Your letters to the editor of the St. Louis Jewish Light


Readers respond to recent Marty Rochester column

Regarding the commentary “Youth of today could learn lessons from hardships of past generations” (Feb. 22 edition), I could not agree less with the view put forward by the writer, Marty Rochester.

We have nothing to teach our youth. I have two grandsons, one living in England and one here in St. Louis. Educationally they are far more advanced that I was at their ages and school level. The young people of today have to cope with a rapidly changing world. There have been more changes and advances in the last seven years of my life than I have experienced in my previous 80 years combined.

Telling them old stories of the Vietnam War will not assist them in facing the challenges of today. Just as my generation had to resolve the problems of my time, so will the youth of today have to face and decide how they will deal with manifold problems they are confronted with, artificial intelligence and human cloning as just two examples. My generation is ill equipped to assist them. We need to spend more time loving our children — they will resolve their problems as we did in our turn.

Gerald Mindel

Regarding Marty Rochester’s Feb. 22 commentary, I take issue with Rochester’s assertion, that when it comes to dealing with problems, contemporary youth seem to have fewer coping mechanisms than their earlier counterparts.

Obviously, Rochester is not being pragmatic, as he seems to be oblivious of the problems and hardships the youth of today encounter.

Economic and social privations such as crime, drugs, peer pressure, bullying in schools, antisemitism and lack of two-parent households are just some of today’s problems faced by present day youth. Such difficulties were nowhere near as prevalent when Rochester was growing up as they are in today’s society.

No doubt, it takes a strong resilience and strength of character to survive in our present-day environment.

In my own life, I’ve encountered a plethora of problems — both economic and social — and endured more than my share of adversity.  However, and please forgive my immodesty, through courage, perseverance, intestinal fortitude and sheer guts, I was able to mitigate my misfortunes, which, mentally speaking, made me a much stronger person.

That said, I suspect there are millions of people like myself who, contrary to Rochester’s assertion, are tough-minded, hard-nosed individuals who could have been the ones who taught past generations a thing or two about self-reliance, and life’s arduous lessons.

Gene Carton

Response to WU professor article

Thank you for publishing WU Professor Cassen’s excellent article about the antisemitic badges that Jews were required to wear by the Nazis and other groups throughout history.

The Light should also be commended for raising the level of academic and scholarly articles in addition to its coverage of local news events and a variety of eclectic topics. A related topic about the antisemitism rooted in the forced conversions of Jewish adults and children during times of persecution would be an important topic that complements this article.

This topic is presently being debated in the controversy surrounding the actions of the Catholic Church, Pope Pius, and the Jews during the Holocaust.

| RELATED: Author of new book on Pope’s silence during Holocaust coming to STL

Jordan B. Cherrick, March 19, 2023