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Newport’s Jewish community deserves Touro Synagogue eviction answers
In regards to the eviction of Congregation Jeshuat Israel from Touro Synagogue headed up by Louis Solomon of Congregation Sherith Israel, New York City, I have one question, Why? Congregation Jeshuat Israel whose congregants, guests, family members, and visitors have been worshipping in Touro Synagogue, for over a century? (Yes! Over 100 years) why evict them?
Congregation Jeshuat Israel has supplied a full-time rabbi, who not only has provided services all year around, but also has been available to conduct funerals, marriages, bar and bat mitzvahs, bris, naming ceremonies, visit the sick, and be part of the Newport community. Why evict them?
Congregation Jeshuat Israel provides a rabbi who participates in ‘life cycle’ events for the entire Jewish community, for over a century? Why evict them?
Congregation Jeshuat Israel has provided Jewish worship services every Shabbat, all Jewish holidays, and minyans for other occasions, for over a century. Why evict them?
Congregation Jeshuat Israel has maintained the sanctuary and building daily, for over a century. Why evict them?
Congregation Jeshuat Israel has paid and supervised at least three major renovations, without any financial or otherwise assistance from Sherith Israel, for over a century? Why evict them?
Congregation Jeshuat Israel has helped to maintain a Hebrew School for the Jewish community, for over a century? Why evict them?
Why incorporate another congregation with the intent to take over Touro Synagogue when there is a viable congregation, Jeshuat Israel, worshipping there, for over a century? Why not work together for the betterment of the Jewish community instead of splintering the congregation? This act is especially grievous before the High Holiday Season 5784? Why evict Congregation Jeshuat Israel?
It is my opinion that the Newport Jewish community needs and deserves an answer to these questions.
Susan Woythaler, Middletown
Dangers of marijuana are being ignored
I read with great interest the article, “Campaign seeks to raise awareness of fentanyl” in The Newport Daily News (Aug. 31).
Matthew Brown, whose story of battling opioid addiction was a focal point in the article, justifiably stated that,”…there’s no safe any drugs” and that it was “extremely important” for Rhode Island to stop the illicit drug trade.
Also included in the article was U.S. Senator Jack Reed’s visit to the Newport CODAC Behavioral Center in promoting the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s “One Pill Can Kill” campaign.
During his visit, Sen. Reed discussed legislation at the federal level and his involvement in sponsoring the FEND off Fentanyl Act, which would “impose sanctions on the illicit drug trade,” and the CANSEE Act, which “targets the use of cryptocurrency to launder drug money.”
Ironically, the day after Sen. Reed’s visit to CODAC, The Providence Journal published the article, “Kennedy Plaza police sting nets 19 drug arrests, officials said” (Sept. 1).
Included in the news story was a statement from Police Chief Col. Oscar L. Perez Jr. who described the arrested drug dealers as people who, “…prey on a vulnerable group of drug users in the central downtown area.”
Both of the above-mentioned articles talked about the illicit drug trade and preventing drug dealers from selling their “products” to a vulnerable population.
Sen. Reed’s promotion of the “One Pill Can Kill” campaign, and his involvement with legislation on the federal level are both noble, yet confusing and a bit hypocritical.
If Sen. Reed was that concerned about the sale of illicit drugs, as well as the laundering of drug money, where was his voice when Rhode Island decided to legalize recreational marijuana and ignore the scientific research and evidence-based data on the societal impacts of legalization?
And where was Sen. Reed’s voice in 2019 when several medical incidents involving Rhode Island students required them being taken away in a rescue after having an adverse reaction to vaping marijuana?
Better yet, will we hear that same passionate concern from Sen. Reed when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services delivers a recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III controlled substance – a decision that will allow the addiction-for-profit industry to continue its predatory practice of luring a new generation of drug users while providing funds that the U.S. Cannabis Council described as an, “economic lifeline to the cannabis industry”?
Carol Formica, Middletown