not need the loss of its nutritional value. In the contest between whose morality was lower, Clinton’s or Lewinsky’s, I would expect more from a married man, Rhodes scholar and president of the United States than from a 20-something White House intern. How Clinton, a serial adulterer if ever there was one, gets a pass from the left in general, and women in particular is beyond my comprehension. If he were a public company CEO, the sexual harassment suit would have been filed in milliseconds.

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Jewish Dylan

In your rundown of Bob Dylan’s most Jewish songs (“The Bard’s 10 Most Jewish Songs,” October 5) you forgot “Father of Night” and “Drifter’s Escape.” The first is a doxology to an awe-inspiring God much like the God of Judaism; in the second, the drifter (a wanderer, like the Jewish people) is accused of an unknown crime and saved by divine intervention.

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Word Choices

I am a subscriber to the Forward. I look forward to it and read it weekly. I am quite frustrated that a paper that professes to be a Jewish publication continues to use the phrases “Occupied Territories” and “Palestinians.”

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The Food Problem

Magen Tzedek is an initiative of utmost importance to the ongoing commitment of all religious communities to the just and ethical production of food, one of the most sacred of gifts. That the initiative is off to a “slow start” (“Magen Tzedek, a Response to Agriprocessors Scandal, Still Not in Operation,” October 5) is hardly surprising, given the structure of the entire American food system and the economic and political power it wields over our lives. For the low-wage workers who constitute the majority of the workforce that feeds the nation, that power is experienced daily in the fields, on the floors of packinghouses and in restaurant kitchens. Magen Tzedek compels all peoples of faith to consider anew the deeper standards of justice by which we are fed, and to confront anew the daily exploitation of those who bring food to our tables.

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Missing Contributor

The October 5 article, “Haggadah Editor Admits Using Another’s Texts,” identifies three of the four contributors to the Haggadah: Jeffrey Goldberg, Lemony Snicket and Nathan Englander. It failed to mention the fourth contributor, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein.

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An Oversimplification

In his apparent drive to combat the real-world problem of anti-Semitic bias, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen (“Fuel for the Days of Rage,” September 28) seems unfortunately — and ironically — oblivious to his own counterproductive stereotyping of another group: “political Islamists.”

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An Offensive Ad

You have accepted an ad from the Republican Jewish Coalition (September 14 edition) that is loaded with innuendo and advances the name calling and rumor mongering that often characterize this political campaign season. The ad from Republican Jews is just one step from libel, but it makes it all the way to vulgar and demagogic.

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