The girls are all right

I thank you for running the JTA article regarding the refugee work that Jeremy and Rebecca are doing in Berlin through Hillel of Deutschland (“From Nigeria to Kyiv to Hillel in Berlin,” May 6). All seven of the Nigerian students, who had been studying in Ukraine and  who had found refuge at Hillel of Deutschland have now been placed.

After their initial applications for the student visas necessary to enter the United States were rejected, the two girls were granted their student visas at their second hearing last week. The girls will be arriving in Philadelphia in about 10 to 12 days and will be starting their studies at Temple University in June.

Jeremy asked me to publicly express  his appreciation to Michael Wildes, the mayor of Englewood, who is one of America’s best immigration lawyers. He volunteered his advice and  guidance  to Jeremy, so that my son was better able to prepare the girls for their second interviews.

Jeremy also asked me to publicly thank the many members of the Northern New Jersey Jewish community who have made contributions to Hillel International in support of the work that Hillel of Deutschland and Hillel of Poland are continuing to do for Ukrainians refugees.

Rabbi Neal Borovitz
Rabbi emeritus of Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge

Kudos to Seth Schlussel 

Kudos to Seth Schlussel for his considered take on our community’s support of politicians, judges and commentators “who are convenient for us” but who favor policies which would wreak havoc upon our nation’s democratic (with a small “d”) principles and upon the rights of marginalized communities (“The right to choose,” May 13). Seth is rightfully critical of our political action committees and the politicians who “stood in our homes and synagogues” pandering for our support but who wanted to overturn a presidential election and now aim to reverse the hard-fought gains achieved by disadvantaged Americans via landmark legislation, e.g., the Civil Rights Act or by judicial recognition of the most basic rights of these groups, e.g., Obergefell v. Hodges.

While Seth wonders about the direction our community will take in these matters, I am a tad more pessimistic. After years of believing that our community has fallen prey to single (or maybe two) issue politics, I have come to the belief that a (too) large slice of our community actually favors the other, heinous policies of the Trump wing of his political party.

Michael K. Eidman

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