August 23, 2019

Letters to the editor: Wage gaps, weight loss and Trump

Playing the Trump Card

Thank you for the balanced reporting on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to Donald Trump (Dec. 18). I was at a Chanukah party recently and two guests baited me into a political discussion about Trump. After trying to end the conversation, the guests expressed the point of view that Trump is not racist and that he has “beitzim, which our country needs.”

My response was that Trump’s rhetoric about Latino and Muslim immigrants is reminiscent of the populist anti-Semitism of pre-World War II Europe and that Trump’s jingoism also has been publicly embraced by America’s extreme racist organizations. 

When I went to sleep that night, I felt a profound sadness that these two Jews, one a child of a post-World War II European refugee, the other a Yemenite-Israeli immigrant, would fall for the phony populism of Trump. Have we forgotten the travails of both the European and Mizrahi Jews suffered as a result of authoritarian governments?

Thank God for the Jewish Journal who renewed my faith in our politically diverse Jewish community and for reminding me that our community, including the prime minister of Israel, is willing to stand up for the core ideals of Chanukah — embracing light over darkness and fighting for religious freedom. 

Paul Hackner, Los Angeles

Donald Trump is not Hitler (“Is Trump Hitler?” Dec. 18). Trump is primarily a salesman. His main sales item is Donald Trump, whom he wants the American public to elect as the next American president. His sales approach is to use his considerable vocal ability to convince voters that under his leadership, America can easily and quickly solve any political and economic problem America faces.   

A key sales tactic he uses is to verbally attack (sometimes directly, sometimes by insinuation) an individual or a class of people who are disliked or feared by portions of the American public. Among the most glaring examples are (1) his support of the claim that President Barack Obama was not born in America, even after most Americans thought otherwise and (2) Mexico was not curbing illegal immigration from Mexico to America in order to rid Mexico of rapists. 

It is because of these factors that many Americans dislike the idea of Donald Trump becoming the next president of the United States.

Marc Jacobson, Los Angeles

The Jewish Journal should be embarrassed. Rob Eshman’s latest column is nothing more than thinly veiled ad hominem venom directed toward Donald Trump. To compare Trump to Hitler is yellow journalism at its most base level, and it would seem that Eshman is truly a master practitioner. He is an absolute disgrace.

Ron Southart, Marina del Rey

Big Salaries = Big Gaps

The article about CEO Salary Survey (“The Forward’s CEO Salary Survey: Good Statistics, Questionable Economics,” Dec. 18) left out the disparity between what the top guy (or gal) makes and what the staff makes. So many of these organizations pay bubkes (minimum wage) to their staff and also limit their hours to avoid paying benefits. This is unconscionable from our Jewish ethical perspective. These overcompensated leaders should be ashamed of themselves.

Sid Adelman via email

Everything in Moderation

I was perusing the Jewish Journal recently and came across Mark Schiff’s article (“Jews, Non-Jews and Weight Loss,” Dec. 18). I enjoyed reading about his long journey and struggle with weight, and the humor he used to describe it. 

I can relate to Schiff’s journey 100 percent. From his breastfeeding story to the politeness of friends and co-workers — I was reliving Schiff’s life as I was reading.

Where our journey separates is when and how he took charge. My aha moment was at my physical last June. My doctor, a nice Jewish guy and past president of a local synagogue, told me for the first time (after eight years of annual physicals), “You know, technically, you are medically obese.” That statement rocked my world. I knew I needed to begin my transformation, which I did a week later.

Where Schiff and I differ is that I have not given up one food I enjoy. For me, a 55-year-old who hates exercise with a passion and can eat half the challah on my way home on Fridays, I knew that the only way I was going to lose weight was to learn how to say “enough.” 

I recently visited my doctor for a six-month progress check-up. I have lost 40 pounds and am no longer medically obese, just medically overweight. The key for me was to eat less and learn how to say “enough.”

David Brook, Temple Aliyah, executive director


An obituary for Beth Hersh Goldsmith (Dec. 18) included a misspelled byline. The author is Tom Fields-Meyer.

The article “The Forward’s CEO Salary Survey: Good Statistics, Questionable Economics” (Dec. 18) stated that the formula used by The Forward to estimate overpayment was flawed, showing percentages of overpayment as 100 times more than what they should have been. The error stemmed from a temporary computer coding glitch, not the formula.