Daniel Mariaschin's fall 2016 article "Democracy Depends on Your Vote" just goes part way in encouraging voter turnout, but overlooks the obvious way of obtaining a maximum voter turnout--enacting federal legislation making Presidential and mid-term Congressional election days national holidays. In a 1996 survey of 31 nations, only three nations have a lower voter turnout than the United States.
Most voters would not have to take time off from work or wait in line up to 10 hours on Election Day. I am not aware of any Jewish organization that has advocated this common sense step designed to encourage and make it easier to vote in our democracy.
The federal Election Day Holiday Law could be quickly enacted in time for the next election. Congress in 2005 was almost instantly convened in connection with Terri Schiavo (the comatose woman the center of national debate over the removal of her feeding tube).
The Election Day holiday may appeal to those who believe that there should be maximum participation in a democracy but may be opposed by those who believe it is in our country's best interest to limit voter participation. I urge the B'nai B'rith and every other Jewish organization to support the enactment of an Election Day Holiday Law.
Edward L. Koven
Highland Park, Ill.
September 21, 2016
Thank you for your article on the long and rich history of the Jews of India. Your writer did well in portraying India's diverse Jewish communities.
I would like to point out that the caption below the photograph of the Magen David synagogue is incorrect. It is not in Mumbai (which has a different Magen David Synagogue) but in Calcutta, where it was built in 1884 by philanthropist Elia Ezra, in memory of his father David. My family worshiped there for generations, and my father, Ezekiel N. Musleah, was rabbi of Maghen David from 1952-1964, until we left for the United States. On the Jewish heritage tours I now lead to India, we hold services with the Calcutta community in that very same synagogue—one of the rare occasions during the year that there are enough people for a minyan. The experience is heartfelt and unforgettable (www.explorejewishindia.com).
Port Washington, N.Y.