The timing could not be better for the prestigious Jefferson Award to be bestowed on Jeffrey Herzog for his extraordinary work with new Americans through his association with Jewish Family and Children’s Service.
I came to know Jeff as a familiar and comforting presence at Rodef Shalom Congregation during his lengthy tenure of 22 years as executive director. Like many who retire, he is doing anything but remaining idle. He has an impressive and extensive volunteer routine that includes meeting with refugees and local employers; teaching job-readiness workshops; making skills, language, education and experience assessments with newly arrived refugees; assisting with job applications and practice interviews; and driving clients to visit employers and job sites.
This is God’s work, and it is particularly important that it be performed at a time when those who have immigrated here have reason to fear how they are perceived and wonder whether they are welcome due to the ignorant anti-immigrant invective that we have consistently heard from the president. This is an issue that resonates for those of us with ties to anti-Semitism and the Nazi era.
Hats off to Jeffrey Herzog for making a big difference in the lives of many deserving individuals. He is helping to make our community great.
Upper Saint Clair
A heartfelt appreciation
Recently, my elderly mother required hospice service on very short notice. I called the Sivitz Jewish Hospice office early one afternoon to determine what needed to be done to have her enrolled in hospice care. The staff there swung into action. They had a nurse at her apartment within a couple hours, contacted her physician and the hospice physician and had a hospital bed, oxygen and other equipment ordered. The appropriate prescriptions were delivered promptly. Within a few hours from my call, my mother was under their care and resting much more comfortably.
Over the next few days various members of the staff were in contact with us to determine what other services they could provide for my mother or our family. A nurse visited every day to check on her condition. My mother passed away four days later just as she had wanted, peacefully in her apartment.
Our entire family wants to thank the Sivitz Jewish Hospice staff for their immediate and outstanding effort on her behalf. We are grateful that they made her final days as serene and tranquil as possible.
Meyer “Skip” Grinberg
Obama got it right
There must have been an error in The Chronicle attributing the following statement to Vice President Mike Pence (“AIPAC goes back to basics” April 7): “Pence said Iran now has additional nuclear weapons it has developed due to the ‘disastrous’ deal… .” I’m sure Pence did not say that because it is not true. If Iran had violated the key term of the Iranian agreement and had even one nuclear weapon, the Trump administration would have already abrogated the deal.
This bizarre error is illustrative of the unfathomable opposition that the sensible Iranian agreement elicits in certain quarters in America and Israel, including the shameful 2015 decision of the Republican leadership in Congress to invite a foreign leader to criticize an American president on the floor of Congress.
The rest of the world long ago determined that the real danger from Iran, including the real threat to Israel, was not Iranian support for Hezbollah or any other Iranian destabilization in the region, but was the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon not only because of the potential harm from Iran itself, but also because of the Saudi bomb that would be developed in response. Since there were only two ways to absolutely preclude Iranian development of such a weapon — acts of war or a peaceful agreement — the rest of the world opted for an agreement. Such an agreement only solved the problem of an Iranian bomb, not Iranian behavior otherwise, but that is all the sanction regime had actually been aimed at. I assume that Russian President Vladimir Putin has explained to President Donald Trump that the Iranian deal has made everyone safer, and that is the reason, despite bluster from Pence to AIPAC, that the administration has left the agreement alone. History will record the unlikely truth that, at least in this one instance, Barack Obama knew better than did Benjamin Netanyahu where Israel’s genuine security interests lay.
Professor of Law
School of Law