Thursday, October 06, 2022

Clarification on Response Art Exhibition in Riverdale

As curator of the Artists Supporting Israel organization, I want to thank JLBC for coverage of our first show, the Response Art Exhibition at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale. I just wanted to clarify that the format of the Response Art exhibition required artists to watch a video about rockets striking Sderot (www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-JgrDpGgngJun) OR listen to a recording of a radio program hosted by John Batchelor with co-host Malcolm Hoenlein   (http://johnbatchelorshow.com/podcasts/2013/04/18/second-hour) and respond by creating a work of art based on the theme, Restraint and Security.

Aliza Davidovit, the writer of the article, reported that some of the artists ignored the videos focusing on Sderot. In fact, these artists had chosen the second option, the radio program with host John Batchelor and co-host Malcolm Hoenlein. While the movie was shown during the exhibition to help educate viewers, we did not play the audio recording of the radio program.

We plan to continue The Response Art Series at other venues throughout the year with each one offering a selection of learning components to help educate the artists and give them more than one idea for each exhibition. Our goal is to create a body of work that is seen by many in order to highlight issues involving Israel, awaken viewer sensitivity and inspire the viewer to think about the issues represented in the paintings/artwork. For more information about Artists Supporting Israel, please visit:http://www.artistssupportingisrael.org/ .

Sheryl IntratorUrman
Curator, Artists Supporting Israel

Problematic Blue Laws

Paramus resident Sam Lichter’s reponse to Rosemary Shashoua’s petition to repeal the Blue Laws contains several points that have no basis in law or fact. First, according to Mr. Lichter, “Paramus residents are entitled to one day of peace and tranquility in their town, with no traffic.” While this is a noble, idealistic desire, what is the basis for its elevation to an entitlement? Are the residents of Ft. Lee entitled to have the GW Bridge closed on Sunday because they too, are “entitled to a day of peace?” How about the residents of East Rutherford, Moonachie and Secaucus? Are they entitled to prohibit sporting events, horse racing and concerts on Sunday because they too are “entitled to a day of peace?” Moreover, what is the basis of this “entitlement” that Mr. Lichter speaks of? Is it an inalienable right under the U.S. or N.J. Constitution? Not in my copy of these documents.

Second, what is the secular basis for Sunday being the day of peace and tranquility? Why not Saturday of Friday?

Third, if the malls create major traffic headaches, why were these malls granted the right to be built in the lovely Borough of Paramus? Could it be that your Planning Boards and Zoning Boards wanted to reap the benefit of an expansive base of commercial ratables (having the cake), yet, they did not want the concomitant, logistical cost of increased traffic (eating the cake too) ?

Last, Mr. Lichter states that quite a few observant Jews would like to keep the Blue Laws in Paramus. Very nice, but it does not mitigate the fact that it is a patent violation of the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the establishment of religion. There is no secular reason for Sunday being a day that the stores need to be closed. If you are an accountant or lawyer with an office in Paramus, and you go into the office on a Sunday, the fact that the Paramus Police can come into your office on a Sunday and cite you for a violation of the Paramus Blue Law, resembles living under Taliban rule and not the freedom associated with living in the United States. Even the province of Quebec, Canada, which years ago prohibited stores from being open on Sunday in deference to the Catholic Church there, has repealed the ban and allows shopping in the afternoon, so that residents of Quebec can still attend church and go to Lowes to buy a new barbecue.

Charles J. Kleiner, Esq.,

Disconcerting Quote from Rabbi Daniel Sperber

I refer to your article (June 27th) reporting on the ordination of Orthodox female clergy. It is clear that there are serious differences of opinion within the Modern Orthodox community about the validity and wisdom of this move. It was therefore disconcerting to read the quote attributed to Rabbi Daniel Sperber: “It took many years for the Orthodox...to mature to this moment.”

In the last 150 years there have unfortunately been instituted other changes by groups, initially even within the stretched boundaries of halakha, that matured too quickly and like over-ripened fruit fell far from the tree now in danger of being lost to Judaism and Jewish History.

Israel Polak

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