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JV Editorial

Letters to the Editor



Thoughts on the Trump­Putin Summit

Dear Editor:

The Russian summit is a good idea, but don’t expect much! The US and Russia are competitors and adversaries, though not really enemies. Both are Christian countries and should not be fighting each other. Both should focus on containing and eventually defeating Political Islam. The number one Political Islam terror organization is Iran. The US is trying to bankrupt Iran in order to squeeze its worldwide terror organization of over 400,000 physical, narco, and cultural terrorists. The US is also trying to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

Unfortunately Russia is supporting Iran and even recently proposed to invest $50 billion into its energy industry, thereby violating US sanctions. It is very difficult to see a compromise solution to this dilemma. Russia is still trying to intimidate NATO countries through what it’s KGB calls “active measures “ to undermine targeted countries. Russia even employs such active measures against the US. Maybe there could be some compromise on this issue. The Russian economy is not growing, while the US grows GDP 3% and China 6%. Russia needs western sanctions to be revoked, so it can grow its economy again. This is our only real leverage point. Maybe Russia can play is useful role in our North Korea negotiations. Hopefully President Trump can find some modest avenues of compromise. Lowering tensions among Christians is good, so we can focus our energies on defeating Political Islam!


Ken Abramowitz


Hope in Combatting Hate

Dear Editor:

Your article “Germany Increases $$$ to Jewish Org for Combatting Anti-Semitism,” gave me some more hope that maybe there will be enough people in this world doing what’s right in order to combat hate and misconceptions. As far-right movements grow across the world and eerily echo some of the same nationalist sentiments of other regimes of recent past from Europe, with plenty of scorn and vitriol for the so-called outsiders, now is better than any time to make sure we’re all still doing what we can to push back against anti-Semitism.

It’s good to see that the place that invented Nazism and nearly wiped out Europe’s Jewish population still grasps the sheer importance of this issue and how dark things can turn when the wrong orators are getting the attention. I hope that the money they are granting will help this Jewish organization continue its work educating people about the Holocaust, anti-Semitism in general, and how it’s all relevant today and always will be.

It’s possible that people are growing complacent with democracy. Our grandparents before us faced the very real threat of growing authoritarianism, so they knew just how bad it was and that we would want no part in any of that. While it’s discouraging and disturbing to see anti-Semitism on the rise, I feel confident that we will always win out as long as keep hammering home the truth and a love for all humanity.


Melinda Ellsbury


Returning Campaign Donations?

Dear Editor:

Your article “Cuomo Refuses to Return $64K in Previous Campaign Donations from Trump” is laughable because it seems to sum up politics pretty well. At the end of the day, everyone just wants something. Everyone wants to do what is best for him or herself, and this is most especially true in arenas like business and politics. While I have no doubts that the governor strongly disagrees with many of the things the president does, says, and believes, it makes sense that he would have accepted donations from Donald Trump in the past. Why would he turn down that money? But now, a few years later, it looks bad, especially as Cuomo potentially will run for president in 2020. That is, if he can get by challenger Cynthia Nixon, continuing to be a thorn in his side from the left.

The fact that this wild card challenger, who isn’t bound by any political history, can make these claims, that definitely don’t look good for the governor, is just too great to not be excited about. This is great political theater, even though little will probably come out of this problem once all the pressing issues get put on the table, like of course how the city’s subway system will be fixed and how the state can come up with the money to help the city.

Until then, buckle up because it’s going to be one heck of a midterm November, especially here in New York with a gubernatorial race.


Priscilla Scott


Skyscrapers in Tel Aviv

Dear Editor:

After reading your soaring article about “5 Super-Tall Skyscrapers Coming Soon to Tel Aviv,” I’m super stoked to eventually see them for myself!

I love skyscrapers. Maybe it’s why I love New York so much. There are the classic buildings of course, like the Empire State Building The Flatiron Building, Chrysler Building, and so on. Now there’s One World Trade towering over the Financial District and overlooking the rest of Manhattan, also surrounded by other World Trade skyscrapers of different and very cool designs. The soon-to-be city-in-a-city, Hudson Yards, has some buildings already changing the skyline completely, with plenty more still to come. While I get lost in the excitement and beauty of these local skyscrapers, I felt silly yet excited when I read this article.

I will have to keep my eye on these projects and see if they come along as expected. The concept art for some of the buildings looks so funky but neat! Once they start coming up, hopefully they won’t have any problems finding people and companies to occupy the space. I’m definitely going to start planning my Tel Aviv trip for when these big buildings are a reality so I can see them for myself and see how the skyline of such an ancient and storied area looks now. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even have to grab a slice of those properties for myself.


Maxwell Hughes


Touched By Efforts to Preserve Cemeteries

Dear Editor:

We all love life, or at least I would hope so, because it’s really all we have at the end of the day. Everything we do is geared towards living. It’s not often that we like to think about death, even though it’s an inescapable part of life, well, the thing that ends life, but still something nonetheless important something with which we all must live.

Even though it’s a grim topic, there are a lot of interesting topics related to death that often go unexamined, which is why I found your article from last month called “The Worldwide Work of Saving Cemeteries and Honoring The Jewish Dead” so interesting and such a pleasurable read.

These stories about the rabbis involved in preserving the past in a special way really touched me. When Rabbi Shmuel Halpert, outgoing Knesset member of the haredi party Agudat Yisrael, invited Rabbi Isaac Schapira to a meeting in July 2011, Schapira’s life changed forever because he knew he had to improve the situation for Jewish cemeteries worldwide, which were suffering from disrepair, neglect and vandalism from outside communities.

Schapira describes Halpert as a pioneer in fighting for the rescue of Jewish cemeteries. “I don’t know who will continue this fight. I think you and your connections are best-suited for it. Just dive in!” said Halpert.

And so, Schapira did just that. “It spoke to me. It broke my heart.”

Don’t forget to honor the dead. It’s part of who we are and why we’re all here.


Jerry Carpenter

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