In the wake of a controversy over Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt’s practice of inviting boys and young men to shower and share the sauna with him, it appears that his three-decade tenure at the Riverdale Jewish Center may be coming to an end, The Jewish Week has learned.
Three years ago several prominent members of the Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC), the 700-member Modern Orthodox congregation, met privately with their longtime rabbi, Jonathan Rosenblatt, and offered to arrange a generous buyout for him. They told him that the persistent rumors about his allegedly inappropriate behavior with boys and young men were bound to become public at some point and it would be in his and his family’s best interest, and for the congregation as well, if he accepted an offer to resign quietly.
The four hours of discussion on U.S.-Israel-diaspora Jewry relations was winding down as the dinner hour approached at the annual JPPI (Jewish People Policy Institute) Brainstorming Conference last Monday afternoon in Glen Cove, L.I.
As successful as Birthright Israel has been, providing free, guided trips to Israel to more than 400,000 young adult Jews from across the diaspora, the follow-up efforts with its alumni have been problematic.
Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher |
Forty-eight years ago, on the 28th day of Iyar (May 17 this year), Jerusalem was united under Jewish sovereignty for the first time in many centuries. But the national holiday in Israel to mark the historic event – Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day – has lost appeal both here and in Israel, outside of the religious Zionist community.
The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel is gaining steam on U.S. campuses, and a major New York Times article this week described how the Jewish state has become a bitter divide between Jewish and minority students. So it might be helpful to step back and explore how it is that Jerusalem, the former darling of the international community, has become its pariah.