Disappointed With Lecture

The third annual “A Shared Future Lecture: Our Connection to the Holy Land” at Congregation Beth Ahm on March 7 featuring Professors Howard Lupovitch and Saeed Khan was to “shed light on how Muslims and Jews view the city.”

The result was a Lupovitch glossing of the history with some personal historical notes. Not one comment exemplifying the glory of the Jewish connection to the capital of the Jewish people.

And not one mention of President Trump’s magnificent, courageous endorsement of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital and expeditious move of our embassy.

Khan’s outrageous “facts” that Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims and repeated inappropriate negative comments toward President Trump showed a total lack of class.

I am surprised the sponsors of the event allowed that inappropriate behavior.

Ed Kohl

West Bloomfield

Teen Mental Health Thoughts

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To clarify the teen mental health (TMH) issue and who’s doing what in the organized Jewish community, from where I sit at Jewish Family Service, here are a few thoughts/questions:

  • First, thanks to the DJN for its coverage this year, in the past and moving forward, on the issue of TMH and its related parts. One thing that is crucial is that we all need to be talking about this, reading about it and on an ongoing basis destigmatizing it. We all go through challenges and transitions, and the more we can normalize all of our struggles with the small and the large, the better off we will all be at understanding, accepting and helping.
  • Next, even though TMH is getting more attention in the Jewish community than before, this is not an issue that is new, nor is it the case that the organized Jewish community has not been dealing with it for a long time. Kadima and Friendship Circle and JFS and … have been assisting in a variety of ways for decades. But, until everybody gets the help they need, there is more work that has to be done. And, by the way, this is not a Jewish issue per se, but like all issues, it impacts the Jewish community and, therefore, we must keep at it and get people the help they need.
  • Further, assistance in the TMH space (i.e., counseling/behavioral health/psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment) for young people and their loved ones exists in the so-called organized Jewish community, but is also, as we know, available throughout the marketplace. Help exists all over the place, and it is JHelp’s aspiration to understand all resources, “Jewish” and “non-Jewish,” near and far, and help get people to where they need to go.
  • Last (for now), there have been many questions about what role Federation is taking in the TMH space, i.e., is it usurping the service provision that JFS and others are in? Federation, appropriately, is the convener and in this role is helping to coordinate and to resource the variety of activities going on in the community, including suicide prevention trainings emanating from Kadima, Friendship Circle and JFS. With Federation working hard on this, the rest of us are in better shape to do what we do best.

If you or a loved one needs help, you are not alone. I implore you to seek assistance. Within the organized Jewish community, JHelp is the place to contact at jhelpdetroit.org.

Perry Ohren, CEO

Jewish Family Service

‘Don’t Empower The Word Stigma’

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In “Here’s My Story” (March 8, page 18), it states “UMatter is a program focused on empowering teens to shatter the stigmas surrounding mental health challenges.”

Why I did not enjoy your article:  One word, “stigma.”

I encountered that term in my youth as a Jew — stigma. Never would I empower it again.

I encountered that term in my youth as rape — stigma. Never would I empower it again.

Harold A. Maio

Ft Myers, Fla.

U.S. Holocaust Museum Revokes Award Over Rohingya Crisis

The U.S. Holocaust Museum is to be applauded by revoking the honor given previously to Myanmar’s civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to condemn and possibly stop the mass killings and harsh persecution of the Rohingya minority.

There is a Jewish saying that goes: “He who kills one person, it is as if he killed an entire world.” The Rohingya people are fleeing for their lives by the thousands to languish abroad in the most horrendous conditions just because of who they are. And for the leader, who herself endured 15 years in house arrest because of her deep convictions of fairness and justice, now to keep her silence in the face of this untold tragedy in her country is unseemly. The award was given to her justifiably at the time it was awarded — no more so. The museum is justified in revoking it.

Rachel Kapen

West Bloomfield