Saying Goodbye to Shimon Peres

For the most part, I did not agree with the policies of Shimon Peres nor his way of thinking. I did however have a great deal of respect for the man.  Obviously no one is perfect, and upon one’s passing we recall their good traits and deeds, not their failings. Shimon Peres undoubtedly served the State of Israel with the best intentions, but along the way took actions which most Israelis understand today to have been a grave mistake with tragic repercussions (Oslo agreement, for example). He had a vision which was so obstinate, it disregarded facts on the ground. He meant well, no doubt. And in the end it is all in Hashem’s hands.

I learned from the Hafetz Haim’s blessing of Shimon Peres that though leaving Torah behind is tragic, nonetheless every Jew can still have great value and be a great contributor to Am Yisrael.

Kudos to Community for writing an article free of slanderous content giving respect to an Israeli leader who was obviously blessed with many qualities most notably the industriousness of a twenty-year-old into his nineties. May his memory be blessed.

Stevie K.

The Shidduch Process

Last month’s article about the Shidduch process raised some very good points. As the parent of an “older” single, I can testify on some of the flaws in the current system. I would like to make a suggestion that was not included in the article. It would be nice if everyone could pick one single friend and make it a priority to set him or her up. Not just once, but ongoing until they are married. Then pick another friend to work on. I’m speaking from experience. So many singles (boys and girls) we hosted and yet not one ever called to invite my child over once they were married. How few of them tried to fix their single friend up after she didn’t go for the first boy they suggested. I know they are busy, but they don’t appreciate how fortunate they have been to marry young and how much pain their friends are in.

M. C.

Germ-ee Solution

In regard to the letter to Jido from Germ-ee (October 2016 Issue) describing the unsanitary habits some people do by double dipping during the Shabbat seudah shelisheet, may I recommend the following, as I have used it and it has worked. First, ask the one who prepares the table to make sure there is a fork or a spoon in every food dish and to place extra utensils on the table in case he forgets. Since I belong to a smallish minyan I simply make a general announcement before we partake of the meal that we should all abide by the sanitary code and not double dip. I am sure you can do the same in a larger minyan. After a few Shabbats have passed they should get the message as they have in my minyan and I no longer have to make any announcements. My son has done the same in his Shabbat minyan and it also has worked. Healthy eating!

Jake A

Positive Parenting

I’m an avid follower of Tammy Sassoon’s column, Positive Parenting. I have been implementing the techniques posted in her column since the very beginning, and all I can say is – WOW – what a difference it has made!  In a short period of time, I now have children that not only do what is asked of them, but enjoy doing it in a positive manner. My husband and I cannot thank you enough. Keep up the great work!

Alyssa L.


In last month’s cover story about Bnei Melachim (Taking Care of Hashem’s Children) the wrong zip code was given for donation submissions. The Correct address is:
Bnei Melachim Inc. 1123 Avenue N  Brooklyn, NY 11230.

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The No Cost Education Initiative
Thank you for bringing to the forefront one of the unspoken problems with our community’s education system. For the past few years, it seems, the only education-related subject our community was ready to discuss was the high cost of tuition. But why is the cost of educating children in our community so high? Because we demand nothing but the best for our children. We are not prepared to make qualitative sacrifices when it comes to their education. Yet, here we have a practically no-cost option to greatly increase the quality of our children’s education by customizing lessons to the gender specific needs of each kid. But many reject this notion out of hand because of a misguided idea of what is best for their social development.
As your article subtly suggests, even some of the separate schools in our community are not fully taking advantage of the opportunity to customize lessons for boys and girls. It is high time that we as a community start to think outside the box while pursuing the dual goals of providing an uncompromising education and making it affordable.
Abe Sutton
Coed Confession
While your article on separate vs. coed education did touch on many aspects of this complex issue, it was most heavily centered around the academic ramifications. As someone who went to a coed school which is popularly attended by the Sephardic community, I can’t say whether I would have learned any more effectively in a separate environment, but I do know that socially, I would have been much more content.
Every time I hear parents say that they are sending their daughters to a coed school so that they can “feel comfortable around boys,” I get a shiver thinking about my own experience. Having boys in my class didn’t bother me much until adolescence. But when my body began to mature and change, I became extremely nervous about how I looked in front of the boys who sat next to me in class – and I certainly wasn’t the only girl who felt this way. For me, being in a coed school during my formidable years made it much harder to get used to being around boys. Later, in high school, my anxiety around boys led me to overcompensate and I ended up befriending the wrong boys and getting involved in several unhealthy relationships.
What people may not realize is that my story is not all that unique. Few will ever step forward to admit going through this ordeal, and many even deny it to themselves. But the proof is in the singles crisis (which I am very much a part of). Do a tally of the older singles (like I did) to measure how many went to a separate school and how many went to a coed school, Then try to tell me how effective coed schools are at making boys and girls “comfortable” around each other.
Debbie L.
Keeping Values in Fashion
Your Fashion page has been a controversial topic in the past and a source of constant discussion in some circles as to its appropriateness for religious woman. Even though the Fashion page has made efforts to show only clothing that is within the proper guidelines of seniut, the words used in last issue in item #10 – “keep strutting your stuff” – is contrary to the values we are trying to uphold. Do we want to “air” our beauty/body to the world? Flaunting our style to feel good is not the message we should be teaching our daughters. I feel Community Magazine has a responsibility to edit the wording, and not only the pictures.
D. M.
Tragic Memories from Bensonhurst
I would like to thank Sito for her interesting comments about the SCC health club situation and the importance of ensuring separate hours for men and women.
But in addition to Sito’s insightful response, I believe we have much to learn from the experience of the community’s Health and Recreation center in Bensonhurst during the 1960’s. My recollections of that institution are marked by three notable memories:
1) It resulted in intermarriage between Jewish and non-Jewish patrons. A number of community members defected from Judaism to live with non-Jewish women whom they met there.
2) The mixed workout rooms led to the hiring of Arab belly dancers, some of whom proudly announced that our community funds were sent to fund Arab terror.
3) Rowdy New Year’s parties held there were attended by non-Jews and led to marital problems; drug abuse; and worse.
How does all this relate to our situation today? This past summer a Jewish professor at Kingsborough told of a good-looking local non-Jewish college student who bragged about how easy it was for him to gain entrance into one of our community’s institutions. According to the account, four Syrian friends vouched that he was Jewish and he was accepted without any further inquiry. The young man also proceeded to claim to have established and maintained inappropriate relationships with women he met there.
Perhaps it is time for our community’s institutions to examine and review membership policies and protocols before we create any more bad memories.
J. E.
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