The next head of the New York Board of Rabbis will have a new headquarters, but the same headaches, as the outgoing executive vice president. Running an interdenominational organization, to which members of the four major denominations of Judaism belong, gets harder each year, said Rabbi Gilbert Rosenthal, who retired last week after a decade in the position.
"Unequivocally, yes," Rabbi Rosenthal said on his last day on the job, sitting in the board's temporary office, a plain conference room in the Bnai Zion building on East 39th Street.
A Minneapolis newspaper a few decades ago told about a baseball fan whose love for the sport had limits: a time limit. He would attend a Twins game, sometimes with his son, and leave after two hours whether or not the game was over and regardless of the score.
A baseball game, this fan reasoned, should last 120 minutes. If the games were getting longer, a continuing phenomenon today, that was not his problem.
Now Steve Rosenberg is no sports fan ("I never watch games," he says) but he has imposed a similar limit. His arena: Saturday mornings in synagogue.