Letter to the Editor, week of June 27, 2012

Cartoon was poor choice

The editors of the Light showed extremely poor taste in their selection of the cartoon for the opinions page of the June 20 issue. Implying that the recent action taken by the Egyptian Supreme Court is equivalent to the United States Supreme Court decision concerning the 2000 U.S. presidential election is not only historically inaccurate, but completely out of context as a reference to current events. 

No obvious purpose is served by characterizing former President George W. Bush as condoning the Egyptian action, and the inclusion of the cartoon adds nothing to the content of the opinions page or in fact of the remainder of the newspaper. The Light would be best served by concentrating on unbiased reporting of local, regional and world events of interest to the entire Jewish community of St. Louis rather than attempting frivolous adolescent-style parody.

Bob Tucker, Chesterfield

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Kudos on mental illness coverage

I want to compliment the Jewish Light staff, especially Ellen Futterman and David Baugher, for taking the editorial lead in addressing the topic of mental illness in the Jewish community in St. Louis through the “Can We Talk?” series that has been running in the paper.  Mental illness affects nearly 20 percent of the Jewish population in our community but yet it is a topic we are hesitant to discuss.  

It is an illness that society in general tends to ignore but places a label on those who might be suffering from this disease.  We are willing to talk about family members and friends who might be suffering from cancer, strokes, eating disorders, etc. but when the topic of mental illness is addressed, we tend to not want to talk about it.  Today there are treatments and medicines that can allow a mentally ill individual to lead a satisfying and meaningful life for themselves and for society.  Mentally ill individuals need the support of their friends and family to realize that they can deal with their disease and that they are not alone in doing so.  We greatly need the support  of our business community to give these individuals a chance for a job to prove their worth not only to the employer but to themselves as well.

Thanks again to the Light for talking about these issues and hopefully it will lead to continued development of programs and organizations within our Jewish community to help not only the individuals dealing with a mental illness but also for their families who sometimes need as much help in knowing how to deal with their love ones coping with this disease.  

Let’s hope that this is only the beginning of the Light’s efforts in bringing this topic before the Jewish community.  Mental illness is not a disease that goes away.  It is with an individual and their family for the rest of their lives.  As such it is one that we must always deal with today and in the future.

Neil Marglous, Clayton