Support for grieving parents

Thank you for honoring and acknowledging the bereaved parent community in our area (“Memory Garden,” cover story, Nov. 9). It is important to recognize there is free support in the Bay Area for families suffering the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death.

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND) serves parents from the Peninsula to San Francisco (www.handsupport.org), and Support After Neonatal Death (SAND) serves families in the East Bay (www.tinyurl.com/sand-eb). There also are free support groups for parents in subsequent pregnancy after loss at CPMC’s Newborn Connections Program in San Francisco (cpmcnewborn@sutterhealth.org) and at HAND of the Peninsula.

Although these groups are not Jewish-specific, parents can expect their experience as Jewish mourners to be honored by group facilitators and participants. Indeed, as facilitator for the pregnancy after loss support group, I often share our Jewish traditions (especially the tradition of giving tzedakah or performing acts of kindness in memory of a loved one) as one of many ways parents may consider memorializing their beloved dead children.

As a bereaved parent with two subsequent children, finding meaningful ways for our love for firstborn daughter, Julia, to be present in our family continues nearly 10 years after her stillbirth. The Memory Garden project acknowledges that these children, even in death, continue to matter.

Thank you for helping to validate the emotional needs of bereaved parents in our community.

Cherie Golant, LCSW   |   San Francisco

Founder and facilitator

Pregnancy After Loss Support Group

CPMC Newborn Connections Program


‘Raw hatred’ in S.F. protest

Witnessing an anti-Israel demonstration can be a chilling experience.

It’s not just that Palestinians and their like-minded friends are better organized, more numerous and more savvy exploiters of the media war against the Jewish state. Or that their signs are bigger and falsely accuse Israel of everything from apartheid to genocide to homophobia.

And it’s not just that their amplified anti-Israel chants are ominous — especially the repeated shouts for another intifada. What produces an unnerving chill is the anti-Israel crowd’s unmistakable message: hatred of the Jewish state and the desire for its destruction.

In San Francisco, the unarmed protesters shot their raw hatred across Montgomery Street last week, targeting the few Israel supporters who waved flags and held signs that included the word “peace.”

In Israel, this same hatred — magnified by armed Hamas killers —  is the message attached to the Iranian rockets and missiles raining down on any and all targets in the Jewish state.

In the face of such murderous hatred, whoever cares about Israel should not be silent.

June Brott   |   Oakland


Israel cannot afford restraint

Let’s be clear about who started this round between Israel and Gaza. Since the beginning of the year, more than 800 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel. This never seems to make the news until Israel finally says, “Enough!” and fires back.

Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing, was targeted because he was directly responsible for executing terror attacks. But the first strike was those 800 rockets for a year on Israeli civilians, and that should be noted in every report.

So, if you read in the papers or hear on TV or radio the claim that Israel, by responding to terror in its borders, is squandering peace and “reacting disproportionately,” I hope you consider that Israel cannot afford restraint when its children are fleeing for their lives at the sound of warning sirens, and the sounds of missiles are overhead.

Sheree Roth   |   Palo Alto


Jewish values voters

It surprises me that we interpret the Jewish vote only in the light of a candidate’s perceived views and support for Israel (“The hunt for the Jewish vote,” the column, Nov. 16). We do ourselves a disservice, I believe, when we ignore the importance of Jewish values in the voting decision.

Clearly in this year’s election, positions on care for the stranger, the poor, minorities, women, gays, health care, fairness and access to opportunity, all central concerns of our tradition, had to provide a strong foundation for voting decisions.

Perhaps this is what Republicans miss about the Jewish vote. It is about Israel, but it is not all about Israel. And the fact that we continue to support candidates who reflect our values should give us confidence that we are transmitting these core beliefs across generations.

Barry Sherman   |   Hillsborough


Supporting the arts

All of us at the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund enjoyed the Charitable Giving article “Newbie artists find latent talents at Jewish Home” (Nov. 9), about the creative arts program at the Jewish Home. Since 1992, the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund has been pleased to support the Jewish Home with grants totaling nearly $500,000. This includes a recent grant for long-term sponsorship of the weekly ads in j. featuring art created by residents of the Jewish Home.

Debbie Findling   |   San Francisco

Strategic philanthropy adviser

Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund


Adelson cartoon ‘disgraceful’

For you to have such an insulting depiction of Sheldon Adelson on your editorial page (Nov. 16) is disgraceful! Whatever your “view” is on his support of the candidate who didn’t win, it is way “beyond” good taste or common sense to make fun of him as you did in that cartoon.

He happens to be the main man who financed Birthright! And you depict him looking like a lunatic in that “cartoon”?

Maurice Edelstein   |   San Francisco


Unfair and unbalanced

I just spent the past week in Israel. Every day, Hamas sent dozens of rockets into southern Israel. I could not find mention of this in the international media. Every night, Israeli TV showed images of bloody Israelis hit by these rockets. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept warning that Israel would have to respond.

When Israel did respond, the media overwhelmingly made it sound like Israeli aggression. The U.N. Security Council met over this “crisis.” NPR played portions of the funeral of the Gaza leader killed. And BBC radio news is just completely absurd.

This type of fraud hurts everyone, including the Palestinians.

I have been hearing reports like this out of Israel for many years; rockets out of Gaza are ignored until Israel responds. Nonetheless, it was truly shocking to see it firsthand, and then to hear back in the U.S. the blatantly false reporting by NPR, BBC and others.

Art Altman   |   New York City