I am writing in support of Rabbi [Daniel] Kripper, whose unfortunate immigration status was described in a recent Chronicle article (“Immigration issues force Adat Shalom rabbi out,” May 14).
As the former president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international organization of 1,600 Conservative/Masorti rabbis, I can attest that Rabbi Kripper remains a valued member in good standing.
As an illustrious graduate of the Seminario Rabinico Latinamerica in Buenos Aires, he went on to serve on its faculty.
In our area, he not only served his congregation, Adat Shalom, exceedingly well; he also served very effectively as president of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association, made up of Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis.
He has, unfortunately, become caught up in the arcane and complex maze of U.S. immigration regulations.
My hope and prayer is that his situation will be resolved favorably and soon so that his life can resume some normalcy. I look forward to his resuming his service to the Jewish community.
Rabbi Alvin Berkun
(Editor’s note: The author is rabbi emeritus of Tree of Life Congregation.)
Union’s centennial marked
Coincidentally and a propos of your story, “Giant Eagle’s first kosher bakery now fully operational, May 21,” this year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish Bakery Workers union in Pittsburgh, Local 44, Bakery and Confectionery International Union.
Local 44 was eventually merged into the general Pittsburgh bakers union Local 12 in 1975, but prior to that enjoyed an almost 70-year run as the union for the workers — mostly, but not necessarily Jewish — in the many Jewish bakeries around the city. The bread salesmen/deliverymen were organized into a separate local 242.
The Archives of Industrial Society at the University of Pittsburgh contains some records of Local 44. The earliest is a letterpress book (a type of document which contains copies of letters sent and received by the Local’s secretary) dating from 1917. It also includes a set of minute books from 1927 to 1937 in Yiddish and a boycott leaflet in Yiddish and English dating from around August 1930 urging consumers not to buy bread and rolls from Weinstein’s Restaurant because they were being delivered by non-union drivers. (“nicht kein unien drivers”).
Just as Pittsburgh radio listeners who relish intelligent conversation and information were celebrating the return to the airwaves of longtime talk show host Lynn Cullen on WAMO-AM 860, she has vanished.
When Lynn went off the air Thursday, May 14, it was clear that she expected to return the following day, but within that day, she was unceremoniously axed as news broke of a sale of the station to a religious broadcaster.
I suspected the worst after hearing music on WAMO at the time Lynn’s Friday show was to air. I called the station, asked why the Cullen show was not on, and was curtly told by the operator who answered, “I have no idea,” which I have concluded meant, “None of your business.” Lovely.
Pittsburgh has not only lost its only alternative talk outlet, but one of the best, brightest, and most interesting talents in the business. It is a sad day for Lynn Cullen and her loyal audience, no member of which is more crushed about the sad developments than me.
When Lynn Cullen returned to radio, I wondered if it was too good to be true, and I worried that something would happen to cause the show to fail. It was too good to be true, and it failed, albeit not through any lack of effort or provision of a top-notch host.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper St. Clair