Letters to the editor April 21

Letters to the editor April 21

More important than being Jewish, Sanders is a mensch

The headline “Sanders’ Jewish support is hardly a given” (April 14) not only foretold what my sons would call the lameness of the article — interviewing a bunch of very young persons — but also heralded how wrong-minded or inexperienced some folks can be.

We Americans absolutely should not base our support of a candidate on his Jewishness, and we should not judge him by how Jewish or how Zionist he acts. Such should never be “a given.” We are raised not to be fools.

We must judge our candidates as good American citizens, and vote based on that, without undue concern for who can beat someone else.

Looking back on Bernie Sanders’ public life, he has been open, eager to learn, egalitarian, an advocate for civil rights, equality and freedom, and a fighter for a fair chance for all and for the health and well-being of the people, the country, the Earth and the universe, and consistently so.

Videos online show him inviting and listening to all manner of voices, from Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s through Noam Chomsky in the 1980s to the Pope today. What widely varied input! He has a fully formed sense of fairness, different from anyone else, and has a steadfast resolve to achieve as much as he can for the country and the world.

Isn’t this what we raise our children to be? Isn’t this our ideal of a mensch?

Audrey N. Glickman


Sanders an opportunity for Jewish discussion

Walking into the Bernie Sanders campaign office in East Liberty last week I spotted a volunteer wearing a “Repair the World” pin. The pin, a reference to the ancient Jewish tradition of tikkun olam, was just one, subtle example of how Jewish moral tradition permeates the Sanders campaign. This shouldn’t be surprising: Jews have a rich history of being at the forefront of social justice movements, including the modern civil rights movement (of which Sanders was a part). As Warsaw Ghetto uprising leader Marek Edelman said, “To be a Jew means always being with the oppressed and never the oppressors.”

What is surprising is the radio silence from our Jewish institutions during this election cycle. While other communities are holding forums to hear from the candidates and debate their relative merits, our community is silent — a most un-Jewish quality. Does the prospect of the first Jewish president of the United States not merit discussion? Will this election really pass without an institution-sanctioned dialogue?

Greg Schaffer

Squirrel Hill