Letters to the editor
Headline is misleading
Your headline “For many Pennsylvania Jewish Republicans, yes to Oz and no to Mastriano” (Oct. 14) unfortunately implies Jewish Republicans are ALL voting for Oz. Even worse, it implies the Chronicle endorses this position. Republican Jews voting the party line without any consideration of voting for anyone else is absurd and not even the point of the article. The point Mastriano is even too extreme for most Republican Jews is important, but I hope not at a terrible cost.
Professor Daniel Shapiro
Upper St. Clair
Finding a home at Chabad
I am responding to Richard Sherman’s letter in the Oct. 14 Chronicle (“Progressive congregations may be alienating those who don’t lean far left”). I was a member of a Reform congregation since 1979 (when I got married) until four years ago. My parents joined in 1949 but were not founders. I then went to another South Hills congregation where I attended through confirmation. I was disenchanted by the rabbi and the boards who seemed to only care for big donors. I really don’t think that the rabbi ever knew my name. I thought about leaving for several years and stayed because of my parents and because I was married there — an allegiance. I joined another Reform congregation and again was disenchanted. I then felt completely alone, not belonging. I called a very good friend and she gave me the name of a Chabad in Cranberry. It was the best decision I have ever made. Rabbi Yossi and his wife, Leah, are so welcoming, no matter how much money you have. They remember who you are. I am so happy to belong to this up-and-coming Chabad and look forward to my attending events there and being involved with this group of people.
A few reasons why Jews should vote for Mastriano
I am responding to the following quote in the Chronicle’s article on Jewish Republicans and Doug Mastriano: “No Jew can pull the lever for Doug Mastriano. I don’t know how any Jew could look themselves in the mirror and think that that’s a good vote” (“For many Pennsylvania Jewish Republicans, yes to Oz and no to Mastriano,” Oct. 14).
Here are some reasons why Jews should vote for Mastriano:
Democratic interference in Republican primaries: Josh Shapiro and his allies spent $840,000 helping Mastriano win his primary. That is more than twice what Mastriano spent on his own ads. If Mastriano were as big a threat to the commonwealth as he is portrayed, then Shapiro isn’t fit to be governor for supporting such a person. A vote by a Republican for Shapiro is a vote to encourage Democrats to interfere in Republican primaries.
Abortion: Shapiro’s position is that he will veto any bill that restricts abortion rights. The current progressive position on abortion is that a woman should have an unrestricted right to a taxpayer-funded abortion for 40 weeks. In a nutshell, the position is that a fetus is basically the same as a tumor until it is declared to be a live birth. How is that position not as extreme as Mastriano’s?
Education: It is unlikely that Shapiro would do anything to get critical race theory out of the public schools.
Election integrity: Under the U.S. Constitution the state legislatures, not the governor nor the courts, have authority to make rules for presidential and congressional elections. Shapiro supported the PA Democratic Party lawsuit in which a partisan Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court voted to throw out the mail-in ballot deadline enacted by the legislature. There is a current lawsuit over whether undated mail-in ballots should be counted. If Shapiro does not support the law as enacted by the legislature, then election integrity is a reason to oppose him.
Energy and jobs: The Biden administration is currently trying to kill fossil fuel production in the U.S. Biden’s policies have the effect of driving up prices and making the electrical grid more unreliable, both of which kill jobs. Biden’s policies do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions because they basically just shift emissions to other countries.
According to Shapiro’s campaign website, “As Governor, Josh will invest in clean energy while creating thousands of good paying jobs for Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth. He’ll promote solar projects and adopt measures to increase access to renewable energy sources.” It is highly unlikely that Shapiro would oppose Biden’s failed energy policies. By “invest” he means that he will take taxpayer money and give it to political cronies and hope that the taxpayers haven’t thrown their money away on the next Solyndra.
Oz and Mastriano: Splitting votes makes no sense
Gabby Deutch’s article (“For many Pennsylvania Jewish Republicans, yes to Oz and no to Mastriano,” Oct. 14) and a full-page ad against Mastriano extremism make clear that Mastriano would be a disastrous choice for governor. No argument there.
Oz, of course, looks good in comparison (as almost anybody except, perhaps, Alex Jones and Donald Trump would), but only if you ignore: his stated positions in the Republican primary — that abortion is “murder” and supporting “Trump’s big lie”; his being hand-picked by Trump; and his ever-increasing support by Fox’s Laura Ingraham and other far-right bloviators. And, for good measure, if you ignore Oz’s backing of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 cure.
