Letters to the Editor 4/23/10


Issue of April 23, 2010/ 5 Iyar, 5770

One ceremony for six million

To the Editor:

Although it has been 65 years since what has become one of the darkest chapters in human existence, the Holocaust remains very real for the survivors, their families and for Jews around the world. As few words can aptly describe its abject horrors, the Holocaust is one event that unites us as Jews without regard to what sect we belong to in our practice of Judaism.

On Yom Hashoah, we should come together as one in remembering the six million who were murdered at the hands of a sinister regime. As they were lead to their death, they were not asked if they were Orthodox or Conservative or Reform; they were executed simply because they were Jews. So it was with a heavy heart that on Yom Hashoah I was torn as to where I should go to pay my respects and honor their memory. Shall I go to the Conservative or Orthodox ceremony? As I ended up with my private thoughts in the sanctity of my home I wondered why our community can’t unite as one singular people, for just one time during the year out of respect to those who perished.

Preserving and sharing the story of the Holocaust is not just an important way to pay our deepest respect to those whose lives were tragically cut short, but it is vital in fighting those who deny it ever occurred and to ensure it never happens again. That should be the bond that brings us together in our resolve to unite us in one singular voice, one people, no matter what philosophy of Judaism we practice. And that, my friends, would be a most fitting tribute to six million of our own that faced unimaginable horrors.

Rina Shkolnik


Shul should play it straight

To the Editor:

As many readers know, Bais Medrash of Harborview received sweeping variances in 2005 to build a major new temple building on Harborview South, an otherwise quiet residential street. For whatever reason, the temple then proceeded to illegally increase the size of the building, violating the size limitations that had been imposed by the Lawrence Village zoning board. Now, the zoning board has granted further variances to legalize the violations.

Despite this, there will be no court challenge to the zoning board’s most recent decision. That is because, illegal expansion-or-not, the structure remains a huge edifice designed to hold hundreds of people, and an inescapable reality for the neighborhood to bear. Rather, as a matter of good faith, it is now time to allow ownership the opportunity to prove its rhetoric true and show that the temple can be a good neighbor.

Indeed, it is much more important to remember that the zoning board requires, and ownership expressly agrees, that with few minor exceptions, the temple will be used only on the Sabbath and holidays. That’s the only thing protecting our property values, and keeping Harborview South and adjacent streets from quickly devolving into a dangerous and permanent nightmare of speeders, horn honkers, traffic jams and impossible parking conditions.

So, our message to the owners is this: Good luck with your new edifice, but please do not renege on the promise you made when you still needed the variances. You signed an agreement to limit the use of the building to the Sabbath and holidays. Do not play a cynical and cruel joke on the neighbors by attempting to change the rules, after you were granted all your variances. Stay honest.

Charles Kovit

Attorney for Ms. Christine Moushoutas

Holocaust is remembered

To the Editor:

Thank you for your headline coverage of Yom Hashoah and especially the Five Towns community-wide program (The memory of memory — Holocaust commemoration draws hundreds in Lawrence; April 16, 2010). Your articles about the commemoration let those who didn’t attend, and the outside world, especially the deniers, know that the Holocaust did happen and we have proof.

Even though it is sad that the first generation of survivors is dwindling, we are well represented by the second generation — by Ben Brafman who let the audience know, and the deniers too, that more than six million human beings perished.

Bruce Weinberg


Aviva’s Wigs had the perfect sheitel

To the Editor,

After reading your article about sheitel macher Aviva Rizel, I was anxious to meet her (Wigging out? This sheitel macher can help with that, too; Feb. 26, 2010). As a frum woman who is always in search of the perfect sheitel, I was truly excited.

My meeting with Aviva was wonderful. She made me so comfortable. After trying many different brands I was truly impressed by the beauty and workmanship behind her sheitels.

I must say, your article just captured a small glimpse into the genuine kindness and professional manner in which Aviva conducts herself. Her knowledge about sheitels is immense, as is her heart. It quickly became clear to me that not only was I going to be thrilled with my new sheitel, I was also going to have a new friend. She is so easy to speak with; I was quickly opening up to her and sharing life stories. It can’t hurt that she is also a marriage therapist! (They say that hairdressers also become their customers’ therapists.)

My daughter-in-law had just given birth when I asked Aviva if she would make a house call so she too could enjoy the beauty of Aviva’s sheitels. My daughter-in-law was thrilled.

Aviva introduced me to a very talented hair designer named Lana who also works at Aza’s Salon. Lana is a master stylist who took her time to precisely style and cut my new sheitel. I’m sure she could feel both my excitement and trepidation (after all, the hair doesn’t grow back if you aren’t happy with the cut). No worry here — Lana is so talented, with an artistic flair — that I get many compliments. More importantly, I am so happy. My search for the perfect sheitel has ended. I felt I had to say thank you for acting as the shaliach (go-between) and introducing me to Aviva.

Caryn Baraff