Letters to the Editor


Issue of August 29, 2008

Not in the mob

To the Editor:

I found the article ‘Congregation Beis Ephraim Yitzchok welcomes new rav’ (August 22, 2008) to be offensive, insulting and inappropriate. What a nasty way to welcome a rabbi into the Five Towns community. How different your welcome was from ours. As a member of the Young Israel of Staten Island, I can state that [Rabbi Zvi Ralbag’s] “yichus” was never discussed in our community. We couldn’t care less about his family’s business. It’s not as if he were born into the Cosa Nostra.

How fortunate our previous assistant rabbi, Eliyahu Kaufman, was to become a rav in Highland Park and not in your neck of the woods.

Myra Lanter

Staten Island, NY

Thank you

To the Editor:

We are writing to express our appreciation to The Jewish Star for publicizing the Aug. 11 Long Island Celebration of Israel’s 60th Anniversary in Eisenhower Park.

The event was very successful and sent a message to the world that Long Island supports the State of Israel. We were so blessed that the impending rain never materialized over Eisenhower Park, although it did rain in other parts of the county.

Again, thank you for your cooperation and your interest in the Conference.

Constance Osattin

Executive Director

COJONC, Conference of Jewish Organizations of Nassau County

Shocking Discoveries

To the Editor:

I read with interest Avi Billet’s article “Loving the Ger” (Parshat Eikev; August 22, 2008). The concept of choosing to be Jewish is of universal interest. Rabbi Billet explains Eliyahu Rabba’s categorization of converts into three groups: conversions of convenience, conversion for ulterior motives and conversions like “Abraham”.

In the book “Suddenly Jewish, Jews Raised as Gentiles Discover Their Jewish Roots,” Barbara Kessel discusses several categories of Jews including: crypto Jews, hidden children and children of converts. How people reacted to their newly discovered status makes for fascinating reading.

Barbara Kessel will be presenting a lecture and discussion of her book at the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, 207 Grove Avenue in Cedarhurst, on Tuesday, November 11 at 8:00 p.m. There is a $5 charge. I encourage the entire community to attend.

Sheryl Wyszkowski

Art and Leisure Director

JCC of the Greater Five Towns