November 16, 2018

Letters to the editor: Beit T’Shuvah, Bernie Sanders and more

Sobering Reminder During a Time of Unrest

I have been involved as a volunteer for more than 20 years at Beit T’Shuvah, a nonprofit residential addiction treatment center on Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles (“Beit T’Shuvah Changes Leadership Amid Turmoil,” May 20).

In January 2017 we will celebrate 30 years of service to men and women with addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling and more. Over the years, I have seen thousands of men and women change their lives and succeed through our combinations of psychotherapy, spirituality and the 12-step program at Beit T’Shuvah.

Rabbi Mark Borovitz and Harriet Rossetto, founder of Beit T’Shuvah, work together with a caring staff helping 140 residents to “recover their passion and discover their purpose,” and they will continue their mission.

We have all heard President Barack Obama, our senators and Paul Ryan, speaker of the House, talk about the serious addiction problem we have in our country. If we are going to continue to be able to serve these men and women with this major health problem of addiction, institutions like Beit T’Shuvah must survive.

We are here to help you if you need help, and we need your help to sustain the vital mission of Beit T’Shuvah.

Annette Shapiro, President, Beit T’Shuvah Board of Directors, Los Angeles

Over the past 15 years, I’ve been witness to the amazing work done by Rabbi Mark Borovitz and Harriet Rossetto and the staff at Beit T’Shuvah on a daily basis. I’ve seen people, young and not so young, with a wide variety of addictions and problems, turn their lives around in a very meaningful way. They’ve become productive, grateful members of society, both in and out of Beit T’Shuvah. The path out of addiction isn’t easy, but with the support of the Beit T’Shuvah community, lives are once again becoming meaningful, families are reuniting and one more soul is being saved.

Carole Miller, Los Angeles

Not Fair to Nixon

I expected Ambassador Dennis Ross to include Richard Nixon as one of Israel’s most ardent supporters and defenders, not to mention his as one of five U.S. administrations that “deliberately distanced themselves from Israel” (“Why the U.S.-Israel Relationship is ‘Doomed to Succeed,’ ” May 20). It was Nixon who saved the State of Israel during the Yom Kippur War, telling Henry Kissinger to fill every supply plane the U.S. had with war material to send to Israel, despite Kissinger’s advice to send just one plane as a token and despite the fact that no other country was coming to Israel’s aid.

Yes, Nixon was stung by Jewish animus and overwhelming political support of the Democratic Party, but he was a friend to the Jews. When his daughter Tricia dated a Jewish man for several years, he even hosted that man — a man who is now my husband — for 10 days in his own home so that he could take Tricia to an event. This is not what a true anti-Semite would do. Ambassador Ross should do a little more research, as Nixon was there for Israel when it truly counted.

Noelle Donfeld, Malibu

Where’s Bernie?

I am a big fan of the Jewish Journal, appreciative of its diversity of opinion and thoughtful coverage of local, national and international issues — which is why I am puzzled by the minimal coverage of a major figure on the national scene.  

For months now, I have been waiting for Bernie Sanders’ face on the cover, along with an in-depth story about his candidacy, his Jewish roots and his ideology. 

Granted, Sanders is not a religious Jew. But the Journal often interviews writers, filmmakers and performers who happen to be Jewish (or half-Jewish) and whose ties to the Jewish community are nominal. I enjoy those stories and am glad you include them, but … why no Bernie on the cover? 

Never before in the history of our country has a Jewish candidate made it this far in a run for the presidency. And Sanders is more than a serious candidate. Whether or not one agrees with his ideas and policies, he is changing the Democratic Party and the national conversation. With only a couple of weeks left until the June 7 California primary, I still have hopes that his face will grace the cover of the Journal.  

Laura Golden Bellotti, Los Angeles

One Nation Under Nakba?

Avrum Burg does provide a potential path for mutual respect, peace and tikkun by Jews becoming more aware of and recognizing our role in the Nakba, the tragic catastrophe endured by many Palestinians that came as a result of Israeli independence (“The Israeli Twins — Independence and Nakba,” May 13). 

Also to be considered in the equation is the role played by many Arab nations and others in their uncompromising antipathy to a predominantly Jewish state at that time, to the point of sending armies to destroy the nascent state, and doing little to improve the conditions of the people displaced when that effort failed.  

Perhaps a path to forgiveness can be found for those Arabs who should have become equal citizens of Israel in the recognition that the injustices endured by them resulted not from conquest, but from a very plausible fear of annihilation.  

Hymie Milstein via email