Regarding “Can We Afford To Make Others A Priority?” (March 12), I have conducted religious services at senior residences for close to a decade. In order to qualify for government funds, beds had to be full, forcing historically Jewish institutions to admit non-Jews. At first these admissions were limited in order to maintain their Jewish character, but gradually many institutions became Jewish in name only, catering basically to non-Jews, but still receiving Jewish communal funds. Fewer homes schedule services for remaining Jewish residents.
I find myself puzzled by the community’s negligence in funding institutions no longer actually Jewish, institutions that prefer a Christmas tree to a menorah. A home I served has a mashgiach supervising a kitchen that provides for an almost entirely African American clientele, who prefer more familiar take-out food to what is offered. Pesach is a bizarre, unwanted challenge, but then again they are living in a Jewish home.
Professor Jack Wertheimer is on the mark in being angry. Our community would be better served during a time of economic crisis if reduced funds were dedicated to specifically Jewish causes faced with heightened need.