This letter comes in response to two articles of the Queens Jewish Link, appearing in the issue of March 15, 2018 – Volume 7:11 – the article and letter to the editor of its Rabbinic Consultant, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, entitled “CJV and OO: Polar Opposites Stemming from a Common Root,” and an email regarding the DNC.
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld openly states: “My s’michah is from Rav Shneur Kotler zt”l. Yet I was reared in a Modern Orthodox environment. I grew up in Young Israel. I went to a Yeshiva University High School, was a camper at Camp Morasha, and spent nearly three years learning at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel. I am currently a rabbi of a Young Israel and a member of the Executive of the Rabbinical Council of America…”
Yet, he clearly takes positions and is willing to be assertive regarding his disagreements in path of [the National Council of] Young Israel itself – this week in particular focusing on the next generations: “…the kids…excel in study of religion…but there is an emotional bond that is often missing… My guess is that the average young man coming from a yeshivah today knows more about legendary Jewish figures such as Sandy Koufax than the Chazon Ish.”
He further admits, and in a fashion perhaps apt to rile some of his rabbinical colleagues, that “Ironically, the chareidi world, which does not preach Zionism, develops the most hardcore pro-Israel followers… Yet, incredibly, in the premier Modern Orthodox institution of higher education, a Jewish History professor if allowed to teach the pro-Palestinian gospel….(and) When it comes to controversial religious and political issues, the Modern Orthodox establishment is silent… Most recently, the Kosel controversy is which the Reform wish to establish a foothold in Israel while falling in a downward spiral in the USA, attracted some 50 chareidi activists from America to voice their support…(but) the Modern Orthodox lay and rabbinic organizations refused to be part of the mission (to Israel leadership) or even make a statement… The average adherent to Modern Orthodoxy today sees no bold leadership…left wondering what it is…no excitement in this form of Orthodoxy.”
At the same time, Rabbi Schonfeld has spoken up for Jewish needs, ready to criticize those who would make light of those so-called Jewish leaders in the United States, e.g. Senator Schumer, who has not done anything about left wing DNC leaders like Keith Ellison who is “proud of his friendship with notorious racists and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan… Or what has Schumer said of his New York colleague, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who wrote glowingly of notorious race-baiter and vulgar anti-Semite Linda Sarsour…”
This is a rabbi who stands up to be counted, and when he suggested in synagogue back in January that Jews are the one people who are reluctant to speak up on issues of importance to them, e.g., declaring Jerusalem as capital of Israel, that I was proud to follow his suggestion and publish a full-page ad supporting the president.
His activity on behalf of true values of Judaism, as Vice President of CJV (Coalition of Jewish Values) is something of which we can be supportive.
I am proud to have this rabbi as mara d’asra of my synagogue, the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills.
Paul J Goodnick
Kew Gardens Hills
In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize your favorite restaurants and honor the employees who make them a success. Why not join me in celebrating National Waiter and Waitress Day on May 21? There are several ways to say thank you. Let your server(s), cooks, and owners know how much you appreciate the excellent food and service.
On this day, don’t forget your cook and server. We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill, including taxes. If it is an odd amount, round up to the next dollar. Why not leave a 25 percent tip on this day? If you can afford to eat out, you can afford an extra dollar tip. When ordering take-out, don’t forget to leave a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. Trust us, it is appreciated.
Remember that the people who work at your favorite restaurant are our neighbors. They work long hours for little pay and count on tips, which make up a significant portion of their income. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either. Your purchases keep our neighbors employed and the local economy growing.
Why not drop off a box of candy, cookies, or some other treat for your favorite waiter or restaurant staff on this day, as well?
Great Neck, Long Island