Gary Rosenblatt

The Big Lie Lives On

12/21/2010

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.

Gary Rosenblatt

Painful Path Toward Relocating Settlers

12/14/2010

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.

Gary Rosenblatt

Why I Don’t Share Beinart’s Pessimism

How Zionist education, Birthright can strengthen Israel support.

12/07/2010
Editor And Publisher

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.

Gary Rosenblatt

Two Muslims, Playing Against Stereotype

11/30/2010

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.”

Gary Rosenblatt

My Shmooze With Rabbi Steinsaltz

11/23/2010

I got the feeling that my extended hour with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, late in the afternoon last Wednesday, was going to be more shmooze than interview when his assistant, on entering my office with him, asked if I would mind if the prolific scholar and author ate the chocolate rugelach she brought for him during our chat.

Gary Rosenblatt

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

11/16/2010
Editor and Publisher

One of the enduring images of Hurricane Katrina for the Jewish community of New Orleans, and well beyond, was of a kipah-wearing rescue worker, in waist-high water, carrying one of seven Torahs out of the sanctuary of the century-old Orthodox congregation, Beth Israel.

The Torahs did not make it; water-logged beyond repair, they ultimately were buried in the synagogue’s cemetery, along with 3,000 prayer books.

Gary Rosenblatt

Big Easy, Federations Struggling For Comeback

For a federation system hurting in tough times, New Orleans was a natural site for the GA.

11/10/2010
Editor And Publisher

 New Orleans — For a long time the 79th General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America had been scheduled to take place this week in Orlando, Fla. But after a top consultant scouted that city last winter, and concluded that it would add little to the spirit of the annual gathering of the federation movement — and that Disney World might prove a major distraction — the decision was made to move the three-day GA here to New Orleans.

Gary Rosenblatt

Where The Boys Aren’t

11/02/2010
Editor and Publisher

For too many boys in our community, bar mitzvah represents the end rather than the beginning of their formal Jewish involvement and education.

It’s no secret that our institutions are facing a losing battle in keeping Jewish teenage boys engaged.

Gary Rosenblatt

Exploring The Generation Gap Among Jewish Leaders

10/26/2010
Editor and Publisher

When young Jewish leaders form their own start-up groups and/or prayer services, are they rejecting the organized community, or seeking to strengthen it?

That was one of the recurring questions that emerged earlier this month at The Conversation, the two-day annual retreat sponsored by The Jewish Week for a cross-section of 50 Jewish leaders and emerging leaders from around the country.

Gary Rosenblatt

Meet The New (Interim) Ambassadors

10/19/2010

Meron Reuben, Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations, moved to New York last month with only three suitcases.

Ido Aharoni, who assumed his job as Consul General of Israel in New York around the same time, came to town with two.

Gary Rosenblatt
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