Clarification on Beth Abraham article
The Oakwood Register is to be commended for the welcome it gave Beth Abraham Synagogue’s move to Sugar Camp: with a front-cover story and photos (March 18). However, the factual information attributed to me in the article requires clarification. Regarding Beth Abraham Synagogue, I didn’t say, “this is the last of the three temples to move from their original place of worship.” The term “temple” only applies to Jewish congregations — mostly in the Reform movement — that refer to themselves as such. What I said was that Beth Abraham was the last synagogue to leave the old Jewish neighborhood of Dayton View.
The home of Beth Abraham from 1949 until this year, Dayton View is considered the “old Jewish neighborhood” to this generation of Jews. However, it is not the original place of worship of Dayton’s Jewish congregations. Beth Abraham’s first home was in the “East End” — Southeast Dayton — the location of the city’s Eastern-European Jewish neighborhood going back a century ago. The first Jewish house of worship in the Dayton area, now known as Temple Israel, was established by German Jews in downtown Dayton in 1850. With an expanded Jewish communal presence now in Oakwood, we are all blessed with opportunities to learn more about each other, our various traditions, customs and history.
Editor and Publisher
The Dayton Jewish Observer
Oakwood “solidly red”
My father would be glad to see the fun you are all having with the name he gave me. (He was a bit of a prankster.) And to be truthful, I thought that Mr. Cebulash’s name sounded a bit improbable - some kind of anagram, perhaps? - but I responded to his letter anyway. The message is, after all, more important than the messenger.
Mr. Cebulash, while demanding to know who I am, says nothing to rebut my criticism of his astonishing assertion that things couldn’t be worse. And Mr. Broz, who responded to my criticism of Mr. Cebulash, seems not to have read my letter very carefully. He says I claim that “things could not get much worse,” when I was in fact arguing that they could. Mr. Broz goes on to observe that “most Americans are experiencing hard times like never before.” One can only assume that he is unfamiliar with the Great Depression and World War II.
Mr. Broz also spends time in his letter attacking the sort of person he imagines me to be.
Allow me to offer an observation about Oakwood. As I drove through your lovely city during the last general election, I counted lawn placards. Those that were pro-Kerry outnumbered those that were pro-Bush by a ten-to-one margin. From this, one could easily conclude that Oakwood is a haven for liberals—that it is a Berkeley East or a Yellow Springs West. But then when I read the election results, I saw that the city is solidly “red.” Indeed, if I remember correctly, only one of your eleven precincts voted for Kerry.
You Oakwood ultra-liberals may think that when you unleash a political rant and your neighbors say nothing in response, it is because they are in agreement. In many cases, though, the opposite is true. They remain silent because they are intimidated by your political passion and the preposterous superlatives it leads you to assert, like that things couldn’t be worse and that times are hard like never before. They don’t want to do anything to exacerbate this passion and certainly don’t want to do anything to become, as I seem to have, the target of it.