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December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Anglo Jewish’

Remembering Irene Klass

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

During my 25 years as an editor at The Jewish Press, I accumulated many fond memories of Irene Klass, a”h.

 

When I started my career at The Jewish Press, I had just become a grandmother of a baby girl. This began a wonderful period of personal and professional changes for me. As a former teacher, where one of my duties as an educator was to teach and advise a staff of aspiring journalists of the school newspaper, I appreciated the chance to work at a real newspaper. Being an editor at a popular Anglo-Jewish weekly newspaper opened new vistas for me. And, as a bonus, I had the pleasure of working for the legendary Irene Klass.

 

Way ahead of her time, Irene wrote many articles offering advice on subjects like hand washing and the potential damage caused by loud music at smachot. Those issues have finally caught up with today’s generation. Today, the media’s focus on hand washing to prevent illness and avoid spreading disease (along with the frantic use of hand sanitizers), and the danger to one’s hearing from the persistent loudness of bands and electronic music on iPods, is a testament to her forward thinking.

 

Rabbi Sholom Klass, z”l, andIrene, with theirextraordinary devotion to promoting many important issues affecting the Jewish community, used the influence of The Jewish Press to bring those issues to light – long before there were other Anglo-Jewish publications. Rabbi Klass’s Torah articles brought the light of Torah to The Jewish Press’s readers. I remember how Irene would never go to an event without a batch of the paper’s latest issue.

 

Both Rabbi Klass and Irene had a great sense of humor, and I remember the many delightful conversations I had with each of them. I enjoyed many phone conversations with Irene on every subject from raising children to editing columns in the Magazine section, from recipes for various favorite foods to the best cure for a cold. When I drew my first illustration for one of the columnist’s stories Irene wanted in the Magazine section, my fate was sealed. From that point forward, there were many opportunities to provide a picture to complement the content of the columns. I looked forward each time to fill any open spaces on the pages with a drawing. And Irene never failed to express her appreciation.

 

What I remember most, however, is her kindness toward and concern for everyone with whom she came in contact. Her generosity and chesed to anyone who she learned was in need is well known. Rabbi Sholom and Irene Klass instilled this trait in their children, Naomi Klass Mauer and Hindy Greenwald, who continue to emulate their parents’ wonderful example of tzedakah and chesed.

 

Still ringing in my ears, as I remember conversations we had during which I said something that amused her, is her infectious laugh that would warm anyone who had the privilege of generating such hearty laughter.

 

Irene Klass will be missed by everyone who knew her. May her entire family be comforted by all the fond remembrances offered, and may her memory be a blessing.

Vindication

Friday, January 18th, 2002

It is no secret that there were many people who were very unhappy when The Jewish Press endorsed George W. Bush for President. Indeed, as far as we can tell we were the only Anglo-Jewish publication to do so. We received countless letters from irate readers and organizational types who were aghast that we would fail to support Al Gore who after all chose a member of the Jewish faith ? and an ostensibly Orthodox one at that ? as his running mate. Nor could they understand how we could think of urging Jews to vote for someone they just knew was itching to continue the policies of the senior George Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker, who made no secret of his disdain for the State of Israel.

It was frustrating to us that few of our critics seemed willing to credit the reasons ? in terms of both foreign and domestic issues ? we gave in our editorial endorsement which we continue to believe made out a compelling case for supporting Mr. Bush the younger. In any event, as our front-page story this week indicates, a new poll just published reports that most American Jews have come around to our way of thinking.

The poll, which surveyed 400 registered Jewish voters from November 28 to 29 shows that President Bush's approval rating at 80%, which is four times the percentage of Jewish votes he received in November 2000.

The poll also discloses that in a proposed rematch with Al Gore, the President was shown to double his share of the Jewish vote to 42% compared to 39% for Mr. Gore.

Key Bush administration officials also received high marks: Secretary of State Colin Powell received a 79% favorable rating; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 76%; and Attorney General John Ashcroft, 54%.

Doubtless the current poll results reflect the President's forthright support for Israel's right to defend itself against Arafat's terrorists, in much the same manner as we are pursuing the war against Osama bin Laden and his cohorts. And one cannot help but compare this principled stand with the probable fence-straddling and perhaps worse, of a President Gore following in the steps of his mentor, Bill Clinton, the architect of the current predicament.

Durban

Friday, October 5th, 2001

President Bush and his Secretary of State are certainly deserving of all the praise that will be heaped on them in the Anglo-Jewish media over the United States' withdrawal from the Durban Conference. The proposed anti-Israel resolution was an outrage and it was entirely correct for our government to say that this sort of thing would not be dignified by being the subject of debate or negotiations by us. It was also an important message to the Arab world that the United States has no intention of being part of any gang-up on Israel no matter how popular it is, and that we plan to act on principle.

But we think that there is another important dimension that will soon emerge. To be sure, this was a signal example of the United States standing with Israel. But it was also an example of the United States standing up for its own interests. Make no mistake about it, the Durban Conference was as much a challenge to America and the West as it was to Israel. Israel is viewed by the Third World as a remnant of European colonialism, and the United States as the principal impediment to the ascendancy of the Third World. The effort to delegitimatize the State of Israel, which, after all, was in some respects the political creation of the West and the United States, is also an anti-Western and anti-United States phenomenon. Jesse Jackson hinted at some of this thinking when he said that the U.S. withdrawal had as much to do with America seeking to avoid discussing reparations for slavery as it did for any concern for Israel.

In the last analysis, those comic opera pretenders to statesmanship at Durban will not amount to very much. What does count is that it should now be very apparent that America and Israel share vital interests. And that is a very important development.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/durban/2001/10/05/

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