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Editorial & Opinion | Gary Rosenblatt

01/23/2012 - 19:00 | | Editor And Publisher | Gary Rosenblatt

The issue of who can become a Jew through conversion is controversial and critical to determining the essence of the Jewish character, and as timely as the current headlines from Jerusalem.

01/09/2012 - 19:00 | | Editor And Publisher | Gary Rosenblatt

Growing up, I considered Sephardic rituals and customs to be exotic, maybe even odd, if I thought about them at all. I knew, for example, that eating rice on Passover was allowed in Sephardic homes, a strict prohibition in mine and everyone else’s I knew, as Ashkenazim. And I considered their prayerbook nusach, or style, annoying since it was different from what I knew, and therefore hard for me to follow.

01/02/2012 - 19:00 | | Editor and Publisher | Gary Rosenblatt

Before there was Birthright Israel, the most successful Jewish communal effort to increase Jewish identity among young people, there was The Israel Experience, a like-minded effort — and acknowledged failure.

Jeffrey Solomon, president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Family Philanthropies, recalls that Charles Bronfman announced the launch of The Israel Experience in 1992, amid great fanfare, at the major annual convention of North American Jewish federations.

12/26/2011 - 19:00 | | Editor And Publisher | Gary Rosenblatt

If you’re an optimist and were asked to name three of the most significant Jewish events of the past 12 months, you might cite the release and emotional homecoming of Gilad Shalit after more than five years in captivity; the protest movement that spread across the Arab world, signaling an end or challenge to autocratic rule and a push for democracy; and a Jerusalem-Washington relationship bolstered by new military and strategic advances, and politically by America’s decisive efforts to thwart Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood through the United Nations and to prevent a nu

12/19/2011 - 19:00 | | Editor And Publisher | Gary Rosenblatt

Chanukah, among its many meanings, reminds us that assimilation is not a new problem. Throughout history small pockets of traditionalists have sought to maintain their faith while larger numbers have been lost to the dominant culture or, too often, to the forces of anti-Semitism, coercion and murder.

12/12/2011 - 19:00 | | Editor and Publisher | Gary Rosenblatt

This week’s biennial convention of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), marking the transition to new leadership at the helm, is being hailed as a celebration, and one can see why.