Peace in yoga

I loved reading “A new way to pray” (Nov. 1) about yoga and meditation making waves as ways to practice mindfulness in Judaism, and wanted to make sure readers know about Julie Emden’s Jewish Yoga class on Monday nights at 7 p.m. at the JCC of the East Bay.

I recently tried the class. I wasn’t expecting much, but figured it was worth a try because I work at the JCC and didn’t have to venture far. I found so much peace in Julie’s blend of yoga and Jewish thought. I highly recommend this class to anyone who read the article and was intrigued with the blend of Judaism and health and wellness!

Emma Stern   |   Berkeley


You’ve got a friend


Friendship Circle’s international office was recognized as one of Slingshot’s 18 innovative organizations in its newly released supplement on Disabilities and Inclusion. Nationally, the Friendship Circle has served approximately 5,500 special-needs children and their families and engaged about 10,500 teenage volunteers in our mission to build a more welcoming, inclusive and supportive Jewish community.

As J. only highlighted organizations that are entirely local (“Slingshot list confirms Jewish innovation in Bay Area,” Nov. 1), I’d like to take a moment to highlight the work of the Bay Area Friendship Circle, the local Friendship Circle branches located on the Peninsula and in San Francisco.

Founded in 2003 as an independent nonprofit, we have impacted nearly 300 families and 700 teen volunteers from Marin to San Jose. Our programs embrace children with special needs of all levels, involving them in a full range of social, Judaic and educational experiences. The teen volunteers at the Friendship Circle have opportunities to bond with peers, create rewarding mentor relationships and realize lasting Jewish values. For more information, please visit our website at www.bayareafc.org.

Ezzy Schusterman   |   Palo Alto

Bay Area Friendship Circle, Executive Director


Israel is right to be terrified


When Congress tried to oppose sanctions on Iran, President Obama time and time again threatened to veto them. In 2009, when Iranian students rose up in the streets to overthrow their tyrannical regime, Obama said not one word in their support. Now, when the president of Iran, who once bragged he had fooled the West with meaningless talks so Iran could advance its mission to produce nuclear weapons, the Obama administration is jumping at the chance to make a deal to abrogate sanctions.

No wonder Israel is terrified that this president will make a Munich-like deal with the mullahs. And why are American Jews so silent as this president continues his policy of Iranian appeasement?

Scott Abramson   |   San Mateo