I consider Michael Bloomberg to be the first Jewish candidate for the presidency because he self-identifies as a Jew whereas Bernie Sanders doesn’t (“Bloomberg’s message of moderation draws centrist Jews,” Feb. 6). Although Sanders is ethnically Jewish, he says that he does not believe in organized religion, and I would venture that the time he spent in his youth on a kibbutz was probably because he wanted to live in a socialist community.
In contrast, Bloomberg’s name, and that of his father whom he honored, is attached to the main ambulance center and blood bank of Magen David Adom in Jerusalem, and the Mother and Child Center at Hadassah University Medical Center is named for his mother. He gave $100 million to Cornell Tech in New York City and turned down $1 million when he was chosen as the inaugural Genesis Prize winner. Instead, he used the money for 10 grants to people working on projects benefitting Israel and the Jewish people.
Bloomberg talks the talk and walks the walk. He is not just ethnically Jewish or Jewish by birth. I, like many others who share his values, would enthusiastically support any Democratic candidate who could win in November and move our country into a more peaceful direction with respect to the rights of all people.
These are fraught times, and listening to the news on cable TV and reading about it in the mainstream media and NJJN is frightening and disheartening. Having lived for years in the deep South in the ’60s and early ’70s we know about anti-Semitism and racial prejudice. I doubt there are many other people in New Jersey who have seen the Klan march on the main street of their town or have lived in a city which had segregated buses, cabs, parks, water fountains, restaurants, and even hospitals.
We have a strong stake in the direction in which this election will take us … and we are afraid.
Never has any president broken as many of the Ten Commandments as heedlessly and without a scintilla of contrition; one would think that the president thought the Ten Commandments were the 10 suggestions.