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Editorial & Opinion | Gary Rosenblatt

01/03/2011 - 19:00 | | Editor and Publisher | Gary Rosenblatt

Two of the most successful efforts to strengthen Jewish identity in recent years were created, and have been sustained, in opposite ways.

Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about Birthright Israel, which has provided a 10-day Israel experience to more than 250,000 young people in its first decade. A top-down creation, Birthright was conceived and funded by a small group of mega-philanthropists, offering these memorable trips as a gift, free of charge to participants ages 18 to 26.

12/27/2010 - 19:00 | | Editor and Publisher | Gary Rosenblatt

Delegitimization. Flotilla.  Park51. Settlement freeze. Loyalty oath. The BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement.

These words and phrases recall some of the challenges and controversies that cropped up for Israel and the Jewish community in 2010, a year of increasing assaults on Jerusalem’s legitimacy on an international scale, and blame from Washington for the lack of progress in Mideast peace efforts.

12/20/2010 - 19:00 | | Gary Rosenblatt

I shouldn’t have to write this column.

It is demeaning, 65 years after the fall of Nazi Germany, to acknowledge that Joseph Goebel’s Big Lie theory — that if you repeat a falsehood aggressively, and often enough, people will believe it — still holds true.

But when I look at the persistent, illogical and hateful charges against Israel in the Arab world and the international community, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

12/13/2010 - 19:00 | | Gary Rosenblatt

An unusual scene took place recently in the West Bank Jewish community of Efrat, where a group of about 75 residents met with the former head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service, who sought to convince them to consider giving up their homes and move back to Israel proper.

Not surprisingly there was deep disagreement. But both sides concurred that the discussion was civil, serious and dealt not only with the fate of the settlers themselves but the fate of the State of Israel.

12/06/2010 - 19:00 | | Editor And Publisher | Gary Rosenblatt

Is it true, as Peter Beinart suggested in his widely read New York Review of Books essay in June, that young American Jews are increasingly alienated from Israel because of its allegedly declining commitment to democratic ideals?

Agree with him or not, the former New Republic editor hit a raw nerve among many Jews when he wrote “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” setting off a discussion that continues to stir debate six months later.

11/29/2010 - 19:00 | | Gary Rosenblatt

Zeba Khan was born and raised in a middle-class home in Toledo, Ohio, and for nine years attended the local Jewish day school, The Hebrew Academy, going to morning minyan every day. She graduated in 1993.

She says she would have continued on with her Jewish education but the school only went through sixth grade.

“I knew Hebrew better than most of my classmates,” she recalled in a recent interview, “and I wanted a bat mitzvah.”