Gary Rosenblatt's blog

Hateful Words From A Rabbi

The sermon delivered by Rabbi Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas Party in Israel, and broadcast in part on Israel Radio on Sunday, is an embarrassment to all Jews.

Referring to the leader of the Palestinian Authority and his followers, the rabbi said that “Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from the earth.”

What saddens me is that this sentiment comes from one of the most influential rabbis in the world, and that few of his colleagues have spoken out against such hateful rhetoric.

Obama A Muslim? Is Rev. Wright His Imam?

Let me get this straight: about one in five Americans think President Obama is a Muslim. And yet the biggest controversy during his presidential campaign was over the perceived influence that his spiritual leader had on him, that leader of course being Rev. Jeremiah Wright of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

So which is it, folks? Are we worried that the president is a Muslim following Islamic law or that he is/was under the spell of a Christian preacher?

Israel’s UN Ambassador Leaving When Needed Most

The government of Israel will be losing a key and effective diplomat in New York just when it needs her most.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, highly praised for her low-key, thoughtful and compassionate work these last two years, is returning to Israel and her academic life at the end of this month on the eve of what some Israeli officials here are already predicting will be a “Black September” for the Jewish state at the UN.

New Media Conference: One-Man Effort Outpaces Organized Jewish Community

Attention Jewish organizations looking to learn more about social media (and who isn’t?): be sure Dave Weinberg is on your radar.

The 28-year-old resident of Silver Spring, Md. single-handedly conceived of and put together an impressive conference in New York yesterday, billed as The Future of Jewish Non-Profit Summit, and attended by about 100 people in person -- and many more on Twitter and Facebook.

A Third Lebanon War?

There has been a steady and disturbing barrage of reports lately prediciting another war, sooner rather than later, between Israel and Hezbollah, the militant Islamic group that controls most of southern Lebanon and is firmly entrenched in the Lebanese parliament.

Even Orthodox Rabbis Here Bemoan (Privately) The Conversion Controversy

Amid all the furor from opponents of the proposed Knesset conversion bill that would turn the de facto Orthodox control into law, it’s instructive to note who isn’t speaking out, and why.

And one can appreciate how this controversy underscores the enormous gap in understanding between Jewish leaders here and in Israel.

Will Women-Only Torah Study Soon Become Old-School?

The most remarkable aspect of the first full-time co-ed learning program just ending at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, a pioneer in advanced Torah study for women, is how unremarkable it felt.

I visited the experimental program for college and graduate students spending the month of June in a “student immersion program” that combined Talmud and philosophy in examining “the relationship between spirituality and community involvement and action,” according to the program description.

`Don’t Talk To Me About God’

 After Rabbi David Wolpe wrote a thoughtful column on the Huffington Post website this week about how to talk to children about God, he was astonished by the volume and vehemence of the response.

'Write On For Israel’ Graduates A New Crop, Just In Time

Looking out at the more than 100 people gathered for the eighth graduation ceremony of The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel on Tuesday night, I confided that I never envisioned that the advocacy-through-journalism program for high school students would last this long.

At the outset, nine years ago, I envisioned Write On as an immediate response to the intifada, which was raging in Israel. I thought that the program could and would end when the terrorism and suicide bombing stopped. But I was wrong.

Beinart Pleasantly Surprised He Hasn’t Been Marginalized

Peter Beinart, the former New Republic editor whose strong critique of the American Jewish establishment in a New York Review of Books essay continues to reverberate in the community, says he has been pleasantly surprised by the responses he has received from pro-Israel critics

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