Letters

Good things at our hospital too

After reading the article by Lamis Shibli Ghadir regarding the fantastic work the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem is doing working with Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze children (Jewish News, 4 February), I thought readers would like to know this is not unique in Israeli hospitals.

At the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, for example, the charity Save A Child’s Heart (SACH), which specialises in congenital heart disease, has carried out almost 4,000 surgeries on children from 50 different Third World countries at no cost to the patients, half of whom are from the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Iraq.

Doctors volunteer their time free of charge and other costs are met by SACH supporters around the world. And it doesn’t end there; we also train surgeons and clinicians from those countries, including the West Bank and Gaza, in paediatric cardiology surgery and even send medical missions to Third World countries to teach, assess and follow up post-surgery.

Every Tuesday, SACH holds clinics specifically for children from the West Bank and Gaza and, in the same way as the Hadassah Hospital, we can have a Jewish surgeon working side by side with a Muslim surgeon working on a Christian patient. Our head of intensive care states: “I don’t care what colour the child is, as long as it’s not blue”. SACH is a non-governmental organisation and is recognised by the UN and EU.

Sometimes the positive work being done in Israel is not that well known, but I can tell you that SACH lives up to its slogan, Mending Hearts and Building Bridges. If Jewish News readers would like to see the positive work being done, there is no finer way to do so than by logging on to the Save A Child’s Heart website at www.saveachildsheart.com

David Silverston Trustee, Save A Child’s Heart UK

Is this Judaism? No, don’t believe it is

While I sympathise with Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein’s distaste for criticism of Liberal Judaism conversions (Jewish News, 4 February), there is a more serious point that needs to be considered – whether Dr Goldstein’s religion can really be considered to be a form of Judaism in any meaningful sense. Since its theological system differs in so many fundamental points from traditional Jewish beliefs, this is certainly something that needs to be taken into account. If one comes to the conclusion that the differences between it and Orthodox Judaism are so great that it is, in essence, a separate religion, then conversions to it, however sincere, cannot be considered to be conversions to Judaism at all – whatever the procedures employed may be. Nobody would seriously consider that conversion to Christianity made a non-Jew into a Jew, even though it was originally also a Jewish sect.

Martin D. Stern Salford

Don’t forget the role of our tutors

In light of your recent Jewish School Awards, I would like to add my congratulations to our community’s teachers for their dedication and all the excellent work that they do. Jewish children consistently do well in school and achieve excellent exam results. It is also worth mentioning the fantastic work that many tutors do to supplement the education of our community’s children. At Newman Tuition, we work with hundreds of children at Jewish (and non-Jewish) schools, providing them with one-to-one learning opportunities which are not always possible at school. Working together, our community’s excellent teachers and our passionate tutors are helping our young to thrive.

Zac Newman NW4

It’s ok to be fickle – just nosh a pickle!

I’d like to share with Jewish News readers my poem (sung to the tune of My Favourite Things) about Jewish nosh…

Fresh egg and onions, a little chopped liver.

Scottish smoked salmon? Well maybe a sliver.

Olives and new green, some haimische too.

These are the staples of many a Jew

Beigels and platzels, rye bread and challah

Chopped and fried fish balls, a deep golden colour.

Cream cheese and herring the deli shop sells.

These are a few of my favourite smells.

When you’re hungry, when you’re lonely, When you’re feeling sad, it’s OK, be fickle, just nosh on a pickle And then you won’t feel so bad.

Tzimmes and cholent and salt beef and latkes.

A little more? Sure, let me loosen my gatkes.

Blintzes and kugel, so tasty it sings,

These are a few of my favourite things

Honey cake, cheesecake, strudel and plava,

All of them dishes your taste buds will savour.

Halva and kichels and rugelach, too

All part and parcel of being a Jew;

Barley soup, chicken soup, served by the ladle,

Brimming with lokshen, or maybe a kneidel,

Kreplach so tasty they make your heart sing,

These are a few of my favourite things.

Have a bissell, just a shissel, if you’re feeling low,

Oh please be quiet, I’m trying to diet

Well just one before I go…

Michael Medayler Ilford