New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Pats 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Photo/JTA-Al Bello-Getty Images)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Pats 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Photo/JTA-Al Bello-Getty Images)

BDS is not peaceful; hot take on Abe Lincoln; kvelling for Edelman


The color of Jews

I welcomed your article “Jews of color stake their claim to mainstream leadership roles.”

However … while the line “Intermarriage has increased in recent decades, and along with it the percentage of non-white Jews” is true, no mention is made of the number of Jews-by-choice who are non-white. I know many, including my bat mitzvah sister who made aliyah two years ago.

The other fact is that there are plenty of non-white Jews who are significantly older than 30-something. To focus on teens is important, but to leave out the “elders” is a poor choice. Why not include them as mentors and teachers in workshops? Or, if this already is being done, talk about it in articles like these? Looking forward to hearing more about this.

Sue Douglass
Albany


New tack for anti-Semites

Recently, we’ve been enlightened by Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory thusly: “Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy.” Hmm …
When George Zimmerman, son of a “white” father and Peruvian mother, was found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin, many news outlets described him as a “white Hispanic.” To what purpose? Should we refer to Barack Obama as a “white African?” If not, why not? How about “white Muslims?” Is this a useful category?

Once anti-Semitism sought to justify itself by claiming that Jews were “Christ killers.” Then anti-Semites accused Jews of being a separate “race” from Europeans and “parasites.” Now, however, “whiteness” is the ultimate form of villainy, Jews are “white people” and thus Jews are part of the newly identified evil of “white supremacy.”

Julia Lutch
Davis


Kvelling for Edelman, others

New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman made history after catching 10 passes for 141 yards against the Los Angeles Rams (“Julian Edelman (from Redwood City!) is the first Jewish Super Bowl MVP”).

Notably, this wasn’t the Bay Area native’s first standout performance in a Super Bowl. In the Super Bowl in 2015, Edelman caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Tom Brady, and two years later, he made a circus catch on the Patriots’ game-tying fourth quarter drive en route to an overtime win.

Edelman wasn’t the first Jewish player to make his mishpocha kvell during a Super Bowl. Randy Grossman caught a touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw and his block helped a teammate score a safety in Super Bowl X in 1976. He added three spectacular catches in Super Bowl XIII and key blocks on Pittsburgh’s first and last touchdowns in Super Bowl XIV. Also, John Frank caught a pass from Joe Montana on San Francisco’s game-winning drive in Super Bowl XXIII in 1989, while Harris Barton anchored the 49ers’ offensive line.

At least 21 Jews have been members of Super Bowl teams: Mike Stromberg (III), Bob Stein (IV), Ed Newman (VIII, XVII [injured reserve], XIX), Sam McCullum (IX), Grossman (IX, X, XIII, XIV), Steve Furness (IX, X, XIII, XIV), Lyle Alzado (XII, XVIII), Steve Shull (XVII), Frank (XIX, XXIII), Andre Tippett (XX), Barton (XXIII, XXIV, XXIX), Alan “Shlomo” Veingrad (XXVII), David Binn (XXIX), Ariel Solomon (XXX), Adam Schreiber (XXXIII), Mike Rosenthal (XXXV), Mike Seidman (XXXVIII, injured reserve), Josh Miller (XXXIX), Antonio Garay Jr. (XLI), Edelman (XLVI, XLIX, LI, LII, injured reserve) and Nate Ebner (LXIX, LI, LII, LIII).

There also have been at least three Jewish Super Bowl coaches: Marv Levy (VII, assistant coach, Washington; XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, head coach, Buffalo), Sid Gillman (XV, assistant coach, Philadelphia) and Marc Trestman (XXXVII, assistant coach, Oakland).

Stephen A. Silver
San Francisco


Lincoln … friend of the Jews

David Waksberg, in his op-ed “Is complicated history of Jews in America repeating itself? Come talk about it”), seriously erred in describing President Lincoln overruling Gen. Grant’s infamous General Order No. 11, writing “not because Lincoln was fond of Jews but because it violated their constitutional rights.”

Abraham Lincoln was a true friend and protector of the Jewish community. The original legislation expanding the Union Army limited the chaplaincy to the Christian faith. The Jewish community protested. One of their supporters was Sen. Lyman Trumbull, who would later co-author and sponsor the 13th Amendment ending slavery.

On Dec. 14, 1861, President Lincoln wrote to Dr. Arnold Fischell that regarding the deficiencies of the law, “all of which I now design presently to the appropriate Committee of Congress.” On March 26, 1862 the law was changed to allow for chaplains of all major religions.

On Dec. 17, 1862, General Grant issued General Order No. 11, which barred Jews from residence in the territory under his command. The Jewish community again protested. On Jan. 3, 1863, Cesar Kaskel of Paducah, Kentucky met with the President. Their dialogue is classic:

Lincoln: “And so the children of Israel were driven from the happy land of Canaan?”

Kaskel: “Yes, and that is why we have come unto Father Abraham’s bosom, asking for protection.”

Lincoln: “And this protection they shall have at once.”

President Lincoln then overruled the order of his most popular and successful general in a war that he was not winning.

Later he would intervene to allow Charles Jonas, then a Confederate prisoner of war, to visit his father, a longtime friend of Lincoln’s, on his deathbed in Quincy, Illinois.

The Jewish community should remember Abraham Lincoln as a friend and protector “in the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity.”

Steve Astrachan
Pleasant Hill


Science and dating: not a match

I started reading your interview with “dating coach” Logan Ury, who “collaborates with a relationship scientist” (“How this dating coach uses science to make the best matches”).

I was laughing so hard that I had to check to see if you punk’d me with an early Purim edition.

I suspect there’s a good reason that “no one else is applying behavioral economics to dating.” No wonder her Google job was called “irrational” (she formerly co-ran Google’s Irrational Lab).

Art Zeidman
Walnut Creek


BDS movement ‘peaceful’? Not.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in California (CAIR-CA) has written to UC chancellors and regents expressing displeasure over UC’s opposition to the anti-Israel boycott movement.

Among its many false statements, the CAIR letter claims that “the BDS movement is a form of peaceful protest.” Really? When Jewish and or pro-Israel students report BDS-incited harassment, threats, disruption of events and fears for their safety, BDS is not “a form of peaceful protest.”

The CAIR letter also falsely links BDS with the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, which had a goal — to stop the minority white government’s separation of people by color. However, the anti-apartheid movement did not aspire to wipe South Africa off the map.

By contrast, BDS boycotts the existence of the State of Israel, including anything and everything IsraeliBDS leaders, like founder Omar Barghouti, declare that Israel is “illegitimate.” Thus, BDS’ goal is to eradicate the Jewish state.

June Brott
Walnut Creek

J. Readers

J. welcomes letters and comments from our readers. To submit a letter, email it to letters@jweekly.com.