Letters to the editor July 12

Letters to the editor July 12

Mission Atidim remembered

Your great description and imagery of the recent Centennial Mission (“From family tree to Tel Aviv kitchen, mission made lasting impact,” July 5) brought back fond memories of Mission Atidim.   That March 2006 UJF-YAD trip in conjunction with “Tel Aviv 1” was the best of my three visits to the Promised Land, one which I immensely enjoyed experiencing with 80 fellow young


My having been asked by Federation staff to keep a blog on that trip led me to share since March 2006 my weekly J BLOGH of Jewish humor and articles with a mailing list of hundreds of Jewish friends and acquaintances on issues of local and international topics and events and to chair a three-year-long Melton course.

Our group was motivated to return and become even more committed to tikkun olam than we were before; and I am sure that this much larger mission will get even more people extensively involved in and dedicated to helping Federation agencies and Jewish causes and fellow MOTs.

Jeff Pollock

Squirrel Hill

Understand Voter ID law

It is gratifying to see so many organizations coming together under the umbrella of the Pittsburgh Jewish Social Justice Roundtable to help coordinate activities that further the shared vision of tikkun olam in Pittsburgh.

The new Voter ID law is not easy to understand and requirements keep changing. With the possibility of so many Pittsburghers needing help in understanding the requirements to be registered to vote in November, it is good to see an organization like PJSJR coordinating the upcoming public forum on Voter ID Bill requirements Monday, July 23, at the Squirrel Hill Jewish Community Center.

Bringing together so many groups with so many different points of view such as Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation, Ahavath Achim, Jewish Association on Aging, the Jewish Women’s Center, Jewish Family & Children’s Service and the Reform Action Commission on Social Advocacy gives hope that many of the problems we face as a community can be addressed and solutions found through coordinated activities.


Marc Yergin

Squirrel Hill

Be careful what you wish for

I would suggest to those who are thrilled by the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the Affordable Patient Care Act that their joy may be short-lived.

I acknowledge that the American health care system and its “fee for service” model are disastrous.  It encourages unnecessary tests, procedures and operations.  Insurance is denied to individuals with pre-existing conditions, and health insurance companies have been able to drop individuals from coverage.  Many use expensive hospital emergency rooms for routine care, sticking their neighbors with the bill. The medical model is held up as the only standard of care recognized by government and insurers while there is generally no coverage for natural healing care or for vitamins and supplements, which facilitate good health.

[But] the Obama plan levies inadequate penalties on individuals that opt out of securing health care insurance and upon large companies that choose not to insure their workers, providing disincentives to participate.  The plan would add millions of individuals to the Medicaid rolls with the federal government footing all of the cost for years as it cements a new set of entitlement expectations.

The administration could have examined and adopted best practices of nations that deliver cost-effective, efficient care. Instead, a flawed, omnibus 2,700-page bill, which virtually no member of Congress read or understood, was passed over widespread objections.

The president asserts that savings will counter the cost of the plan, but even the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has predicted that it will inflict a staggering $1.76 trillion in deficit spending over the next decade, this as the nation is drowning in a $16 trillion debt.

I would refer readers who believe the rosy scenario painted by the president to revisit the Medicare program at its initiation in 1964, at which time government economists forecast the annual tariff for it would be $12 billion by 1990.  The actual cost rang in at a staggering $108 billion.  If the same type of “accuracy” is found to exist in the Obama plan, the nation is doomed, the word “Affordable” within the legislation to be seen as comical.  Be careful what you wish for, friends.

Oren Spiegler

Upper St. Clair

The key question

Congratulations for daring to speak out when so many others continue to be quiet.  Your simple, concise statement, “Yes, Its Personal” (editorial, July 5), plus the content of the editorial — especially the comments about failed Palestinian leadership — succinctly summarize the topic.  I had not been aware of The Jewish Chronicle before. I plan to be a follower now.

The key question, however, is how to educate others.  For example, I met someone recently (Jewish) who agreed with me (us) about the failed Palestinian leadership but would not budge from her opinion that “Israelis know better and should do more than we expect from the Palestinian leadership.”  How do we counter such logic?

Jay Shaffer

New York