Thank you Rabbis Elliott Tepperman, David Greenstein, and Cliff Kulwin for responding to the actions of Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, “Rabbis: Frelinghuysen letter contrary to Jewish values” (May 18). It is very gratifying to see that there are still rabbis who are not afraid to speak up or act when the situation warrants. Today, more than ever, it is important to speak up. This is what happened during the Holocaust. It was easier not to say anything. Don’t make waves. Keep quiet.
The actions of Rep. Frelinghuysen are inexcusable. Not to hold a town hall meeting for the last four years. Wrong. So is writing a letter to a board member of the Lakeland Bank asking for a contribution for his 2018 campaign and stating at the end that Saily Avelenda, a senior vice president at the bank, was one of the “ringleaders” against him by NJ 11th for Change. Because of her activism and feeling pressure from her employer, she resigned. I thought we still lived in a country where one could express oneself without the fear of repercussions.
This is the time to act.
I was disappointed to read your article about Congressman Frelinghuysen. The premise of the article was that three partisan activists, who happen to be rabbis, are criticizing the congressman for a lack of Jewish values. The article implied that a vocal opponent of the congressman lost her job because of the congressman, but the true story appears to be that the woman resigned for a number of reasons and the congressman’s note had little to do with her resignation.
I understand that a lot of voters are unhappy with the president, but Congressman Frelinghuysen is not Donald Trump. He has been a strong supporter of Israel and is in a powerful position to benefit both New Jersey and Israel. I have never had trouble getting to meet the congressman and have met him a number of times over the years.
Undoubtedly, Frelinghuysen is more conservative than the average Democrat and for Democrats, there are undoubtedly legitimate reasons to support an opposition candidate. But let’s not pretend that any of this is anything other than politics.