Letters to the Editor: Kushner's School and What Is Democracy

The issue is a communal issue – not one of national politics; it should be discussed between the school and the community so as to determine the best way to resolve the situation

White House adviser Jared Kushner at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Monday, Jan. 8, 2018
Susan Walsh/AP

Misrepresenting ‘Kushner’s old high school’

In response to “Parents protest ‘kiss-up-to-Trump’ letter-writing campaign” (January 18). 

As an alumnus of The Frisch School, I was dismayed to read this article, which misrepresents my high school and sensationalizes what is truly a communal issue.

To be clear: I was upset by Rabbi Sher’s decision to send out the email to the student body; as such, I wrote a personalized email to both Rabbi Sher and Frisch’s principal, Rabbi Ciner, expressing my concerns regarding the school’s relationship with politics. But this is how I closed my letter: “I hope that you recognize my concerns – both out of my love for Frisch and out of my love for the State of Israel. Frisch cares greatly for its students’ religiosity and freedom of expression, and I hope it will make sure to foster vibrant discussion about the State of Israel from a religious, Zionistic, and devoted point of view.”

Frisch is an unabashedly religious Zionist school, and the administration promotes support for Israel among the students in the ways it deems most fit. While I and other community members are sometimes unsettled by the organizations that Frisch supports, we realize the administration’s intentions and never waver in our support for the school.

This issue is a communal issue – not one of national politics; it should be discussed between the school and the community so as to determine the best way to resolve the situation. Haaretz’s online referral to Frisch as “Kushner’s old high school” does nothing to contribute to the solution; saying that students were “urged to write letters sucking up to Trump” is not only false, but also ignorant of Rabbi Sher’s intentions. This story is not newsworthy – it is slander.

Dov Greenwood

Frisch Class of 2017

West Orange, New Jersey 

If this is democracy ...

I wish someone could define for me what our prime minister considers Israel’s democracy. Is it the forced evacuation of 40,000 African asylum seekers, including 5,000 children, many of them born here? Is it the threat to jail those who refuse to be deported to countries where they face violence and death? Or perhaps it’s the hiring of people at ridiculously high salaries to check their credentials, and offer them money so that they will leave Israel, a country they came to in order to live, work at jobs too undignified for “native Israelis,” contribute to the economy and realize the dream of a democratic state that recognizes the rights of all of its residents.

Or perhaps it’s the very democratic “Shabbat Law” that satisfies the ultra-Orthodox minority and [curtails] the lives of the majority that believes in freedom of religion, freedom to live one’s life as they choose, freedom to shop, eat, travel, go to a movie or a concert, or just relax and enjoy being with family and friends.

I’m particularly entranced by the hiring of non-Jews to monitor the shops that stay open on Shabbat, also attracted by the ridiculously high salaries to encourage them to shut down stores and other facilities open on Shabbat.

And then there’s the raise in salary voted by the Knesset for the prime minister and other ministers, rewarding them for the job they are doing in creating a split in Israeli society and planning to lower the salary of the police commissioner to discourage him from continuing the investigation of our honest, upright, crooked prime minister.

I would appreciate clarification.

Judy Telman

Mevasseret Zion

Hip hip hurray for liberals!

Thank you for Haaretz’s recent coverage of the alleged “illegality” of Havat Gilad, a small and brave community established as a Zionist response to the slaying of Gilad Zar, father of nine, and is now also the site of the senseless slaughter of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, father of six. 

I never thought the day would come when I would write a letter entitled “Hip hip hurray for liberals!” but that day has arrived. This has come about because I just wrote an email mentioning an “outpost” to a Jewish diehard liberal of my acquaintance. Here is his reply: “Outpost? Like illegal, or whatever the right’s term is for settlements that did not cross every “t” and dot every “i” of the requisite paperwork before storming this particular arrangement of rocks, goat shit, and gorse bushes?”

Maybe Haaretz will come round and starting living up to its name any decade now....

Susie Dym