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The JC Letters Page July 21 2017

Harry Levy, Caroline Dascal, Malkie Benmayer, Eric Woolf, Gordon Kay, James Espir and Max and Milo the dogs share their views with JC readers

    (Getty)

    It takes two to tango, one to be ignorant 

    It’s always a mistake to judge anything from the outside and in Paul Burke’s case extremely silly!

    We Jewish women are strong and feisty for the most part, and if we put our husbands on a pedestal it’s because they deserve to be there! We are generally treated like queens, so it’s no issue whatsoever to go to the restaurant the husband prefers because the next time it will be the restaurant the wife prefers.

    He may have a belly but it doesn’t stop him getting on his hands and knees to clean up oil spilled on a granite floor that his wife couldn’t do due to a very bad knee.

    It takes two to tango and in any successful relationship, no matter what the religion, it’s a matter of give and take.

    Malkie Benmayer
    London NW4

    Oh dear, Paul, you really don’t know Jewish people as much as you think.

     Marrying out, the phrase  you seem to find distasteful, is, for most Jewish parents,  the biggest sorrow and disappointment in life if our children were to do just that.  

    From the moment they are born, we are already dreaming of the day we will see our children under the chupah continuing the line of our traditions.

    And that, Mr Burke, is when we  might just bring you another distasteful expression. We call it nachas.

    Caroline Dascal 
    London E8

    Local is national        

    David Byers’s article We still need local scrutiny ( JC July 7), was one of the most important contributions to the Grenfell  Tower disaster I have seen, or heard, so far. However, it is not entirely correct to say that the whole issue of local community news is due to recent decreases in circulations of local/regional newspapers.

    This is not new. As chairman/managing director of some of the major newspaper groups in the industry during the past 50 years, the facts are that local daily/weekly newspapers have continuously lost print sales for over 40 years, with only a few remaining.

    However, the technological revolution in the newspaper industry started in the 1960s and it is not entirely fair to say that major publishing groups and companies were “hopelessly slow to anticipate the digital news revolution”. Some, not all, invested massively in new technology, others sank without trace. 

    Community news, local news, regional news, is national news, and vice versa. It’s all a matter of editorial professionalism and judgment. Providing financial subsidies is not the answer and never was. 

    The current media industry needs to return to providing professional, objective, factual news coverage, utilising the incredible technology available, instead of the dreadful, opinion-based, politically motivated, outdated stuff served up by so-called “experts”, which did nothing to help the people of Grenfell Towers. 

    Harry Levy
    Pinner HA5

    Service industry

    Stephen Pack’s comment in last week’s JC was: “We have seen the success of youth-oriented initiatives like Minyan on the Move, Cholent Fest and the growth of Tribe."

    The US is now about so much more than attending services on a Shabbat morning or a venue for life-cycle events. We are proud that we have been able to expand and incorporate more events than ever before.” 

    I was brought up to believe that attending shul on Shabbat was what kept us Jews together.

    Eric Woolf
    Jerusalem 

    Seaside school

    Thank you to Simon Rocker for reporting on our current project to explore whether a Jewish school is viable in Brighton & Hove.

    You made a point that, according to the 2011 census, there are 2,670 Jews in Brighton & Hove. That does not allow for those who might not choose to mention religious identity in their census entry.

    As many who live here will tell you, there are a number of Jews who might not formally identify with shuls and censuses, but might see a cross-denominational school as an opportunity to get involved.

    That aside, the cost and stress of living in London has made people consider living further afield and where better than the relaxed south coast, an hour’s rail journey from London? 

    Brighton & Hove has some of the most sought-after postcodes in the UK for young urbanites to live.  Nearly all Jews are urbanites. 
    In the next few years, Hove will need extra school places and that is why we are exploring this opportunity at this time.

    Let’s look to the future rather than the past.

    Gordon Kay
    Brighton, BN1 7GJ

    Going backwards

    The Maccabiah Games is known as the “Jewish Olympics”. 

    However, looking at the results from this past week the lack of quality of the track and field is remarkable.

    The motto of the Olympics is Citius Altius Fortius — faster higher stronger. For the Maccabiah, I could suggest Tarditas Inferius Fragilitas — slower lower weaker – as, for the past 40 years, the regression in athletic terms is quite remarkable.

    The Maccabiah used to attract the best athletes from around the world, even being accorded full international status in some countries, but most high-calibre athletes don’t bother to come  because the cachet, “Maccabiah champion”, is not what it used to be.

    Furthermore, they are expected to self-fund their trip to Israel at an inflated cost, especially in the case of UK athletes.

    The Maccabiah ideals of encouraging aliyah through sport are commendable but true international sportsmen and women realise they are not the focus and thus  the  it’s-not-the-winning- but-the-taking-part attitude that precludes their participation .

    The quality of the track and field is so poor the results of most of the events wouldn’t even feature in the top 1,000 in world terms.

    I write as a former triple Maccabiah champion from both 1981 and 1985. 

    Both my records at 1500m and 5000m will now stand for at least 40 years and at this rate may never be broken !

    James Espir
    Herzylia Pituach, Israel 

    Paws for thought

    We are Jack Russells and our owner is known to your readers as Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain.

    Apparently, Mr Solomon objected in last week’s Letters page to Kaddish being said for us at a private ceremony when we die and are buried at the bottom of the garden. We understand it is a prayer praising God and has become a way of expressing appreciation for lives that mattered to others. 

    Having been members of the Romain family for 15 years, we see no reason why it should not apply to us.

    Max and Milo
    Maidenhead, Berks

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