Letters to the editor, week of Aug. 1, 2012

Back to School success

On Sunday, July 22, I was witness to the heartwarming scene of the St. Louis community coming together to help our neighbors during the annual Back-to-School! Store, a project of the National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section, where children in need are provided with the necessities to start their school year off successfully. 

Over the course of one day, more than 900 children shopped for new shoes, winter coats, pants, shirts, underwear, gloves, socks, back packs, reading books, school supplies, and had dental screenings and eye exams. Each child was accompanied by his/her own personal shopper, a member of our community that cared enough to take time out of their day to volunteer. Over 500 people signed up to volunteer this year; a number we should all take pride in.

This is the 12th year for NCJW’s Back-to-School! Store, and each year we have watched it grow to serve more children. This project is only possible because of the generous support of individuals and businesses in our community and the fantastic leadership of NCJW volunteers and staff. 

It will take efforts like Back-to-School! Store to make a difference in the lives of children whose families live in poverty. But, if we can continue to come together as a community-neighbors helping neighbors, we can indeed make a difference. It was great to see the spirit of the St. Louis community!


Marlene Hammerman, President, National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section


Choosing Carnahan

On Aug. 7, we will vote to elect a congressman for greater St. Louis.  As a result of redistricting, Missouri’s 1st Congressional District will vote to elect either Rep. Russ Carnahan or Rep. Lacy Clay, Jr.  The choice will affect our community, which is why I am voting for Russ Carnahan.

There are many differences between Carnahan and Clay, but on a critical issue for our community, Israel, the choice is clear.  Upon being elected in 2004, Carnahan gained a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee dealing with matters of importance to Israeli security. In 2010, he held one of the first- ever hearings on the rise of anti-Semitism around the world addressing ways to tackle this growing problem.  Last fall at the United Nations, he helped lead the fight to stop the Palestinian unilateral statehood bid. He opposed the Gaza flotilla, supports a strong U.S.–Israel military alliance, and has consistently advocated for ways to further reinforce our diplomatic and strategic ties.  

Clay on the other hand consistently stands opposite Israel, voted against U.S. condemnation of the anti-Israel U.N. Goldstone report regarding the 2009 Gaza conflict, and later signed a letter urging the Secretary of State to ensure the safety of Americans  on the second Gaza flotilla,  indirectly giving support for the anti-Israel effort.

We have a clear choice when it comes to who will best represent our community’s interests in Congress.

Richard Woolf, St. Louis