To the Editor:
Re the furor over Israeli ads aimed at expats: I am dismayed at Israel for pulling the ads and angry at the Jewish Federations of North America for its implications and criticisms. In the 50-plus years that I have known the Jewish Federations, I have yet to observe what it has done for Jewish identity in general and for Israelis and their descendants in particular.
I am not the norm, for I have instilled in my children and grandchildren the importance of Israel, the importance of the usage of Hebrew as our primary tongue, and of course the importance of our rich religious and historical heritage. Yet I find many expatriates who either have forgotten or wish to ignore where they came from. They have chosen not to put Israel on their priority list. They have chosen not to expose their children to any sort of Jewish or Hebrew education.
Many are descendants of Israeli parents who were thrown into the public school systems, and though they may speak Hebrew at home do not read or write the Hebrew alphabet. Many know when Christmas and New Year’s are but don’t know when or what Yom Ha’atzmaut, Chanukah or Kristallnacht are.
Staten Island, N.Y.