.Letters for the Week of August 7-13

The Jewish Film Festival Still Muzzles SF Jewish Film Festival, Your Words Here, July 31

Politics Played No Role in Film Festival

I am responding to the guest editorial by Carol Sanders.

The Jewish Film Institute has presented over 1,800 films over the past 39 years and our curatorial history demonstrates that we present films on a wide range of perspectives around Israel/Palestine, including in this year’s festival. We make our curatorial decisions without input from funders, including the SF-based Jewish Community Federation, and encourage dialogue and debate about the content of the films. Our film festival is a festival for the entire community and all are welcome to attend and be part of the dialogue. 

While the Jewish Film Institute (JFI) seeks community partners as a way to do outreach into the community and promote the festival, JFI does not engage in community partnerships with political organizations working directly on the Israel/Palestine conflict. This policy applies to organizations on both ends of the spectrum on this issue. This practice was communicated to JVP after an intern reached out to them inadvertently to invite them to be community partners in the promotion of a film.

JFI seeks to foreground the films and not promote any specific agenda. This approach secures our role as an independent arts organization and it has been our experience that this works to keep our focus on our mission.

Lexi Leban, Executive Director, Jewish Film Institute

What’s a Music Festival to Do When Its Venue Becomes a Homeless Encampment? Music, Jul 3

Thank You, Boogaloo

As a homeowner whose house is right across the park from Mosswood, THANK YOU, seriously. Thank you for working with our park neighbors to make sure they wouldn’t be displaced. That move is truly in the punk ethos, and I hope the city takes note that plenty of us are happy to live alongside folks in tents. Last year it was heartbreaking watching folks be displaced (studies have shown that unhoused people cannot rebuild security and safety when they are continually forced out of stable situations). This year’s Burger Boogaloo was fantastic, we’ve enjoyed watching the festival grow and change over the years and bringing great energy to the park.

Mosswood resident

I still wish Berkeley’s People’s Park had such a concert with such clout.


Grand Jury Faults Behavior of Alameda Councilmembers, Seven Days, June 26

Learning From the Master

Did I miss something in my reading of this or was there an error in the report? The article lays out in detail the actions Jim Oddie and Malia Vella (though not explicitly named, credibly linked) took to interfere with the city manager’s duties to independently hire a new fire chief, right down to verbatim quotations from a recorded phone call. But in the final paragraph, Oddie and Vella claim to be totally exonerated by the findings of the Grand Jury. Did I misread the article or have Oddie and Vella ripped the page on gaslighting right from the current President’s playbook?

Marilyn Ashlin

Fires, Refugees, Traffic, Gentrification … So Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About Population? Feature, June 26

Richmond’s Keller Beach is a Hidden Gem. But You Might Not Want to Swim There, News, July 3

They Close it When It’s Red

The traffic light metaphor/symbol at the plaza on the way to the beach has a red light. What you need to know is that when it turns red, the Supervisor of Miller Knox Park/Keller Beach closes the beach. The Rangers go out there and put up barricades with signs that say Beach Closed. That’s serious. … I’ve been living across the street from Keller’s Beach for decades. I can count on one hand the number of times the beach has ever been closed.

Richard Katz

The Warriors Attempt to Reverse Their Legal Losing Streak, News, June 19

That’s How You Reward Our Loyalty?

Trying to stick ALL the residents of Oakland/Alameda County with a $40 million debt for renovations made solely to benefit the Warriors is despicable. Especially since the Warrior owners are filthy rich and they just dumped Oakland/Alameda County like a bad date despite fierce fan loyalty during all those years the Warriors sucked.

Sherri Yeager


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