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As someone emotionally and actively
involved in the Jonathan Pollard case, I
was somewhat heartened by the news
that on Sept. 2, he and his lawyers will
have an opportunity to state their case
in front of the U.S. District Court in
Although your article ("Last Hope?"
Aug. 15, page 17) tried not to raise too
much hope of legal counsel being able
to redress the great injustice done to
Pollard, there is still a glimmer of hope,
which is better than no hope at all.
In my drawer, I save an envelope car-
rying the name of the sender as
"Jonathan Pollard /09185-016," sent
from the federal prison in Marion, Ill.
In the envelope, there is a letter written
on half a page, in small letters and very
crowded words, to save paper, appar-
ently a precious commodity where
Jonathan expressed his deepest grati-
tude for a letter to the editor on his
behalf that I had enclosed in my letter
He also told me of some support he
received from Jewish organizations, but
not from all. He also sent me copies of
articles written on his behalf
Overall, the letter sounds a more or
less upbeat note. Well, it was sent on
Aug. 16, 1992, exactly 11 years ago
and neither I nor he believed that on
Aug. 16, 2003, he would still languish
in prison, despite all the attempts by
Jewish as well as Israeli leaders —
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin — to
gain his freedom.
Let us hope and pray that this new
effort will prove successful. If it doesn't,
let's not call it the last hope. Let's fight
relentlessly to try to fulfill the sacred
mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim, the redemp-
tion of captives.
Trust Called For In
Although it has been a while since
the controversy regarding the curricu-
lum of the International Affairs class
offered by Farmington Public Schools
(FPS), it remains a continuing concern
("Flash Point," July 4, page 19). I felt I
needed to research the available infor-
mation and talk with others before
writing this letter.
I am a high school counselor and also
openly anti-Israel three partners of
France, Russia and England, he sup-
ported the road map in April, calling
for a Palestinian state by the end of
2003 with provisional borders and per-
manent border by 2005. At this point,
there is not even a hint that Mahinoud
Abbas, the Palestinian prime minister,
is prepared to do this.
• The Bush administration tends to
emphasize the roadblocks that the Israel
Defense Forces impose as a quality of
life issue for the Arabs rather than a
life-and-death issue for the Israelis.
• There is Secretary of State Colin
Powell's opposition to the security fence
that Israel is building in Judea and
Samaria. A similar fence around Gaza
has proven extremely effective against
• The Bush administration has
pledged that they would never dictate
terms and conditions for peace with
Palestinian Arabs. President Bush has
gone further than President Clinton by
dictating the contours of the process as
well as the outcome of negotiations,
namely, a Palestinian state.
• Daniel Kurtzer, Bush's ambassador
to Israel, actually called on Israeli citi-
zens to "pressure" their government to
make concessions to the Palestinian
• A long-held political promise of
President Bush to move the American
Embassy to Jerusalem has been reneged
Much pressure must be brought to
make the Bush administration mend its
Jane Reiser Williams ways.
Joseph E Savin
the parent of a Jewish graduate of FPS.
My child received an exceptional K-12
education in this district. At the school
where I am employed (North
Farmington High School), there are a
large number of Jewish students.
International Issues (recently renamed
International Affairs) was created and
has been taught for the past three years
by a teacher highly regarded for his
intelligence, objectivity, and multicul-
tural knowledge and sensitivity.
The course consistently earns rave
reviews from a class roster that is, often
made up of a predominance of Jewish
students from 11th and 12th grades.
These young people cite numerous
opportunities provided through the
curriculum to understand the cultures
of others and to develop a thorough
comprehension of world issues, all of
which is delivered by a master instruc-
tor in an atmosphere of unbiased teach-
ing and discussion.
I would agree that the input of par-
ents, in an advisory capacity, would be
vital in matters of new curriculum. I
believe that FPS has responded to these
needs with the advent of their new
Citizens' Advisory Committee.
I also think that we, as parents and
community members, need to trust our
educators. FPS has the luxury of being
able to hire the finest and they have
done so. I have been privileged to have
them teach my child and honored to
work alongside many of them. Now we
need to let them do their job.
On Road Map
As an enthusiastic Republican for many
years, especially since Republicans have
been such staunch supporters of Israel,
I have reluctantly come to the conclu-
sion that the Bush administration (not
Congress) is off on the wrong track in
their support of the road map and
other issues important to Israel.
Building on Jonathan Tobin's Special
Commentary ("Tabling The Truth,"
Aug. 8, page 30), the following points
• In a speech of June 24, 2002, the
president was unequivocal in his stance
that "the United States will not support
the establishment of a Palestinian state
until its leaders engage in a sustained
fight against the terrorists and disman-
tle their infrastructure." What has hap-
pened is that with pressure from his
size the study of texts, while the new
direction in Reform Judaism is using
middot, or Jewish virtues, as the basis
for its instructional objectives.
Lost in the process has been the
study of Jewish history in its totality —
and not just the period of the Torah
and modern Judaism as represented by
the State of Israel and in the United
Other aspects of Jewish history and
literature are now being relegated to
If Judaism is more than just a set of
religious beliefs, are your children being
exposed to the rich heritage of Jewish
history and literature — subjects
required in public schools, but current-
ly forgotten in Jewish education?
Burton A. Zipser
I followed the Editor's Notebook about
the Israelis who left Israel for the
United States because they found it too
difficult to make a go of it in their
homeland ("The Fight, The Hurt,"
Aug. 8, page 5).
We left the States for Israel because
we were Zionists. We wanted to live
here, in Israel. We could have stayed
and lived a good Jewish life by North
American Jewish standards, but we
wanted a Jewish life by Jewish stan-
dards in Israel.
I regret that we don't own our apart-
ment, but we rent it from the Housing
president, Zionist Organization of Authority. We have been living in the
America, Michigan Region same place for 20-odd years. It's a
Bloomfield Township quiet, green neighborhood with lots of
dogs and cats running around, close to
everything we need.
The fact is we live in walkable city so
we don't require a car to get around
most of the time.
During the time we have lived here, I
With the start of the new school year,
served in the Army; two of my daugh-
Jewish parents need to ask the Jewish
ters served as well. We added to our
schools their children attend what those family of three that we had in the
schools, whether day schools or congre-
States with a sabra [Israeli-born] son.
gational schools, are doing to assist
The two older girls are married and
their students in developing a real sen-
have five of our grandchildren; and our
sitivity to all of the aspects of Judaism.
third daughter has the sixth, a grand-
Before 1948, there was a debate as to
son. For years, we didn't have a televi-
whether Judaism was a religion, an eth-
sion — we read books and listened to
nic entity, or a true nation of diverse
the radio. We traveled to places in "the
people bound together by a common
country," to Haifa to Tel Aviv to
In the half century since then, the
We feel secure here, as Jews, and as
question has been relegated to the
families, because this is "the country."
"back burner." Spirituality has become
the goal of a Jewish education.
Nazareth Illit, Israel (in Detroit Jewrys
Conservative congregations empha-
Partnership 2000 region)
Are Jewish Schools
On Right Course?