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Thursday, January 27, 2022

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A Sweet Jewish New Year

Dear Editor:

As we approach this Rosh Hashana (The Jewish New Year), we celebrate the Hebrew Year 5782. The year that has passed is an especially bittersweet one, as we witness Jews being attacked, assaulted, killed, as Jewish students are fearful of openly being Jews on campus, as the intersectional Jew hate increasingly maligns Zionists as racists.

So, while I wish everyone a sweet Jewish New Year, I am wishing also for every Jew and non Jew, to be proactive, to loudly stand up for Israel’s right to exist, to defend itself, to let the world know we will no longer be silent as the storm of Jew hate grows in our beloved USA, in Europe and across the globe on line and in our schools.

It is 5782. We’re still here. Israel’s strength protects all Jews across the globe who are/were forced to flee because they were Jews.

Ginette Weiner


Chicago Mayor Handcuffs Police to Vaccines or Be Fired

Dear Editor:

Embattled mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, shared on her website that she dedicated her career “…to ensuring our police department is accountable to our communities.”

One can’t help but wonder if any people in Chicago are dedicating their careers to ensuring that Lori Lightfoot and other Chicago politicians are held accountable to the communities.

Police officers represent some of the most trained professionals in society yet receive daily scorn and scapegoating for problems created by others. Elected officials who fantasized about wielding power while in the teacher’s lounge remain a greater threat to the safety and security of a city, state, or nation than the easy target of front-line responders.

In the case of the Chicago mayor, her promises to reduce gun violence helped propel her to office in 2019. How’s that working for Chicago?

During the first weekend in August of 2021, 73 people were shot and 10 of them died.

Instead of dedicating her career to keeping the police department accountable, Chicago might have been better served if Lori Lightfoot dedicated her career to reducing crime and keeping criminals accountable.

It’s easy to demonize the police when their actions, however unpleasant, are required to clean up a mess they didn’t make. The media loves to lead with stories filled with drama and bad news, but rarely investigate the back story of what led to the incident.

When a tray filled with dishes crashes to the floor in a busy restaurant, the server or busser gets the stares. Was the floor slippery? Were they tripped? Did the owners demand a speed and productivity of employees while simultaneously placing tables so close together that navigating them proved a nightmare?

“It’s the cops’ fault” leaps from the lips of pundits, politicians, and perpetrators who often in unison decry the police. Yet is there no other cause for the brash crimes, assaults, and flagrant disregard for laws that fills our major cities?

An old saying in the South states, “You’ve gotta slice baloney mighty thin not to get two sides.”

Michael Letts


Emerging Research on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union

Dear Editor:

On September 30, Illinois Holocaust Museum will open a new, multi-gallery augmentation of their core exhibition highlighting the breadth and scope of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union.

Of the approximately 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the story of those Jews who experienced Nazi genocide in the Soviet Union are lesser-known or even told. However, more than 2.5 million of the Holocaust’s victims were Soviet Jews. Of the living Holocaust Survivors in the Chicago area, 80% are from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), making it even more critical for the Museum to include their stories.

Through rich photography, dramatic storytelling, engaging media, and more, this enhancement will include:

  • Pre-war Jewish life as shown through hundreds of scrolling, large-scale photographs of individuals and families prior to the arrival of the Nazis.
  • Key moments leading to Operation Barbarossa, one of the largest military invasions in modern history, which set the stage for the mass murder of Jews in the Soviet Union.
  • Stories connected to 10 local Chicago Survivors and killing sites in Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Moldova. Eyewitness testimony will challenge the visitor to contemplate the role of witnesses during this time.
  • Objects and photographs including a letter written by a local Survivor who served in the Red Army to individualize the larger story of the Einsatzgruppen by showing when and how his town’s Jewish community was destroyed, as well as an affidavit from a witness certifying a local Survivor’s experience in the Mogilev-Podolsky ghetto and Pechora concentration camp.

Sierra Wolf


The Plight of Little Alta Fixsler

Dear Editor:

Little Alta Fixsler was born eight weeks prematurely in Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. A traumatic birth deprived Alta of oxygen for twenty-five long minutes causing severe brain injury and no expectation for her to live more than a day. But with G-d Almighty’s help coupled with the loving embrace of her parents and Modern Medicine’s gift of the ventilator, this beloved Jewish daughter survived her first harrowing days of life.

Despite Alta’s strides in weaning off ventilation and transitioning to a lower level of respiratory support or that plans were being formulated to bring her home, someone at the hospital made a series of unilateral decisions that resulted in Alta having to go back on ventilation. After that it was only a matter of time before pressure began to mount on her parents to withdraw life support under the guise of concern for her pain and no promise of recovery or a normal life. When Alta’s parents refused to consent, Manchester University Foundation Trust (NHS) went to Court against them and were granted guardianship and the right to withdraw her life support, r”l.

To the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, we plead with you to immediately intercede on Alta’s behalf to find a way she can leave the UK either to the US or to her home country in the State of Israel.

Mr. Prime Minister, Alta and her parents are Israeli citizens. Avraham Fixsler is also an American citizen and Mrs. Fixsler additionally holds Hungarian citizenship. The Fixslers always intended to return to their home country and have made no application for British citizenship.

As such there can be no justification for expropriating the Fixsler’s parental rights – who are neither British citizens nor have they committed any crime on UK soil – or Alta’s right to live, simply because she sadly suffered brain injuries at birth.

Mr. Prime Minister, Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, is fast approaching. This is the birthday of Mankind when Adam and Eve were created and judged. The fate of Alta should be emblematic of Humanity’s appreciation for the preciousness of every life, no matter what one’s circumstances.

Tamar Adelstein
Crown Heights Women for the Integrity & Safety of Israel

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