Letters to the editor July 14

Letters to the editor July 14

Not a splinter group

A recent article by Toby Tabachnick, “Pro-Israel question could divide Jews” (June 17), discusses the case of the Jewish community of Indianapolis where members broke away from the local JCRC and established a new organization, the Jewish American Affairs Committee of Indiana (JAACI).

Ms. Tabachnick correctly writes that JAACI believed that the JCRC was not strong enough in its Israel advocacy and opposed “the JCRC’s more liberal stance on gay rights, abortion rights and school vouchers.”

The article is one of many accounts in the United States and Israel recognizing JAACI’s successful efforts in Indiana offering a Jewish political perspective deriving from Torah values.

[But] in the article, JAACI’s success is denigrated by the executive director of the local JCRC, who describes JAACI as merely a small Orthodox splinter group dividing the Jewish community.

While it is true that JAACI’s perspective leads it to support policies often at odds with the Indianapolis JCRC, it is neither a splinter group confined to the Orthodox community nor does it seek to divide the Indianapolis Jewish community.

The initial impetus for JAACI’s formation was the refusal of the JCRC to emulate the national parent body, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and allow for the expression of minority opinions in the JCRC’s statement of principles and policy advocacy positions. The refusal of the JCRC to allow for the expression of minority opinions led to the formation of JAACI.

JAACI’s support is not limited to the Orthodox community; in fact, on key issues, JAACI has received the support of the majority of local Jewish synagogue rabbis and many community members. Our support comes not only from Indianapolis but Jewish communities throughout the state. In Indianapolis, JAACI has participated in local Jewish community events with the Jewish Federation and will continue to do so.

While we do not agree with many of the JCRC’s positions, we do not question the Zionist credentials of those whom we disagree with nor do we engage in name-calling and ad hominem attacks. We look forward to the day when the leadership of the JCRC will come to accept the legitimacy of opposing opinions and join with us in making a positive contribution to political discourse.

Elliot Bartky,

Indianapolis, Ind.

(The author is president of the Jewish American Affairs Committee of


Goldblum remembered

After reading the fine tribute the local rabbis paid to the late Rabbi Moshe Goldblum, who died in March in Israel (“Goldblum a ‘pastoral’ rabbi, who eschewed limelight,”April 14), I want to express the gratitude of my family and myself to this remarkable pastoral rabbi who guided our lives with wisdom and support through some difficult times.

His chaplain experience from World War II and his natural compassionate nature was a godsend to me at a time when an illness made it difficult to function. He rehabilitated me by involving me in the Sisterhood where I served as an officer as well as in the western Pennsylvania branch of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. In the process I also contributed more to our family and community than I ever dreamed would be possible again.

The rabbi used his great knowledge of the Jewish tradition to engage me in the therapeutic practice of writing poems, many of which were based on what I had learned from his sermons, lectures and Bible study classes.

I hope that our beloved Rabbi Goldblum’s soul will rest in peace and his dreams of a world at peace as reflected in my writings will be a reality some day.

Natalie Berez

Encinitas, Calif.

Far-left Jews act anti-American

Thanks for the great story on the vanguard of Jewish conservative commentators who are doing so much to save the country from the long national nightmare of Obama, Pelosi and Reid (“Jews becoming commonplace in conservative ‘new media,’ ” July 7). From exposing ACORN to exposing Obama’s Marxist connections, these writers, reporters and media personalities give real hope to all patriotic Americans who want to see the United States return to limited government.

Constantly, I’m asked by my conservative Christian friends how can Jews support Obama’s mad, socialist,

incoherent regime? They tell me they are appalled by the anti-American, far left Jewish radicals such as Barney Frank, George Soros, Barbara Streisand, Charles Schumer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who vote or act against the dignity and interests of the country.

With the help of our brilliant Jewish conservative commentators, and eventually, I’m hoping, some liberty-loving American clergy, we will reverse the baleful entitlement society and restore the American representative republic as envisioned in the U.S. Constitution.

Dan Wiseman

Squirrel Hill

(The author is a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition and vice chairman of the City of Pittsburgh Republican Committee of Allegheny County 5th Council District.)