October 7, 2016: Holiday photos

Tel Aviv, like any large city, is a natural venue for social change, but the real story of Jewish renewal is in the peripheries of Israel and the country’s smaller communities.

George Soros  (photo credit: REUTERS)
George Soros
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Holiday photos
Last year, I complained because on your front page the day after Yom Kippur, you had children riding their bikes on the holiest of holidays.
This year, I’m complaining because on the front page of your October 5 issue, you show children flying their kites on Rosh Hashana.
Why can’t you show a more appropriate photo of children on the holidays, like walking to synagogue in their holiday finery?
Half the story
Reporter Jeremy Sharon has done a service by bringing the pluralistic Reform religious movement to the wider public’s attention with “Pluralist and egalitarian services blossom during High Holy Days” (October 5). Thank you for devoting such a large amount of space to the article, although the piece was also a lost opportunity, as it told only half the story.
Tel Aviv, like any large city, is a natural venue for social change, but the real story of Jewish renewal is in the peripheries of Israel and the country’s smaller communities.
Here, the population is often relatively sparse and more conservative and traditional, making innovation more difficult – and its flourishing more remarkable.
Yet this is exactly what is happening all over Israel.
Our experience in Rosh Pina is a good example, and our six-year-old pluralistic group, the Rosh Pina Reform Congregation, regularly attracts 20-30 people for a Kabbalat Shabbat services, and 50 to 60 on holidays.
Considering the relative sizes of Tel Aviv and Rosh Pina, this is an amazing achievement, one that is increasingly being reflected all over the Galilee and other parts of the Israeli periphery.
We welcome anyone visiting the Galilee to join us for the Kol Nidre service and on Yom Kippur, or at any other time. For more information, call (04) 682-8712.
Rosh Pina
Nursing care
Most people pay for nursing care coverage for many years. I did for all the years that the Clalit health fund offered it, and Clalit always suggested that I upgrade to a better policy, with higher premiums. Like many others, I assumed that the monthly benefit would be for life. Guess what? It is not! When I became a nursing care patient, I was suddenly informed that coverage was for five years only. The reason? According to the health fund’s statistics, most people die within five years of becoming a nursing care patient! At this season of penitence, I can only hope that the health funds and their insurance company underwriters will show a human heart, and not just a statistical heart.
Influential Jews
I wish to voice criticism of your October 2 supplement 50 Most Influential Jews.
As its title implied, the influence should have been spread over the full spectrum of people, and not specific groups or segments. The three most significant individuals should have been Ronald Lauder (who is relegated behind some rather fleeting personalities), the head of AIPAC (not at all mentioned, while J Street’s Jeremy Ben- Ami is) and Lord Sachs, inexplicably overlooked although as Britain’s former chief rabbi, he is probably the leading Jewish intellectual whose influence on world leaders cannot be over-stressed.
The inclusion of George Soros in your supplement is not only an insult, it is a disgrace, as by his own admission, Soros cooperated with the Nazis.
Tel Aviv
The New Years listing of the most influential Jews should be followed by a sequel – an antithesis listing of the 50 most disgraceful Jews. Heading the list should be the Blumenthals, father Sidney, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, and his anti-Israel son, Max.
Kfar Yona
The boy whose parents sought to have Jerusalem, his birthplace, listed on his US passport as being in Israel was Menachem Zivotofsky, whose last name was misspelled in the 50 Most Influential Jews supplement.