For These Parents, Education Comes First

I was so happy to read about the many families who sacrificed leaving their communities, homes, friends and possibly families to relocate to Baltimore for the best interests of their children’s education (“Baltimore Bound,” Oct. 24). I couldn’t help but think about the communities they left, where so many more people were happy with the school systems there for their children. It shows that all children are preciously unique, and the desires
parents have for the best interests for their children can be boundless and uncompromising.

As parents, we get one chance through the parenting cycle, and unlike other aspects of life there are no magical restart buttons. It takes courage and strong conviction to make these life-changing decisions. Likewise, Baltimore parents have sacrificed, busing nearly 30 students this year for over an hour to the Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville. Strikingly, over the past four years, 13 families sacrificed like the families in the JT article by uprooting their families and relocating to Silver Spring to avoid the long bus ride to Berman for their children. These parents, representing more than 60 children, made great sacrifices for a religious philosophy that could not sustain itself financially in Baltimore.

As communities and day schools lose or gain families, we need to
appreciate these parents’ sacrifices and courage by putting the future
of their children first and foremost, as they serve as role models to all of us. May your children reap the rewards for your amazing commitment.

90 Years of ‘Proud’ History

On behalf of the board of directors and staff of Central Scholarship, thank you for recognizing our first 90 years in “Still Going Strong at 90” (Oct. 10). Your article and timeline did a wonderful job explaining our history, of which we are most proud. We clearly recognize that this milestone is an uncommon accomplishment, achieved by never straying from our mission of helping low-income students throughout Maryland attend college and graduate, as well as our professional and certificate programs and take part in our College Cash financial literacy educational series, where we help Maryland families find money for college and manage student loans. We also advocate at the state and national level on issues related to higher education affordability.

As we celebrate at our 90th anniversary event on Nov. 8, we are grateful to the Jewish Times for the wonderful article and to the community for 90 years of support. We look forward to continuing to serve the community for our next 90 years.
Jan Moylan Wagner
President, Central Scholarship
Owings Mills

Time to Stand Up to Big-Time Polluters

On the 42nd anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a new report from Environment America, “Waterways Restored,” highlights the success the law has meant for the Anacostia River, taking it from a state of horrific pollution to giving some hope that it will be safe for swimming and fishing in little more than a decade (“Navigating Toward a Healthy Harbor,” Aug. 8).

All of Maryland’s waters deserve a success story, but right now, a loophole in the Clean Water Act has left over 10,000 miles of our state’s waterways, including those that feed into the Anacostia River, vulnerable to pollution. Thankfully, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed closing this loophole to protect all of the state’s rivers and streams.

The agency is taking public comments on its rule until Nov. 14, but polluters such as agribusinesses and big developers are waging a bitter campaign against it. The Clean Water Act has meant progress for the Anacostia River, but its promise isn’t yet fulfilled. That’s why it’s so important for EPA to stand up to the polluters and restore safeguards to all of the rivers and streams that crisscross our state.

T. Aurelie Konin
Wheaton, Md.

The Three Not For Congress

As a teacher of political science and leader of the movement to get rid of all the corruption in Maryland government, I feel compelled to respond to your endorsement of U.S. Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes and Elijah Cummings (“Three for Congress,” Oct. 24).

Frankly speaking, your endorsement does a tremendous disservice to the Jewish and non-Jewish citizens in the state of Maryland. Are you aware that these three politicians are mere rubber stamps for the current president of the United States? Are you aware that the president, because of his arrogant policies, has put our country and the State of Israel in physical, economic and spiritual peril? Are you aware that President Obama has lied and covered up scandals such as IRS spying on Americans whose values do not coincide with his, the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act?

Are you aware that these three politicians continue to accept campaign contributions and are intent on the pursuit of their own political power rather than the pursuit of their constituents’ best interests?
Are you aware that the only reason President Obama has not been impeached is because we do not have any ethical politicians in this country?

In my opinion, your endorsement of these three power-hungry politicians illustrates your lack of concern for Judeo-Christian values.The only person I know who deserves to be endorsed is Rudy Stoler, Republican candidate for a seat in the Baltimore County Council.
Ralph Jaffe

(Editor’s note: The writer lost in the June 24 Democratic gubernatorial primary.)

Consider Charles Long for Sarbanes’ Seat

There is serious competition for Congressman John Sarbanes’ seat in Maryland’s 3rd Congressional
District from Charles Long, who holds multiple degrees including a Ph.D. in chemical physics and has worked at Johns Hopkins University for 32 years (“Three for Congress,” Oct. 24).

His platform is detailed and includes keeping our citizens safe, growing the economy and jobs,
reforming immigration, decriminalizing and studying marijuana prior to legalization, providing affordable health care and quality education, protecting the natural environment and our precious resources and establishing trust between the American people and their federal government.

Mike Robinson
Press Secretary
Charles Long for Congress

Two-State Solution Has Created a Monster

In an Oct. 17 editorial, “Staying Ahead of Crises,” the JT gives examples of our leaders’ lack of foresight and vigilance. Here is another prime example:

For more than 20 years, three U.S. presidents and at least as many Israeli prime ministers have toiled in their “peace process” laboratory creating a Frankenstein’s monster — euphemistically called the “two-state solution.” In actuality, what have they wrought?