During the Republican primary, Oz voiced the standard Trump/MAGA positions on the 2020 election and abortion. As reported in The Guardian:
“By now the pattern is well established. Prominent individuals are so desperate for Trump’s blessing that they suspend cognitive functioning and act as his slavish mouthpiece…. Of all the many examples of this form, there has rarely been as dramatic a shedding of fact-based reasoning in exchange for Trump’s universe of ‘alternative facts’ than that displayed by Oz. He has descended from the scientific heights of a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, down through his promotion of quack remedies on his daytime TV show, and into a full-MAGA embrace of the Trump big lie.”
And, as reported by The Daily Beast:
“The Daily Beast has obtained audio from a campaign event this May where Oz staked out his most extreme position yet, telling voters he believes abortion at any stage of development is ‘still murder,’ including from the moment of conception. “I do believe life starts at conception, and I’ve said that multiple times,” Oz said during the event, a tele-town hall held a week before the Republican primary. “If life starts at conception,” Oz added, “why do you care what age the heart starts beating at? It’s, you know, it’s still murder, if you were to terminate a child whether their heart’s beating or not.”
Now that he’s in a general election, Oz is “moderating” (flip-flopping?), leaving voters to question which way he’ll vote on abortion and “election security” issues should he be elected. If recent history is any guide, he will vote to please the MAGA base.
And, as to the hydroxychloroquine, it turns out (as reported by CNBC in September) that Oz owned $615,000 and $50,000 worth of stock in Thermo Fisher Scientific and McKesson, respectively, which produced and distributed the drug, raising “… questions about what he stood to gain from its wider use during the pandemic.”
Oz is not a good choice for Pennsylvania, either.
Charles H. Alpern
This election, Jewish Republicans must cross party lines
To our Jewish Pennsylvanians who are Republicans: Now is not the time to stick to your political party. More is at stake than partisanship (“For many Pennsylvania Jewish Republicans, yes to Oz and no to Mastriano,” Oct. 14).
Mehmet Oz wants to be elected senator over John Fetterman. He does not live in Pennsylvania. In fact, he has shown his New Jersey mansion in a campaign ad on TV. The Republican party underestimates our intelligence by running someone from out of state. Furthermore, he has dual citizenship with Turkey. Does he belong in our Senate? John Fetterman is a brilliant guy and a lifelong Pennsylvanian.
In the Shapiro-Mastriano race for governor, we must support Shapiro.
Mastriano is on record as a Christian nationalist, according to our Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle and the New York Times. He has courted the website Gab for votes, which is so right-wing that the Tree of Life killer posted antisemitic messages there before the attack. He does not believe in ending pregnancies even after rape or incest or dependent on the age of the girl. Jewish law provides that the mother’s wellbeing supersedes the fetus’s. Women who miscarry may be unable to get medical help in the states that ban abortion.
Both of these men should be anathema to every thinking Jewish person in Pennsylvania.
We all have to make the effort to vote for Fetterman and Shapiro. If you can’t vote for a Democrat, please don’t vote.
Erika P. Kreisman
News of Weinberg Village closure disturbing
I read the story about the imminent closure of Weinberg Village and the plans for the future project with great interest (“JAA plans urban senior village on Browns Hill Road property,” Oct. 14). My mother is one of the residents who is being displaced.
I was informed about the closure on Oct. 10 when I received a phone call from the administrator. Apparently, there had been a leak to the media and I was being notified, hopefully, before reading about it or seeing it on the news. Needless to say, it was a great shock, as my mother has only been there for six months.
I am quite dismayed about the way that the JAA has chosen to handle this situation. There are now 37 residents who are all scrambling to find new places to live by Dec. 13. These people are all elderly and need help with some aspects of their daily lives. The top floor of Weinberg Village is a locked memory care unit. This is where my mother resides. These people cannot participate in the search for new living arrangements. Some have lived there for years and others, like my mother, arrived recently.
I wonder why the JAA chose to proceed with the closure in this way. I would think — knowing the Village would close sooner rather than later — that they would have refrained from accepting new residents at least one year ago. Residents pay a sizable community fee upon moving in. It seems unfair to take this from people who think they will be spending the remainder of their lives there, only to find that they must move just a few months later.
I also wonder why residents weren’t told sooner — and when the weather was warmer — that the closure would be occurring. From my perspective, this would have been far kinder and given people more time to find the right place. As far as helping residents to find other housing options, I do not consider being given brochures about other facilities very helpful.
Additionally, for those who want to live in the city, there are a very limited number of facilities that serve the needs of seniors, especially those with memory issues. Family members want to spend time with their loved ones and not have a long commute, which reduces the time spent visiting. So, people are now experiencing difficulty finding facilities where they wish to move or that will fit their needs.
Finally, some employees, will lose their jobs in December — right before the holidays. All in all, this has been handled in an extremely uncaring fashion. Shame on the JAA.
Michele J. Mackey