October 13, 2019

Letters to the editor: Eshman and Suissa work together; Breech babies; Moishe House and more

Divine Unity

A hearty yasher koach to Rob Eshman and David Suissa (“Forward … Together,” Sept. 18). Together is where we must be, left wing and right wing. After all, with one wing, no bird can fly. Here’s to more unity in 5776.

Rabbi Baruch Cohon, Los Angeles

Thanks to Rob Eshman and David Suissa for a thoughtful, meaningful and timely letter to all in our community. For weeks, I have been alarmed at the divisiveness of our Jewish community over the Iran deal and have witnessed the same emotions both Eshman and Suissa relate to. We all love Israel, we all love America, but there are two valid approaches to this problem. We all need the freedom to express and believe in our own solutions. Thanks for expressing your position … it was so very necessary.

Ronald Spiegel via email

The Journal expresses many diversities as mentioned by Eshman and Suissa in the last issue. Some at the Journal condemn Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu for not dealing kindly with its enemies within and beyond its borders. A few defend Israel’s struggle to survive at all costs. Unfortunately, the two work in contrast to each other. Survival won’t happen by making nice with your sworn, unbending enemies. Israel will not get any help from the U.S., so it has to be tough. Our current administration is not a friend of Israel. You can Yom Kipper together till you starve to death but it won’t help Israel. The Iran deal is only good for Iran.

Chuck Colton, Sherman Oaks

Breech Advice a Breach of Safety

The article about delivering breech babies distorts recommended obstetric practice and would endanger mothers and babies if they followed its advice (“Delivering Breech Babies, Offering an Option,” Sept. 18).

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology still recommends Caesarean section as the preferred mode of delivery for most breech presentations. 

Women with a breech presentation should rely on their personal physician’s advice and expertise, and would be well advised to think carefully, for the safety of both themselves and their babies, to go against mainstream medical practice when facing a breech delivery.

Two of the three obstetricians mentioned in the movie have been disciplined by the Medical Board of California. And chiropractors should stick to spinal manipulation — they have no training or expertise in obstetrics.

Daniel Fink, M.D., Beverly Hills

Foundation Proud to Support Moishe House

I want to commend the Journal’s excellent cover story on Moishe House (“Communes for Community,” Aug. 28), which is a truly inspired model for engaging Jewish millennials — culturally and religiously. Writer Aron Chilewich vividly captured the spirit, as well as the nuances, of this initiative. 

Social innovators such as founder and CEO David Cygielman give me great confidence in our Jewish future. It takes not only vision, but tireless effort, as well, to grow and scale a program like Moishe House and earn the confidence of various nonprofit funders, which David has done admirably.  

There is one notable omission of funders in the story, however. The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, which I lead, recognized Moishe House’s promise in 2011 with a $200,000 Cutting Edge Grant. The grant provided instrumental funding to help Moishe House establish its first multihouse community with residences in West Hollywood, West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

We are duly proud of what Moishe House has accomplished through our support and that of many others, as well as delighted to see it receive the recognition it richly deserves.

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

A Holocaust Is a Holocaust

As a child of a Holocaust survivor of a Vichy French camp, whose father, the grandfather for whom I am named and never met, perished in Auschwitz, I had the Holocaust drummed into my head both at home and in Saturday school from a very early age (“In Defense of Natalie Portman,” Sept. 4). In spite of that, it wasn’t until 1996, when I walked in the Killing Fields of Cambodia, where up to 3 million people perished at the hands of the communist despot Pol Pot, and had teeth and femurs staring up at me from the ground, that I truly understood man’s terrible inhumanity to man. We Jews should not think that we have somehow “cornered the market” on Holocausts. A Holocaust is a Holocaust is a Holocaust. Plain and simple. 

Marc Yablonka, Burbank