For one, they have created a despotic regime, the Palestinian Authority, which unabashedly fosters hatred and violence against Jews and seeks to delegitimize, degrade and destroy the Jewish state in stages. If that were not enough, they have enabled a terrorist organization, Hamas, to establish a radical Islamic state in Gaza. The “two-state solution” is clearly no solution at all!

The United States, Israel, Jordan and Egypt will need to go back to the drawing board and fashion a just and peaceful solution, seriously taking account of Israel’s security concerns and its lawful claims to sovereignty within defensible borders, from the Jordan Valley to the Mediterranean Sea. Arabs now confined like cattle in UNRWA “refugee” camps will need to be given the opportunity to resettle with dignity in any number of Arab countries.

Whatever is done to redress the immense damage inflicted over the past 20 years, one thing is certain: The two-headed PA/Hamas monster created in perverse pursuit of a “two-state solution” must be condemned, not condoned; defunded, not defended.

Marc L. Caroff
 President, Louis D. Brandeis Chapter
 Zionist Organization of America

RCA Cover-up?

Every day, this story gets even worse (“Prominent Rabbi Arrested,” Oct. 17). Rabbi Barry Freundel should have been thrown ­­out years ago, but the Rabbincal Council of America (RCA) obviously went out of its way not to throw him out. And this is par for all rabbinical groups that protect their favorites.

I was placed in my first and second congregations by Yeshiva University. Both were conservative synagogues belonging to United Synagogue of America. That was the practice at that time. I was blacklisted by the RCA and Yeshiva because I had served in Conservative synagogues, and they would not place me or recommend me for Orthodox congregations.

When I took my final rabbinical position, the president of the RCA called me every Saturday night, threatening that I leave my Conservative congregation or I would be brought before the RCA rabbinical court. My crime was being in a Conservative congregation. I was blacklisted for all intents and purposes for serving in an Orthodox congregation.

In addition, the president of the RCA told my wife that she and I would burn in hell and that they would make certain that if I went public about being asked to leave my shul they would ruin the shidduchim, future marriages, of my children.

My family is Orthodox. I did go public, and thank G-d, my children are married to Orthodox individuals. I have served 40 years in the rabbinate, 26 at my current synagogue. We moved into an Orthodox community, and my wife and I walk two miles each way to synagogue. My children were raised in an Orthodox community and attended Yeshiva University. I am too old to be as angry as I was when I was young. I raised $1.5 million for Yeshiva University and taught public speaking there for 10 years. In addition, I raised $25,000 for the RCA. I resigned from the RCA for the crime of being in a Conservative congregation.

Freundel should had been ousted years ago. At first, I urged people to wait for proof before judgment. Now that the proof is in, Freundel deserves punishment, and the RCA should stop dancing around the issue and admit there was a cover-up.

Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg
Spiritual Leader, Congregation Beth-El
Edison, N.J.

Strong Leadership, Makes a Difference

As a former board president of the organization, I was pleased to read the story about Central Scholarship and its 90 years of success helping students achieve their academic, personal and professional dreams (“Still Going Strong at 90,” Oct. 17).

It is a testament to the sustainability and stability of the organization that since hiring its first professional staff 62 years ago, there have been only four executive directors: Marge Warres, Janice Starr, Helen London and Jan Wagner. Through their unwavering commitment, creative innovation and strong leadership, they each have propelled Central Scholarship forward and have had a lasting impact on the lives of motivated students — and on our community.

Steven Himmelrich

Numbers Count!

Why is it important to vote (“The Jewish Vote,” Oct. 17)? Here is a story never told.
The British government once asked President Harry Truman not to vote for the partition of Palestine. I lived in the Bronx, N.Y., and my father came home from services and told me the rabbis in our community got together and decided to teach Truman a lesson.

We had a runoff election due to the death of our congressman. Our area was 80 percent Democratic and 20 percent American Labor Party (ALP). The rabbis asked us to vote ALP, so the following Tuesday, the vote ended up 80 percent ALP and 20 percent Democratic.
Truman agreed to the partition, and three months later, we had the regular election: The vote was 80 percent Democratic and 20 percent ALP.

My cousin, who was active in politics, once told me to register with the majority party, but vote for whoever I wanted, because if you need a favor, they will look to see if you are a registered voter in their party. Vote on Election Day. Numbers count.

Howard J. Cohen

Worth Waiting For

We at Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. (CHAI) read with interest your article “Betting on Baltimore: Casino revenue travels as far as Park Heights” (Oct. 10).CHAI has been intimately involved in Video Lottery Terminal funding decisions with the five presidents of the neighborhood associations (Glen, Fallstaff, Cheswolde, Cross Country and Mount Washington) in our community since the passage of the legislation.
In fact, CHAI is proud to be the convener of the Northwest Community President’s Forum, which meets every other month and where these, as well as many other decisions, take place. CHAI also will be a recipient of these funds for several needed projects that will benefit the entire community.
While we understand the frustration that neighborhood leaders are feeling about the rate at which these resources are coming, we know that when they do, there will be additional remarkable improvements to the Northern Park Heights community. We are very grateful to our elected officials for putting this legislation together, as these resources are, and will be, an ongoing gift to our community.
At the conclusion of the Jewish holidays, we are reminded that new journeys are rarely easy, solidarity helps achieve communal goals, and good things come to those who wait.
Mitchell Posner
Executive Director
Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc.