Gary Rosenblatt

Bar Mitzvahs Are for Remembering

02/17/2010
Editor and Publisher

On the Thursday night before my Shabbat bar mitzvah all those years ago in Annapolis, Md., it snowed, heavily and unexpectedly. More than 20 inches by the next morning.

As a result, almost all of the out-of-town guests, including close relatives, couldn’t get there; my parents had to pay for dozens of guests who never made it to the luncheon at a local hotel; and an elderly congregant attempting to walk to shul for the occasion fell and broke her leg — a fact she reminded me of for years, every time I saw her.

Gary.gif

Limbaugh, Foxman Row: Intolerance Run Amok

Furor over ‘anti-Semitic’ remark highlights toxic nature of political debate.

02/03/2010
Editor and Publisher

Does vocal support for Israel give public figures a pass on just about anything else they say?

Gary.gif

In A Silent Way

01/21/2010

How much time do you spend with yourself? All the time, obviously, from one perspective. From another, less and less. What were once interludes of solitude — at home alone, in a restaurant, in a store, walking, driving — are now filled with other voices: screens, radios, iPods and cellphones. The Greek philosopher Anitsthenes said that what he had derived from philosophy was the ability to converse with himself. And perhaps Pascal was not far off in saying that society’s problems derived from people not being able to endure sitting alone in a room.

Money Is Vital, But The Power Of Ideas Sustains Us

01/21/2010
Staff Writer

Not surprisingly, as the economic downturn drags on, there is much communal discussion about the need for more and more funding to keep our most precious institutions and programs intact, from the federation system to Birthright Israel to day schools.

But then there is the phenomenon of Limmud.

Gary.gif

Still Redundant After All These Years?

National organizations press their cases for relevancy anew.

01/06/2010
Editor and Publisher

A report has been commissioned by the national policy-making body on Jewish community relations to study the relationship between and among the top national defense agencies — including the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress and Anti-Defamation League — specifically dealing with longstanding complaints about their “duplication, excessive competition, lack of coordination and actual conflict.”

But before you breathe a sigh of relief and think to yourself, “it’s about time,” let me point out that the report in question was commissioned in January 1950, exactly 60 years ago this week.

Gary33.gif

Compromise Has Its Limits: Gilad Shalit and Iran

What do you do when your adversary is unwilling to meet you half way?

12/30/2009
Editor and Publisher

Is there is a common thread to — and lesson to be learned from — Israel’s agonizing efforts to obtain the release of Gilad Shalit, its ongoing crisis in dealing with the Palestinians, and President Barack Obama’s failure to dissuade Iran from its relentless effort to develop a nuclear bomb?

It appears to be this: the more you compromise with a bully, the worse off you are.

Gary33.gif

The ’00s: Variations On A Theme Of Trauma

The war on terror, Madoff, Israel demonized: Looking back on a dark decade.

12/23/2009
Editor and Publisher

Remember Y2K? Ten years ago this week, on the eve of a new year, a new decade and a new millennium, there were daily headlines everywhere predicting various forces of doom on the horizon, from computer malfunctions when 1999 slipped into 2000, to international terrorism to a full range of apocalyptic events of biblical proportions.

GARY ROSENBLATT.jpg

Ruskay Turns To Future Federation Concerns

To paraphrase those classic 1980s TV commercials for the brokerage firm E.F. Hutton, when John Ruskay talks, people listen.

12/16/2009
Editor and Publisher

To paraphrase those classic 1980s TV commercials for the brokerage firm E.F. Hutton, when John Ruskay talks, people listen.

Last Tuesday, when some 500 hundred lay and professional leaders in the community came together to honor him on his first decade as executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, there was much anticipation of the speech he was about to give — he did not disappoint; more on that in a moment — and numerous references to the talk he gave 10 years ago, on coming into his post, a classic in communal circles.

Gary33.gif

Unsettling Thoughts On Today's Maccabees

I have no doubt that if the Maccabees, heroes of the Chanukah story, were around today, they would be leading the West Bank settlers’ current protests, decrying the Jerusalem government for abandoning its Zionist and religious imperative to claim

12/09/2009
Editor and Publisher

I have no doubt that if the Maccabees, heroes of the Chanukah story, were around today, they would be leading the West Bank settlers’ current protests, decrying the Jerusalem government for abandoning its Zionist and religious imperative to claim all of the land of Israel as holy and non-negotiable.

GARY ROSENBLATT.jpg

In The Year Of Mourning

Most mornings now, I wake up with the sounds of Kaddish in my head.  It’s not surprising. For the last seven weeks, my psyche has been focused on the traditional mourners’ prayer, which I’ve been reciting at least six times a day

12/02/2009
Editor and Publisher

Most mornings now, I wake up with the sounds of Kaddish in my head.

It’s not surprising. For the last seven weeks, my psyche has been focused on the traditional mourners’ prayer, which I’ve been reciting at least six times a day in my mother’s memory.

My life seems to revolve around, and focus on, getting to synagogue on time — morning, afternoon and evening — being prepared to lead the services, and concentrating my thoughts on the concept of elevating my mother’s soul through the recitation of Kaddish.

Gary.gif
Syndicate content