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I support Leon Sztybel’s letter to the editor (“Kahn is a coward,” April 12). I do not know whether NJJN editor Gabe Kahn is a coward, but I believe he is a prime source of disaffection in our communities. 

I believe Mr. Kahn is sorely misinformed about the purpose and value of owning guns in our American society. While he is entitled to his views, I believe that his one-sided editorship of NJJN is something that should be discussed in our community; he and the current leadership of NJJN are doing us all great harm.

We in the Jewish community are deeply troubled about the seeming loss of synagogue attendance, support for Jewish not-for-profits, and Jewish involvement in many communities. There are many reasons for this phenomenon and many opinions as to whether it is real or not. While many try to ferret out the “pilpul” of the reasons, we are not spending much time or effort in figuring out how to fix the situation.

It is clear that progressive socialism/liberalism has captured a substantial portion of the membership of Conservative and Reform synagogues. I do not understand how our friends and shul-mates who subscribe to this political view do not see that by pushing synagogue behavior in this direction, it is causing many who do not particularly believe in the “Left’s” approach to increasingly move out of this shul environment. Some join “Modern Orthodox” synagogues and some just stay home. 

It should be fun and educational to discuss our political differences with friends and acquaintances. What is not fun is if and when we insist that our thoughts are the only right way to look at situations. The absence of civility, kindness, and mutual respect is causing us all to pay prices that are not worth it.

To come back to Mr. Kahn and NJJN: By their one-sided published view of our world, they are doing New Jersey Judaism no favors. We are being manipulated into failure by this (and other) media outlet(s) and by many voices that are not willing to discuss the issues, just demand that we follow. I believe it is a bad philosophy of action for our institutions, as many authoritative studies have shown. It would be much better if NJJN had more than one voice.

Hank Heller
Parsippany 

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