Clarifying Stand of Jewish Group

Your article, "Presidential Camps Target Jewish Votes" (Times, Oct. 27) quotes Democratic activist Ed Sanders comparing the Orthodox Jewish community to the extreme right wing of the Christian fundamentalist religion.

While it is true that on a number of issues, such as constitutionally allowable government support for private schools, opposition to abortion on demand or support for the state of Israel, we do share similar planks with Christian fundamentalists, Mr. Sanders goes way too far in attempting to paint us into the same corner.

In fact, Agudath Israel of California, the main voice for the observant Jewish community in public affairs, has, in the past few years, honored none other than Assemblymen Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) and Richard Katz (D-Sepulveda) and County Supervisor Ed Edelman, all dedicated public servants and liberal Democrats. These individuals worked hard to protect the civil and religious rights of observant Jews by authoring and supporting legislation sponsored by Agudath Israel, and enacted into law.

Orthodox Jews cannot be easily stereotyped as Mr. Sanders would have it. It is to be hoped that the Democratic Party, which he represents, neither takes us for granted nor writes us off in the future.


Agudath Israel of California

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