Letters to the Editor: Cleveland Kidnappings, Hawking, Mount Zion Cemetery

How Much Involvement?

This is a thought-provoking article about our own responsibility as neighbors (“We Must Be Our Brother’s Keeper,” May 17). How do we strike the balance between being intrusive and being helpful?

Haya Leah Molnar
via jewishjournal.com


In light with teachings of Holy Quran, we Ahmadis hope to bridge the gap and form bond of love with the fellow Jewish brethren (“His Holiness,” May 17)!

Noor Ul Amin
New Delhi, India
via jewishjournal.com

Boycotting Israel

I want to thank [Stephen Hawking] for boycotting Israel (“Hawking and Mohammed,” May 17). It was an insignificant, petty declaration with no real consequence. Had he not, I would have mistakenly continued to think he had integrity.

Israel should also be boycotted for receiving 180,000 Palestinians into their hospitals for medical care each year, too!

Phillip Pasmanick
via jewishjournal.com

I am sure that a lot of the Palestinians in Israeli jails, including young boys, do not feel Israel is so wonderful. Bravo, Mr. Hawking.

Ann McCoy
via jewishjournal.com

Global Warming: Real or Not?

On atmospheric CO2 reaching 400 parts per million, Marty Kaplan’s article on global warming attempts to gin up high drama about a subject waning in the public’ consciousness (“Say Goodnight, Earthlings,” May 17). Professor Kaplan: “Our planet’s hair is on fire.” Catchy, entertaining, but is it science? Data from the NASA Climate Change public Web page http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators suggest otherwise.

A plot from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, at the top of the page, shows atmospheric CO2 steadily rising since 2005.

Lower on the page, a plot from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies indicates that global average temperatures have been slightly declining since 2004.

In other words, global temperature is not following the atmospheric CO2 concentration. An unbiased analyst would see no correlation between the two. Therefore, CO2 concentration exceeding 400 parts per million is no reason to panic and to dismantle our economy. Which is why the American public lost interest in the issue.

Professor Kaplan is using “disaster porn” (his words) and “grab us by the eyeballs” (his words) to push a gloom and doom picture in support of a Luddite economic approach. Solid data from two of the world’s research powerhouses prove him wrong.

Alex Abramovici

Marty Kaplan responds: Mr. Abramovici bases his case on global temperature from 2004 to the present. Anyone who’d like to see what’s happened from 1880 to the present — both to global temperature, and to CO2 concentration — should look at the same graphs on the same NASA page he cites:climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators. The facts really do speak for themselves.

Mattel Details

I read your article on the Autry exhibition with great interest and hope you will accept one comment/correction (“How the Jews Changed L.A.,” May 3). Mattel was started by both Ruth and Elliot Handler. Ruth was the CEO and Elliot the chief development officer (now would be referred to as chief creative officer), and both were responsible for developing and bringing out the Barbie doll and then Hot Wheels.

Irwin Field
via e-mail

Giving Credit Where Due: to L.A. Times

I was gratified to read Jared Sichel’s extremely well-reported and -written story “Restoring Mount Zion” (May 10). I’m glad that the Jewish Journal is covering the sorry state that this cemetery finds itself in — as well as nascent efforts to do something about it.

It was pointed out to me, however, by the person who forwarded the article to me that there was no mention of the fact that the publication I work for, the Los Angeles Times, broke that story. In fact, I was the person who reported and wrote the story about Mount Zion’s condition. As you know, these stories get picked up elsewhere, and people are none the wiser that the L.A. Times had a thing to do with breaking this story.

Hector Becerra
Staff Writer
Los Angeles Times

Editor’s note: The Journal has written about the decay at Mount Zion Cemetery before, including in 2007, as has The New York Times. The Los Angeles Times article mentioned did not break the story, but it did provide another look. We regret that omission.

Calendar Girls picks and clicks for July 12 – 18 — Hadassah, the cosmos and more


To lure young and trendy philanthropists to their big-deal fundraising bash, Young Hadassah International is trotting out more than just the humdrum silent auction. The charitable organization, which brings together young activists from ” target=”_blank”>http://www.hadassah-international.org.

Looking for an all-day event that appeals to all five senses? Join participants from across the Southland for the 19th annual Pasadena Summer Art Festival. Take a stroll around Pasadena’s beautiful Centennial Square as you listen to the various musical talents performing live, stop to appreciate the stunning art selections on display, indulge in the sweet scents of candles and potpourri and enjoy the delicious summer food sold by an array of vendors. All this fun is just a short drive away. The proceeds from the event will go to support two nonprofit organizations: Children’s Action Network and Second Acts Foundation. Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Also July 13. Free. Pasadena City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave., Pasadena. (626) 797-6803.

The ingredients for a perfect summer party have to include a pool, plenty of food and drinks and excellent entertainment. Lucky for you, all of these elements will be available at the GesherCity Superbad Summer Party. Sponsored by ultra geeky-cool Heeb Magazine, this poolside fiesta is an event that should not be passed over easily — with drinks a flowin’ and a screening of one of Judd Apatow’s most hysterical comedies, “Superbad,” connecting with your fellow Jews has never been so refreshing! Sat. 6 p.m. $10. Alpert JCC, 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach. R.S.V.P., (562) 426-7601, ext. 1521. ibakal@alpertjcc.org. ” target=”_blank”>http://theatregroupstudio.com.


Zionist women from all over the country will pour into Los Angeles for Hadassah’s 94th National Convention. Over four days of Jewish exploration, women will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of workshops, discussions, film screenings and performances that highlight everything from modern Israel ” target=”_blank”>http://www.hadassah.org/convention.

Watch out “First Wives Club,” because the Brentwood Divorcee Club joins some of the kookiest, comical and cosmetically inclined women on the wrong side of the ketubah. Actress Juliette Marshall, often praised for her charisma and sensuality, sings her way through a musical rendition of divorce in “Shift Happens: A (Piece of) Work in Progress.” With two musicians at her side, Marshall delivers a one-woman performance of startling range as a single, divorced mother edging back into the dating world. With the advice of her treasured Westside therapist and her wild bunch of divorcĂ©e girlfriends (a plastic surgery prototype, a woman with “food issues,” a newfound lesbian and a modern Southern belle), Juliette negotiates the harrowing and sometimes hilarious world of life post-marriage. Sun. 7:30 p.m. Through Aug. 3. $20. Improv Comedy Lab, 8158 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles.(323)960-1055. ” target=”_blank”>http://www.beverlymagid.com.


Angelenos from the Valley to downtown have been suffering from a frightening phenomenon: seeing a light flicker on their dashboard letting them know they’re out of gas. This inevitably means pulling into a station and paying north of $5 a gallon (in some places) to fill up. When will this travesty end? Hear what some people high up have to say on the matter at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s informative lecture, “GOP Solutions for Energy and the Environment: How to Diversify Away From Middle East Oil.” Representatives from the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security will discuss some immediate solutions for a dire situation that has commuters seriously contemplating public transportation. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Shomrei Torah Synagogue, 7353 Valley Circle Blvd., West Hills. R.S.V.P., (310) 478-0752.