Education always on agenda
In the article, “CIJA renews effort to alleviate school funding,” Mordechai Ben-Dat, co-founder of Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education, is quoted as saying, that he is “encouraged the organized Jewish community is putting affordability back on the agenda.” While we share his enthusiasm about all of our collective efforts, and we look forward to working with him and the many committed individuals and organizations who comprise the task force, it is important to note that affordable Jewish education has always remained central to the agendas of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Affordable Jewish education is of paramount importance to both organizations and a core mandate of UJA Federation’s Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education. What we are currently undertaking, in partnership with the Toronto and Ottawa Jewish federations, is an approach that will bring together all of our vibrant community’s varied initiatives with a unified focus on securing additional support for our schools, and their constituent parent and student bodies.
Co-chair CIJA, GTA
Swimming in the right pool
Columnist Bernie Farber, post-election, still remains upset at the Canadian Jewish community’s partisan support of Stephen Harper (“Learning the lessons of political partisanship”).
He believes that “the first lesson of government relations was to swim in all political pools.”
Left-wing ideologues fail to realize that the Jewish community and so many others recognize these as, yes, “political pools” which pale in significance to the “pool” of honesty and moral fortitude.
Cote St. Luc, Quebec
Rabbis must lead by example
In his column reflecting upon the decision of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) to admit students with non-Jewish spouses or partners, Rabbi Dow Marmur correctly points out that “Clergy don’t reflect their congregations. Clergy lead their congregations” (“Rabbis must lead, not follow”).
This decision by the RRC certainly doesn’t represent the feelings of all rabbis and members of this branch of Judaism, many of whom have been outspoken in their disagreement.
As a longstanding member of Toronto’s Reconstructionist Congregation Darchei Noam, I can vouch for the fact that we have always been welcoming to intermarried families, many of whom have been very active in all facets of life in our Jewish community.
However, the rabbi is not just one of us. The rabbi must lead by example. If we believe in the continuity of the Jewish People, we cannot allow ourselves to water down what is the principal leadership role in the Jewish community.
Saul D. Paton
Canada as an ‘honest broker’
How well will Justin Trudeau’s government handle foreign policy issues your question of the week asks on Nov. 19. No doubt decidedly better than Canada’s previous government.
Regarding Israel, few actually know Canada’s longstanding policy on key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Look at the official website of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. It’s reasonably balanced, fulfilling Canada’s proper role as an “honest broker.” Our previous government disregarded it, focusing instead on one-sided actions.