Letter to the Editor: Small-town Jews and Bigtime Fun in Israel
I had never heard of a 1948 massacre in the Arab village of Tantura [book review of Walled: Israeli Society at an Impasse by Sylvain Cypel (Other Press) in the February issue]. I searched several Web sites. I found a court case documenting fraud and a formal retraction of the massacre claim. Haim Chertok summarizes this as “the methodology was not flawless.” Unless the book being reviewed brings forth a different set of evidence, a fair-minded reader experienced in the rhetoric of the region would be skeptical of any claims.
On Jews in America
I read with interest your story about the small Jewish community of Berkley, Virginia (“Letter from Virginia: Back to a Southern Shtetl,” February issue), but I found the lead-in to the story—“Most immigrants…wanted to assimilate as fast as they could. Not so the Litvaks who set out to create this prosperous, Orthodox enclave”—to be misleading. In fact, the history of Berkley’s Jewish community is representative of the history of scores of other small communities established by East European Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Readers who want to know more about such communities may be interested in my book Jewish Life in Small-town America: A History (Yale University Press).
Lee Shai Weissbach
Addressing the Issue
Jewish Women International was pleased to see the article in the January issue on domestic abuse (“Family Matters: Security Over Secrecy”), which includes many projects and people we support.
The article features the work of Rabbi Diana Manber, who directs the domestic violence initiative of the New York Board of Rabbis. Now in its third year, this program started as Sh’ma Kolenu and was an initiative JWI incubated for two years as a partnership between us and the New York Board of Rabbis, and during which time the majority of the 300 rabbis mentioned in the article received training.
The article points to challenges for the future that we are actively addressing such as helping young women build healthy relationships and involving men and boys as advocates.
Joyce Rappeport, Chair, Board of Trustees
Loribeth Weinstein, Executive Director
Jewish Women International
Davka, a Correction
Everyone Comes to Rick’s (“Israeli Life: Davka,” January issue) was written by Murray Burnett, not Murray Bennett as indicated.
San Diego, CA
In “The Jewish Traveler: San Diego” in the January issue, the area of San Diego in which The Place and The Dairy Place are located was incorrectly called University Heights. The area is known as the College area. University Heights is located a number of miles west.
Fruit for Thought
It is with dismay that we read “Cut & Post: Land of Milk, Chocolate and Honey” (January issue). That Hadassah Magazine would include a trip to Israel described as “a lot more fun…than another tour meeting politicians and hearing about possible solutions to the conflict” makes us wonder what Hadassah Magazine’s priorities are?
Hadassah offers stimulating, educational and, yes, fun trips to Israel. We integrate meeting the pundits, politicians and people of Israel with lots of good food, dancing and drink. No one is more connected to Israel and Zionism than Hadassah. We promise a trip to Israel with Hadassah will be an experience of a lifetime with plenty of “fruit” for thought.
Chairs, Hadassah Missions to Israel
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