It is with disappointment and frustration that I note that The Jewish Chronicle, the acknowledged newspaper of record for the Jewish community in western Pennsylvania, failed to publish a review during the run of the revived Jewish Theatre of Pittsburgh’s (JTOP) inaugural production of “That’s Life!”
The fact that the Chronicle did publish a preview article, for which I am appreciative, does not absolve them of their responsibility to thoroughly cover what is, in my and many others’ opinion, a major cultural event for the Jewish community.
Theaters devoted to Jewish themes thrive in many cities across North America, based in large part, on the active support of the Jewish community. Some, unfortunately do not, as evidenced by the imminent demise of the Jewish Theatre of Arizona.
It is truly remarkable and praiseworthy what Tito Braunstein, the founder and artistic director of JTOP is attempting, at great personal expense of time, talent, energy and financial resources. He (and JTOP) deserve the enthusiastic support he is receiving from the Jewish community. It behooves this area’s Jewish newspaper of record to, if not necessarily provide active support, at least understand its responsibility to fully chronicle and report its activities.
Bravo Mr. [Menachem] Rosensaft (re: “Kissinger and human rights: Why is Israel honoring him?” June 21).
[Former Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger does not deserve to be honored by Israel or anybody. His record on human rights is deplorable. Thank you for a great article.
Regarding [Monday’s] Supreme Court ruling overturning most provisions of Arizona’s draconian immigration law, S.B. 1070: Rather than responding reasonably to the problems within our immigration system, S.B. 1070 would have encouraged racial profiling and would have usurped the federal government of an authority it has always had. The state’s audacious response to the challenges of our immigration system threatens civil and human rights, rather than providing constructive solutions.
America is becoming ever more diverse. Living together in comity with intergroup respect and a rule of law under which all are treated equally are indispensible to the well-being of our nation. The case still leaves open whether police will be able to engage in demanding papers of any people stopped for any reason. Despite provisions barring racial profiling, it is impossible to see how these provisions will be implemented short of such profiling.
We urge Arizona and the lower courts to endorse the principle that all women, men and children deserve equal protection under the law, as appearance offers no grounds on which to assume the legal status of an individual. Engaging in racial profiling only jeopardizes the safety of entire communities, as members of immigrant communities fearful of being profiled are discouraged from cooperating with law enforcement on issues.
Throughout our history, from Moses’ time to modern times, the Jewish people have known the experience of being strangers in a strange land. Those experiences, and Leviticus’ mandate to “welcome the stranger,” (19:33-34) have inspired American Jewry’s commitment to a just immigration system and the just treatment of immigrants. S.B. 1070 would have failed to achieve either goal and would have been an affront to us as Reform Jews and as Americans who cherish this country’s history as a nation of immigrants.
Rabbi David Saperstein
(The author is director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.)