The anger and shame
I felt a sense of shame and anger after reading last week’s Jewish News about how four young black Jews have been treated by our community.
Judaism takes pride in being a caring and all-encompassing religion. In this instance, it was far from that high moral standpoint.
As Jews, we abhor antisemitism and how it affects our lives. With regard to the black Jews and how they have been treated by some segments of Anglo-Jewry, it’s time some high-minded Jews looked at themselves in the mirror and showed some rachmones (compassion) to those courageous young people, whose heinous crime is to want to be Jewish in every sense of the word. I say kol hakavod to them all.
In my synagogue, Southgate Progressive, we have people of that persuasion, who take an active part in synagogue life, and I am sure other like-minded synagogues follow suit.
That’s what Judaism should be about — sharing and caring, not petty and unfriendly.
Robert Dulin, Bricket Wood
We are a naturally nosy people
I’m sadly convinced that some Jews are indeed racist, yet there is another way of putting last week’s upsetting Jewish News front page about the black Jewish experince into perspective. We Jews are by nature nosy, social creatures and, as far as I know, any newcomer to a shul or local Jewish community will be grilled on who they are, where they came from and probably what they ate for dinner!
It’s just a Jewish thing. It may seem or feel alienating, but in fact it’s mostly the opposite.
We are looking for connections. It even has a name. It’s called Jewish geography.
Pamela Levene, Israel
CST should make report public
The Community Security Trust is unable to release its new report into online antisemitism because the content is so extreme.
If the Trust (yes, we need to trust you for all information, no matter how painful) is to do its job properly, it must show honesty regarding all aspects of hate towards the Jewish community — by the extreme right or left, and by Christians, Muslims and even Jews.
Martin Cohen, By email
We’re allowed a view
During Sunday’s Board of Deputies plenary, former president Jonathan Arkush asked what right Tal Ofer and I had to bring the following motion to be debated as we do not live in Israel or fight for it?
“This Board of Deputies reaffirms its support for bilateral negotiations toward a two-state solution, leading to a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state.
“Any unilateral steps by either side will be damaging to renewed efforts to restart peace negotiations.”
Does Mr Arkush deny one of the signatories to the letter opposing annexation, Sir Ben Helfgott MBE, a Holocaust survivor and Olympic athlete, the right to an opinion on such an issue?
I regard it as if Sir Ben had handed the baton to us to give voice to his concerns about events in Israel.
Does Mr Arkush believe Henry Kissinger, Malcolm Rifkind, Dennis Ross and Jared Kushner should have excluded themselves from taking part in shaping policy in the Middle East because they are Jewish but don’t live in Israel?
Richard Cohen, Loughton
Abuse of elected position
The Board of Deputies’ plenary on Sunday saw the usual left-leaning suspects attack Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli ambassador-designate, demanding that the Board condemn her appointment.
Rightly, the Board’s president resisted these calls, pointing out that Hotovely will be Ambassador of Israel to the Court of St James’, not to the Jewish community.
At every plenary, we are subjected to these left-wing harangues, fuelled by protagonists’ visceral hatred of the present Israeli government. Yet while some represent political organisations, others represent mainstream congregations. Have they ever sought approval from their shul boards or the membership?
Every deputy is entitled to express views on Israel – but is not entitled to abuse his/her elected position in order to do so.
Brian Gedalla, Deputy, Finchley Synagogue