Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Readers respond

(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

Synagogue shooter’s lawyers defamed people with epilepsy
Thank you for your article on epilepsy (“Epilepsy association says synagogue shooter’s lawyers have misrepresented epilepsy,” July 7). As a member of Dor Hadash, a retired physician and, most importantly, the mother of someone with epilepsy, I was infuriated by the defense proposal that Robert Bowers killed 11 of our community members because he had epilepsy and possibly schizophrenia. The callow defense defamed and hurt people with epilepsy and those with schizophrenia. The Epilepsy Association of Western and Central PA has worked long and hard to dispel myths about epilepsy. Bowers has caused pain to the families who lost loved ones and our entire community. The defense resorted to old, harmful tropes to excuse this. Thankfully, there are journalists like you and the EAWPA.

Ellen Berne

Praise for report about Murray Avenue Kosher
I just want to thank you for your gentle handling of the Murray Avenue Kosher situation (“Consumer alert posted at Murray Avenue Kosher,” July 14). I knew the story would have to be told, and am, of course, very troubled by what the investigators found, but am also so very sad and a little frightened that we may not have a kosher store to turn to. Everybody is talking about it. Everybody is disturbed by it, but what happens next is the question. This incident could do significant damage to their business. In this small a community, things could get much worse, and the Chronicle wields great power in the outcome of kosher food availability in Pittsburgh.

I was relieved that you did not take the opportunity to sensationalize the facts, which would have been very easy to do! What was alleged was bad enough. That being said, my husband was there last week and there was a huge professional crew scrubbing and cleaning. You could smell it in the air. That clean smell and appearance was present when I was there the following day. But the store was a ghost town.

So thank you for telling the story in an honest, fair and restrained way — and putting a hopeful spin on it. You really are community-minded and it’s appreciated!

Hoping that Murray Avenue Kosher will meet the expectations and the need that we all have for it.

Nina Butler
Squirrel Hill

Not willing to settle for ‘subpar conditions’
For way too long, our Pittsburgh Jewish community has accepted substandard conditions at Murray Avenue Kosher. Now we know, thanks to the Allegheny County Health Department, the severity of some of the issues (“Consumer alert posted at Murray Avenue Kosher,” July 14).

To the owners of Murray Avenue Kosher, I say that your response five days after the report was made public is a complete and utter disappointment. As a business owner, you (not the landlord) have full responsibility to maintain the standards required of a food retailer so as not to put the health of the community at risk, especially given your monopolistic market position. Furthermore, you should have immediately apologized to the community and then followed up with actions being taken to address the findings. You also need to acknowledge that some of the findings are severe and take full ownership for putting the health of our community at risk. What will change going forward?

To our Jewish community leadership, including clergy, the Vaad, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and leaders with both experience and resources, I ask for your support and guidance. A vibrant Jewish community needs a clean, safe store in which to shop with fresh products (not expired dates), a wide assortment and staff that is there to serve its customers. With the growth of Hillel Academy and Yeshiva Schools, and the expansion into Greenfield that the Pittsburgh Jewish community is experiencing, we can no longer settle for subpar conditions.

What will be done to help our community?

Amy Dubin

Fond memories of Squirrel Hill
Thanks for the article “The Marquis Club includes a lifetime membership” (July 7) and other previous articles which interest this former Squirrel Hill resident (living in South Florida since 1987 due to employment issues). As for my teen years, I spent two wonderful years in B’nai B’rith Youth — AZA for boys. I learned many valuable life lessons there that served me well for the 50-plus years that followed. Their office was on the second floor near Squirrel Hill News near Forbes and Murray. Our adult adviser, the late Meyer Tatelman, was a wise, patient mentor to this group of teen boys.

Joel Mandel
Boynton Beach, Florida

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