Wednesday, April 27th, 2011...2:35 pm

Letters to the Editor: April 29, 2011

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Israel’s security needs

I deeply appreciate Alisa Warshavsky’s column, “Support Israel in a time of crisis” (4-1-11 AJW). It’s great to read something truthful about what life in Israel is really like.

As anyone who has been to Israel knows, life on the ground there is complex, mostly peaceful and noticeably busy, with groups active in Jewish-Palestinian peacemaking efforts, despite ongoing violence toward Israelis, both Jewish and Arab.

Seeing people living and working in harmony, hospitals treating people from all religions and walks of life, and road signs in three languages are all priceless lessons in the more hopeful realities of life there. At the same time, signs for landmines along the roads and being searched before going into a restaurant or shopping mall show that Israel is still at war and still needs to protect its citizens.

However, the U.S. and global press portray Israelis as only Jewish, merely selfish, and only hostile toward Palestinians and the peace process, a maddening and dangerous falsity as worldwide anti-Semitism and anti-Israel actions grow and become “politically correct.”

Trina Porte, Canaan, N.Y.

Baron de Hirsch colony

As a group of 27 descendants of some of the original 100 Jewish families who settled in the Baron de Hirsch colony in 1890, at Chesterfield, Conn., we are hoping to locate others whose families were part of that intrepid group who chose life as hard-working dairy farmers in preference to city life in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In the 1980s, our group began to revitalize interest in the structural remnants of a shul, a mikva and a creamery associated with this community of immigrants. To date, we have succeeded in having the site added to the Connecticut state list of important historic places, received grants for a structural site report, for an archaeological survey of the site and for preparation of an application for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

We are eager to find other descendants from the Chesterfield “diaspora,” people whose ancestors were among that early stalwart group.

For more information about membership, annual meetings and activities, contact Barbara Buff, ( or Nancy R. Savin (

We look forward to welcoming interested Minneapolis folks into our circle.

Barbara Ball Buff, New York City

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