Letters to the Editor, Sept. 5, 2012 edition

Traditional humor

This morning I read Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Robert A. Cohn’s meticulous column detailing St Louis shul mergers and splits (Cohnipedia, Aug. 22 edition). My three minutes of attention were rewarded as you took me through the head-spinning history of our city’s synagogues.  However, I need to tell you that your column has cost someone a job.

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

As president of Traditional Congregation, I was irate that our shul never found a place in your engrossing retrospective. It’s true that we’ve never merged nor split in our 47 years, but that’s beside the point. You mentioned so many other synagogues in our area that I’m incensed we were left out.  I don’t blame you: It’s clearly the fault of our PR vice-president. Make that our former PR vice-president; I fired the poor shlub.

Why? Because he didn’t let your readers know about the best-kept secret in St Louis. Traditional Congregation’s welcoming and heimish congregation is not the biggest in town, but we are “big enough to serve you, small enough to know you.” Under the leadership of Rabbi Seth Gordon, we offer daily minyanim, adult education classes, youth services and programming, and chesed, social and educational programs. The only split in our shul is the aisle between the mixed seating and mechitza sections.

The next time you write a column that includes a sweep through the great Jewish houses of worship in the area, I’ll make sure that our new PR-VP contacts you.  Rest assured that this person will not write ironically in an attempt to generate some publicity in exchange for a few cheap laughs — we’re way above that!

Boaz Roth, President of Traditional Congregation

Ryan’s Medicare plan

Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s proposed Medicare plan has created a firestorm among Democrats and senior citizens. However, many aren’t aware of the facts. For those who persist in thinking that “granny will be thrown over the cliff” if Mitt Romney were to be elected president, allow me to try to allay their fears.

Romney has not unequivocally supported nor endorsed Ryan’s Medicare plan, and as the GOP presidential nominee would have to definitively sign off on such a plan.

Second, Ryan’s plan is optional. If implemented — right now projected to be in 2023 —those 55 and over at that time wouldn’t see any changes whatsoever and those under 55 would have the option of continuing with the current plan (a government guaranteed benefit) or receiving a yearly fixed subsidy from the government, adjusted for inflation, with which to buy their own insurance through private insurance companies.

No changes to the Medicare program could, or would take place without Congressional approval. In all likelihood, Ryan’s plan would have virtually no chance of passing unless the Republicans were to win both houses of Congress in this November’s election.

Although I intend to vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket, and as a 72-year old retired senior citizen on Medicare, I would not be affected by Ryan’s proposed plan, I am adamantly opposed to it, and think it’s a bad idea.

However, I think many are worrying needlessly, as in my opinion such a proposal will never reach fruition, or even get past the talking stage.

Gene Carton, Olivette