Thursday, January 21, 2010 | return to: views, letters



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What’s needed is jobs, not sympathy

First, I want to thank j. for printing the article “Older, wiser and out of work: Finding a job is extra tough for people over 50” (Jan. 15). Interestingly, at Shabbat services, I received sympathy from members who were unaware of my situation. I want to be clear that my participation in the article was not to garner sympathy, but to raise awareness of the difficulty facing anyone in an unemployed or under-employed situation.

The greatest form of service to our community would be for everyone to become aware of the networking and support groups offered or being developed at synagogues, churches and other caring organizations, and to provide leads on jobs of any sort or to help with support services whenever the chance arises.

Tikkun olam and tzedakah are an integral part of my value system and an obligation I am happy to take on. Just as we come together to show our support when other local, national or international crises arise, we, as a community, should help our friends, neighbors and anyone in need.

Stephen Shub   |   Oakland

President, Temple Beth Abraham

Job one at JVS

Thank you for highlighting the frustrations workers over 50 face in today’s job market (“Older, wiser and out of work,” Jan. 15). At JVS, we’ve seen this trend first hand. In the last two years, the number of older workers coming to us has more than doubled. We’re seeing laid-off professionals from the financial sector, administrative staff, retail employees and entrepreneurs whose business has dried up. Last year, out of our more than 3,200 new clients, 30 percent of them were over 50.

Fortunately, there are resources here in our community. At JVS, we offer 50+ Job Strategy Groups, where job seekers share tips, discuss challenges and network with peers. Our workshops on resume writing, computer training and using LinkedIn are tailored to help those who haven’t looked for a job in years. We also recently launched a new Train the Trainer program, working with synagogue and JCC staff throughout the Bay Area to help them launch their own job strategy groups.

It’s a tough time to look for work.  If your readers know anyone struggling to find a job, I encourage them to visit Times like these are why we’re here.

Abby Snay   |   San Francisco

Executive Director

Jewish Vocational Service

Oral History Project must be saved

It was painful to learn that the Oral History Project is about to be curtailed due to a lack of funds (Letters, Jan. 7). This epic endeavor, designed to commemorate a community about to be extinct, is now sentenced to the same fate. The problem is not scarce resources, which are always scarce, but the allocation of these resources.

How about redirecting some funds from the divisive and damaging Jewish Film Festival to the Oral History Project? Or trimming down the budget reserved exclusively for Arabs in Israel? After all, Jews who contribute to a Jewish federation can rightfully expect that their funds support Jewish causes.

A priceless project with an approaching deadline will be saved while other recipients will only face budget cuts, which do not endanger their existence, and which are now experienced by many worthy causes.

David Aviel   |   San Mateo

Antipathy toward SFJFF is well-earned

Typical of the Jewish Voice for Peace ideologues, Glen Hauer opposes creating greater balance on the SFJFF board by expanding it with what he claims to be “right-wing” members of the Jewish community (Letters, Jan. 15).

Mr. Hauer, like most of his JVP comrades, always tries to stereotype those who differ with him and his pro-Palestinian brethren as “right-wing.” This is amusing as neither Dr. Michael Harris nor most of us critical of last year’s Rachel debacle are politically on the right.

Moreover, Hauer says that JVP and the American Friends Service Committee are respected “peace organizations.” Respected by whom other than the most strident anti-Israel ideologues?

As for the Rachel presentation being “unobjectionable,” apparently Hauer can’t comprehend how giving a platform to a virulent hater of Israel, Cindy Corrie, to shill for her daughter’s ISM, could precipitate disgust amongst most Bay Area Jews. Or the “sieg heils” screamed at Michael Harris, who was shouted down as he attempted to speak.

I guess when a JVPer like Mr. Hauer holds such unmitigated loathing of a place where half the world’s Jews live, it becomes more than a little difficult for him to fathom the depth of local Jewish antipathy toward the SFJFF.

Dan Spitzer   |   Berkeley

Misguided praise for film festival

Mr. Hauer (Letters, Jan. 15) defended the actions of the S.F. Jewish Film Festival in the Rachel Corrie events. His main point seem to be that “right-wingers” in the community were the cause of the trouble and that these people should move on.

I am a longtime elected member of both the State and San Mateo County Democratic Central Committees. When I lived in Israel I was not a Likud supporter, nor would I be now if I still lived there.

The cause of the problems was the showing of the Rachel Corrie film in connection with having her mother speak. Her mother is bereaved, I am sure, but she has made a career of railing against the State of Israel over and above her sadness at the unfortunate accidental death of her daughter.

Mr. Hauer’s references to Jewish Voice for Peace  and American Friends Service Committee as “respected”  peace organizations in reference to Israel is analogous to calling the KKK a respected organization in the debate over segregation.

Mr. Hauer should know and understand that the action of the SFJFF was a political anti-Israel statement.

Jon S. Levinson   |   San Carlos

J Street is on the wrong road

Jeremy Ben-Ami is correct that it is difficult being an Israeli ambassador (“It’s all quite clear from J Street’s perspective,” Jan. 15). Especially when you have organizations like J Street that profess to support your country, but are actually collaborating with your enemies.

Long ago it became evident that the Palestinian leadership was not interested in living in peace with Israel. The rejection of Barak’s Camp David proposal, the second intifada, incitement against Israel, the refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state and the failure to alter their charters calling for the elimination of Israel should be enough for anyone to understand that the failure to reach peace is not Israel’s.

Ambassador Michael Oren does not need a history lesson from Mr. Ben-Ami or J Street. He is a world-class scholar on the Middle East and understands the region and its leaders.

The Palestinians still refer to Acre, Jaffa and Jerusalem as occupied territory. In other words, they consider all of Israel occupied. Just check out their textbook and media outlets. Look at Palestine Media Watch (PMW) or MEMRI. How arrogant of Ben-Ami and his ilk to think that Israel’s leaders do not want peace just because they value Israel’s security over a peace process that has only brought more terror.

Gil Stein   |   Aptos


Posted by califlefty
01/28/2010  at  01:18 AM
Jackie Speier signs Ellison letter

A letter by Rep. Keith Ellison to President Obama, (see thinly disguised in its support of the “Free Gaza” movement was signed by the usual suspects including several of our local Congresspeople including Jackie Speier. First her “present” vote on the Goldstone letter, now this. Are we afraid to “call-out” these local Representatives that take one-sided positions against Israel? If you are in Rep. Speier’s district, please drop her a note on this issue.

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