Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

The law of logical argument


Dear Editor:

I’ve found that some of life’s most interesting paradoxes reside in some of its biggest trivialities... like why are gas tanks on the driver’s side of some cars but the passenger side of others; or why are they called stairs inside and steps outside; and why is a Heritage column that promises “The Good Word” so often the bearer of bad?

I don’t know David Bornstein well enough to know if he’s a naturally negative person or if he has to work at it, but I find another paradox in the question of how a family (David’s) that historically worked so hard to build Orlando’s Federation could nurture a son who seems to sometimes want to bring it down. Dissolve the Federation? As a great Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn, once intoned, “Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one!”

(Another paradox: How is it that our People have survived some of history’s worst maelstroms, but remain continually threatened by self-destroyers, by those among us who one way or another would weaken and diminish our ties to Klal Yisrael... to shared community?)

There’s no doubt that trust and good will between Orlando’s Federation and its agencies are hard to come by. I learned that circumstance first hand a few years ago and David has known about it for much longer and... consciously or not... contributed to exacerbating it. I’ve seen the research and read the reports that explain why there’s a lack of cooperation (so has David) and most importantly, I’ve seen at least one recent instance—under Dick Appelbaum’s chairmanship—when enmity turned to amity. I don’t care to rehash the past except to point out that it can be prologue... that given the right confluence of leadership, dialogue, will, commitment and derech eretz (common decency among caring, like minded people)... Orlando’s Jewish Federation can once again begin to work toward achieving its full potential as a bell cow of the Jewish community. And as we know, Federation is the only organization in the Jewish firmament whose mission specifically tasks it to play that communal leadership role!

From a distance, but based on insights from community members, on columns, articles, letters, and on other feedback, it feels to me as if Federation’s new CEO and its core cadre of strong young leaders, led by Chairman Michael Soll, have begun a turnaround in Federation’s fortunes. Olga Yorish is a very impressive professional; her passion, intelligence, commitment and communications skills remind me of one of her predecessors (a lovely one, I might add).

It also seems to me that in suggesting and building a case for Federation’s self-immolation, David Bornstein is falling back on one of his great strengths: the “Law of Logical Argument,” a time-proven dictate that holds that, anything is possible... you can say anything you want... if you don’t know what you’re talking about!”

Dissolve the Federation? While I can admire David’s brassy “often wrong, but never in doubt” style, I’d like to see him consider Thomas Paine’s suggestion to those colonists who didn’t share the patriots’ revolutionary zeal: Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

Steve Levine

Boynton Beach


Reader Comments(1)

SexSociologist writes:

I don't think he was being negative but painting one possible scenario. Maybe there are better alternatives that you have, but you need to present them for evaluation. Lets get some good debate going that leads to benefits.


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