I find the letters by Ms. Wollenberg and Mr. Golden criticizing the two Jewish Oak Park and River Forest football players for playing on Rosh Hashanah an outrageous, sanctimonious, self-righteous screed. [OPRF night game a bad move, Viewpoints, Sept. 16]

My parents are Jewish. I am Jewish. I have never “observed” Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. Does that mean I have to check with Golden and Wollenberg to “certify” my Jewishness? Their position, I guess, is sort of the Jewish spin of not being black enough; in this case not being Jewish enough. I determine for myself what it means to be a Jew, not Mr. Golden! I am a Jew quite simply because my parents are Jewish and I am Jewish; it’s as simple as that. I really don’t need or appreciate the likes of Golden or Wollenberg defining for me what it takes to be a good Jew. Nor do the parents of the two Jewish OPRF players deserve such a self-righteous scolding from these two “high priests (rabbis?)” of Judaism.

Religion is an intensely personal and in many ways private human endeavor. I am sure that the two Jewish OPRF football players and their parents spent much time and thought on arriving at their decision. In my humble opinion, Golden and Wollenberg have absolutely no business whatsoever in criticizing those students and their parent’s intensely personal decision.

Wollenberg and Golden should keep their collective noses out of other people’s private and personal business!

Bruce Kleinman
Oak Park

I applaud Brad Spencer in his column concerning the Jewish holiday vs. football flap. [Letter to the masses, Brad Spencer, Sept. 16] Certain people in this town need to realize that the world does not revolve around them. There are things out of the school’s control, such as scheduling. They have apologized. I have complete faith they will be more sensitive next year. I do not hear anyone complaining about the village’s OakToberfest. Where is the outrage? It is also Friday night, and Saturday and Sunday.

We are a Jewish family. I do not appreciate the comments of Mr. Golden and Ms. Wollenberg that we give Jews a bad name because we make individual choices for our family. It is our business how we celebrate the holidays. We are not less Jewish or take our religion and culture less seriously because we choose not to attend services.

We respect your choices. We request that you respect ours. We wish you a sweet new year. L’shanah Tovah!

Becky Brofman
Oak Park

I agree that it was insensitive for Oak Park and River Forest High School to schedule its first football game under the lights on an important Jewish holiday. But, at least they apologized.

It is much more upsetting to me to see such highly judgmental letters in Wednesday Journal, directed at high school students, and their parents, who chose to participate in the game. I thought Oak Park was a community that was trying to show respect for people regardless of the ways they choose to express their religious or cultural identities.

Ruth Lazarus
Oak Park

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