Letters to the Editor: Mental illness in Charedi community

Letters to the Editor: Mental illness in Charedi community

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Jewish News front page covering mental health concerns in the Jewish community
Jewish News front page covering mental health concerns in the Jewish community

Mental illness in Charedi community

Alex Davis’ front page report described a study on the barriers faced by Charedi women with mental health problems (Jewish News, 10 August).

In his article, Laurie Rackind of Jewish mental health charity Jami is quoted as saying that an increasing number of Charedi organisations and leaders are acknowledging the need to address the issue of mental health.

I endorse Mr Rackind’s comments by describing the approach of Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Centre in Bnei Brak.

Mental illness is a common phenomenon in all sectors of the population, including the Charedi community.

Ever since Dr Moshe Rothschild founded the hospital in 1996, he was determined to break down the secrecy, shame and stigma attached to conventional therapy in the Charedi community.


He revolutionised the Charedi approach to mental illness by pioneering the hospital’s first outpatient mental health clinic in 2006.

Tens of thousands of patients now visit the hospital’s mental health clinics every year.

Sadly, the Charedi community is not immune to anorexia, as is evident from the fact that more than 500 mothers recently attended a lecture on “identifying and treating eating disorders” as part of the hospital’s community outreach programme.

The treatment of eating disorders can be long and complex, but when treatment is successfully concluded, we can definitely say that a life has been saved.

Professor Rael Strous, Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Wing

Brian would do well to look at charedim before judging reform and liberal Jews

Until your columnist Brian Gordon stops his rants about progressive Jews, I will have little respect for him (Jewish News, 3 August).

Why does he not write about prostitution in Israel, trafficking of young girls and exploitation of Chinese and Filipino workers by Israeli criminals?

How about this: half the Jews in jail in the UK are Israelis? Wake up Brian and stop hitting soft targets. Some of the drug dealers and money launderers in jail in the US are Orthodox rabbis.

I would sooner do business with Reform and Liberal Jews than Charedim.

Norman Bright, By email

‘Street language’ shouldn’t be printed

Perhaps some of your correspondents are right about Stephen Oryszczuk’s controversial column on Gaza, but Daniel Baum’s letter should never have been allowed (Jewish News, 17 August). Using the terms ‘ignoramus,’ ‘uneducated’ and ‘simplistic’ is to reduce discussion to the language of the streets. You should not give such invective the oxygen of publicity.

Barry Hyman, Bushey Heath

The future looks grim

“When you go home, tell them of us, and say: For your tomorrow, we gave our today.” So reads a memorial to the soldiers who gave their lives defending Britain, democracy and freedom.

Cracks appearing in corbyn leadership

With regard to an article I fully agree with – ‘CST chief: Anti-Semitism would rise under Corbyn’ (Jewish News, 9 August) – this sort of comment unfortunately does not make any difference.

Before and during the general election campaign, we were continually told about the list of unsavoury characters Jeremy Corbyn had befriended during his time in the shadows, but voters still ignored it.

They were conned by his hypocrisy and lies and just regarded those sort of comments as mud-slinging and media bias against their Jeremy.

The only way to keep Corbyn out of Downing Street is for there to not be a general election in the next five years, by which time the Corbyn phenomenon will have come and gone.

His true colours are starting to show and the cracks beginning to appear.

Russell Ballen, By email

Would they recognise Britain today?

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender minority agenda forced on the majority. Terrorists and their sympathisers marching in our cities inciting murder and the destruction of Israel. Anti-Semitism rampant in the Labour Party and universities – where racist clerics are invited to speak but those opposed are uninvited, shouted down or attacked. Where the authorities persistently ignored child grooming in 20 English cities. Where 5,000 cases of female genital mutilation are recognised annually but no prosecutions result. Where sharia law has been proposed by a leading church cleric and 80 sharia courts operate, riding roughshod over English law.

How would they view Britain facilitating mass immigration from the Third World? That’s multiculturalism – yet that culture is antithetical to Judeo-Christian values – regarding women as chattel, scorning the infidel, despising the Jew. Massive immigration has brought a concomitant rise in anti-Semitism.

An exchange of populations is taking place. Britons are not marrying and if they do, have few children, insufficient to maintain the population; Jews follow this trend.

As in Europe, the indigenous population will die out this century. Meanwhile, Muslim immigrants bear children at twice the rate and 100,000 converts swell their ranks.

Jews additionally face the problem of assimilation. Muslims don’t have this problem as apostates face the death penalty.

All in all, the future of Jews in Britain looks grim.

Rabbi Menahem Lester, London and Israel

Hasmo decision was correct

The suggestion of David Meyer of Partnerships for Jewish Schools that the decision regarding the Hasmonean schools “will potentially have a serious impact on the secondary school provision for the community” does not have a bearing on the decision.

Sadiq Khan’s call was rightly based on environmental and local infrastructural issues. Open spaces and green belt land within the Greater London area must be preserved. Second, there is a lack of sustainable transport measures to support the plans. The damage to cross communal relations would be catastrophic.

I’m opposed to any further development on this site that increases the strain on local infrastructure.

Michael Burman, NW7

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