New JCC hours lauded
Kudos to the leadership of the Jewish Community Center for taking the bold step of aligning their policies with the mores of our community, (“JCC expands hours as part of new guidelines, Dec. 2”).
It may seem counterintuitive that a rabbi would laud the JCC’s decision to expand their Shabbat and holiday hours to include times when one might otherwise expect Jews to be in synagogue. But I am grateful to know there are those within our community with the wisdom to acknowledge the way things really are.
So it was that nearly 2,000 years ago, our ancient rabbis evinced such respect for the life experiences of “the Jews in (and out) of the pews.” Indeed, more than once our sages resolved a talmudic dispute with the dictum, “Go out and see what the people are doing” (Berachot 45a, Eruvin 14b).
So though the new JCC policy might appear to frustrate some congregational leaders, the truth is those who will participate in JCC activities on Shabbat mornings and holidays are not the same Jews who would otherwise be in services. How much the better that there is now a Jewish environment to attract and engage them.
Clearly, the contours of Jewish life are changing. Individuals are making different choices than was the case in generations past, and our community is organizing in ways different than was true only a few years ago. Change is inevitable, rapid and ongoing. How to respond? As has the JCC’s board of directors: with vision. For as the Book of Proverbs counsels, “without vision, [our] community will perish” (29:18).
Though a new vision for moving forward necessarily carries degrees of doubt and even fear, with thoughtful planning, respect for the concerns of others, and a clear focus on our shared future, we can be certain that Pittsburgh’s Jewish community will not only survive, but will thrive for generations to come.
Rabbi Aaron Bisno
(The author is the senior rabbi of Rodef Shalom Congregation.)
I found Simon Greer’s Nov. 18 column, “Beck’s history revision is a threat to history,” full of mistakes, lacking wisdom, poor in writing style, weak in logic and deficient in history knowledge.
First, the title is misleading: the discussed matter is not about the Holocaust, it is about some actions taken by the young boy, and so, it could not be a “threat to history” of the Holocaust. The title deliberately leads a common reader in the wrong direction.
In his first two-and-a-half columns Greer gives a history of his polemic with Glenn Beck with no word on the essence of the subject in question. Instead there is a lot of statistics about used words without mentioning their negative or positive meaning. Clearly, the amount of used words does not tell much about the content. So, this part of the article tells nothing meaningful to the reader.
Then follows the sentence, “Beck’s constant and inappropriate invocation of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany on the air.” In my opinion, it is an unsupported and false statement.
It is not important how many millions of dollars George Soros spends to promote his ideas. It is well known, that the amount of money means nothing, unless it carries some purpose and ideas.
As a former Soviet slave, I am warning my shortsighted, naïve, liberal fellow Jews: funneling money by Soros to leftist organizations aimed to create a Marxist “Globalization,” reordering rights, abolition of private property, and firearm ownership means nothing but an attempt to convert a free society to a Soviet type dictatorship.
Soros’ unjustifiable one-man war against the legitimately elected President G. Bush was open and vigorous. Possession of a lot of money does not give a person the right to consider himself above everybody. He supported the organization, which treated every conservative opinion as a misinformation.
Beck has every right to defend our country against “change,” “modernization,” “socialization” and against naïve and liberal fools. His efforts are aimed to prevent the development of an artificial model of society, which always proves to be aggressive, repressive, and which eventually disappears after leaving horrible bloody trails.
Wake up, my dearest fellow Americans. Liberalism now is a dangerous mistake. Fear change. It brings blood and destruction.
We must work together
Congratulations to the Jewish Community Center and Brian Schreiber for addressing the changing needs of our community by adopting new guidelines based on their vision, mission and values.
Our Jewish community can only be strengthened by such insight, forward thinking and action.
The JCC has given me further validation that we must continue to work together and we must continue to develop programs collaboratively so that we will build a strong Jewish community for our future and for future generations.
Ann Bass Roth