September 18, 2019

Letters to the editor: Purim alert, Limmud and more

Purim Alert: Send Us Your Funny Headlines!

Every year, the Jewish Journal’s Purim issue features a tabloid-style gloss cover with fake headlines that shock, upset and sometimes even entertain our readers. This year, we’d like to invite you to contribute one or two of your best ideas for fake Purim headlines.

We credit contributors in the Table of Contents and will post all entries online. Send your ideas to by Monday, Feb. 16.

Remember, the best headlines play off big news items and personalities, or the quirks of Jewish life. Don’t pull punches — it’s Purim!

Take a Picture …

As I usually disagree with Rob Eshman’s columns on national and world affairs, I was shocked to my foundations to read his column (“Drones, Jews and Morality,” Jan. 30) several times (it was that good) with great respect.  If he is going to write such well-reasoned, rational, thoughtful columns with no detectable left-wing drivel, how am I going to be able to rage against him? His proactive stance against the mainstream at a bastion of left-wing radicals (Princeton) blew me away. I even learned something new that I found very useful. What’s this world coming to?  But please, keep up the good work.

Warren Scheinin, Redondo Beach

LimmudLA and Sustaining Support 

I commend David Suissa for shining a light on one of the most expansive and inspirational Jewish engagement programs launched locally (“Whatever Happened to Limmud in LA?” Feb. 6), as well as the considerable challenge facing social entrepreneurs and philanthropists everywhere: sustainability of these dynamic initiatives.

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles was instrumental in launching LimmudLA in 2007 with $250,000 awarded over three years through its Cutting Edge Grants Initiative. Additionally, The Foundation’s own donors have provided over $100,000 in additional grants to support LimmudLA.

Since establishing our Cutting Edge Grants in 2006, The Foundation has provided financial support of nearly $10.5 million to launch 53 groundbreaking programs.  Proudly, about 90 percent of these initiatives — including LimmudLA — continue to operate during and beyond their grant periods.

The fact that LimmudLA today operates with a different model and capacity from when originally launched reflects the sustainability challenge confronting even the best initiatives and start-up nonprofits. Long-term success entails more than just securing support through a seed funder like The Foundation; it takes a veritable “Jewish village” of resources. Regrettably, not all programs will take root longer term.

This underscores the vital need for second-stage funding, to support promising initiatives as they grow, adapt and become truly sustainable into the future. The Foundation continues to be committed to exploring how we, in partnership with like-minded funders, can play a leadership role in enabling the community’s most viable programs to flourish beyond our grant-making support.

Marvin Schotland, Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, President and CEO

Artistic Integrity

In reference to Ellie Heman’s piece about the Oscars (“Why I Don’t Want to Watch the [White] Oscars This Year,” Jan. 30), I am sick to death of hearing the term “white” being used as a racial invective. Herman, secure in her limited little bubble of academia, feels free to toss the word around as if skin color exempts white Academy members from any serious ability to think for themselves, forgetting that voting members come from all racial and religious backgrounds.  In all fairness to Herman, perhaps she does not realize that “Hollywood” operates as a meritocracy, and that films are not nominated for racial or ethnic consideration, but for any number of reasons, including artistic merit. Let’s face it: “Selma” was a bore, cast with British actors whose American accents at times seemed somewhat labored. If Herman, even dimly, recognizes her own bigotry, then perhaps she will be able to understand what meritocracy is all about.

Ron Southart, Marina Del Rey