Letters to the Editor: Berman will be missed, Fight for life, Seeking survivors

Howard Berman Will Be Missed

Last week’s election was incredibly emotional for me. With the support of my community, a kid from Pacoima won a seat in the United States House of Representatives. But I, like many others, was also very saddened to see Congress lose one of its greatest unsung heroes, and my friend and mentor (“Sherman v. Berman: Counting the Wins, Losses,” Nov. 9). Howard Berman has been the epitome of a statesman over the course of his 30-year career. He has been a dedicated public servant for the San Fernando Valley, California, our country and the world. He helped ensure that the San Fernando Valley received the federal help it needed after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake rocked our community. In good times and bad, he brought resources to our neighborhoods to meet the growing needs of our communities. He has also been an advocate for business, helping to protect crucial job creators in our state, like the entertainment and high-tech industries. And he has been an indispensable voice on foreign affairs, helping to guide our country in the right direction when it comes to international relations and policy as well as protecting our strong bond with our oldest ally in the Middle East, Israel. To say he will be missed is a huge understatement. I would not be surprised though if someone with his exceptional skill set ends up working in some other capacity in this administration. I know that I, for one, will humbly ask for his guidance whenever possible.

Thank you Howard Berman, for your unparalleled commitment, your amazing dedication and your exemplary leadership.

Congressman-elect Tony Cardenas

Forget Vacation, Fight for Life

Dr. Albert Fuchs forgets several key principles in cancer or in any terminal disease — they are faith, hope, prayer and, most importantly, the inner strength of the individual (“Telling the Truth,” Nov. 2). My wife was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer in July 2009. If my family had followed the thinking and approach of Fuchs, our seven children would be without their most amazing mother. 

It is imperative that families pursue all avenues for life extension. My wife has undergone more than 120 rounds of chemotherapy; we are now four years later, we have seen our son finish his Army service and our daughter marry, and my wife plays with her granddaughter every day. Every member of the family has watched their mother fight and survive, through her inner strength, the force of communal prayer, hope for a cure and faith in our God. Fuchs’ suggestion that we end life with a vacation is very sad indeed; we end life only when God decides. In the meantime, each of us is responsible to go to the ends of the earth to help our loved ones fight another day.

David Rubin
Los Angeles

Support Moderate Muslim Women

It is refreshing to see a moderate Muslim in the Middle East advocating both women’s rights and peace between Israel and the Palestinians (“Palestinian Provokes Hamas,” Oct. 26). We should support Asma al-Ghoul as she is the type of person who will serve to improve our communications with the Palestinians. I applaud her courage as a woman in Gaza who stands up for women’s rights and nonviolent peace with the Israelis despite dangerous repercussions from Hamas. While she is not completely pro-Israel, we must continue to support moderate people like her if we are to hope for peace in the Middle East.

Eliana Kahan
Los Angeles 

Seeking Holocaust Train Survivors

On April 7, 1945, a train was released with 2,500 Jewish prisoners from the German concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, including some 700 children.

The train was liberated on April 13, 1945, by American soldiers from the 30th Infantry Division of the Ninth U.S. Army near the city of Magdeburg, Germany, at the town Farsleben. Most of the survivors were from Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Greece and elsewhere.

Two American soldiers were among the liberators of this train and now live in Florida. One of them was a tank commander and the other an infantry liaison officer who helped lead the survivors to safety and provided them with food and medical care.

Today we know of about 220 survivors who were children then, who are scattered throughout the world and who have been contacting their liberators to tell them thank you.

If you are one of these train survivors, please contact Frank Towers at towersfw@windstream.net or Varda Weisskopf at hila_64@inter.net.il.

Varda Weisskopf


A column about “Mating in Captivity” author Esther Perel reported that she attended Oxford University (“The Erotic Life,” Nov. 9). Perel holds degrees from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass.