Letters to the Editor: Week of May 22, 2013

State of the American Jewish Congress

Your review of the malaise that has befallen the American Jewish Congress (May 15 commentary by Gary Rosenblatt of the New York Jewish Week, “AJCongress:  Jack Rosen’s one-man show?”) unfortunately, is actually worse than the author describes. 

As a 50-year-member—or longer—the organization’s groundbreaking acts in civic and social action, in law, in Jewish programming have enthused me and thousands of others in contributing either time or funding or both to boost their progressive agenda. Under the current national leadership, grassroots membership and local chapters have been declared superfluous and, in effect, written off as unnecessary, abolished by decree, in favor of a directorate of literally a few friends and family members of the key funder. 

This is a tragedy irrespective of the social and political inclinations of the key parties who engineered this coup. Based on the record of current decision-makers, the future of American Jewish Congress will not resemble what made us work for the organization over these many decades. Thus we witness the demise of the most progressive of national Jewish organizations.

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Charles L. Klotzer, University City

Room for improvement

I am writing to express my disappointment in the Jewish community of St. Louis. I am a native of this city who moved away from 1998-2012. We returned in August of 2012 when my husband retired.

My family were active members of the community for many years.


My sister, Janice, became gravely ill in December, 2011 and I retired from my job at Temple B’nai Israel in Little Rock, Ark. to

come back and care for her. She passed away very suddenly April 2. 

I was surprised to discover that not only could we not have a service for her at any of the temples in St. Louis but nobody could suggest a decent alternative.

When we moved to Little Rock, I was concerned about what kind of

Jewish community I would find. I will tell you it was wonderful — everyone was incredibly welcoming and helpful. 

I wish I could say the same about my return to St. Louis, but I cannot. I understand why temples and synagogues have rules about membership being a requirement for using the facilities but I cannot understand why there are no acceptable alternatives for visitors or non-members. 

I hope the Jewish Federation might consider this issue and come up with some viable assistance. I feel very displaced in a community that I have always considered home.

Corky Meyers Schroeder, St. Louis