Gary Rosenblatt

To GA Planners: Sharpen The Debates

Once a Jewish parliament for the Diaspora, the conference has narrowed its scope.

11/27/2012
Editor And Publisher

The three-day annual conference of communal leaders known as the GA (General Assembly), held in Baltimore earlier this month, turned out to be a microcosm of its parent body, the Jewish Federations of North America: an impressive collection of committed, caring professional and lay people, spread too thin and lacking in focus, and giving the impression of following rather than leading at a critical juncture in Jewish life.

Gary Rosenblatt

Permission To Support Israel Without Measure

It’s more than alright to champion Jerusalem’s cause for the simple reason that we’re Jewish.

11/20/2012
Editor And Publisher

Sitting in my home this weekend and reading about the trauma the people of Israel have endured under rocket attack in recent days, I never felt closer to Israel — or further away.

I was reminded of the story of the hen and the turkey reading the Thanksgiving Day menu the farmer had posted, calling for the next day’s dinner to feature “scrambled eggs and the traditional holiday meal.”

“From you he wants a contribution,” the turkey said ruefully to the hen. “From me he wants total commitment.”

Gary Rosenblatt

Behind The Curve

Old-school Jewish leaders need to replace instincts and anecdotes with numbers.

11/13/2012
Editor And Publisher

“Moneyball” has entered the political scene, big time, and old-school Jewish leaders here and in Israel better take note.

President Barack Obama’s re-election ushered in a new era of successful, highly sophisticated campaigning that is certain to be duplicated in the future, replacing punditry and prognostication with the kind of mathematics-based analytics that the Oakland A’s front office used a decade ago to make the team competitive in the American League West despite low salaries for the players.

Gary Rosenblatt

What If There Were No Jewish Newspapers?

Media unites the community across religious and political lines.

11/06/2012
Editor And Publisher

I received a call several weeks ago from the exec of a mid-sized Jewish federation asking for my thoughts on a growing problem in his community: the local, independent Jewish newspaper is in financial meltdown and cannot go on as is.

“How can we help?” he wanted to know, recognizing the key role the paper has played in the community for decades.

Gary Rosenblatt

"Who’s Best For Israel?" Not A Simple Question

When it comes to the election, American-Jewish attitudes are closer to those of Israeli Arabs than Israeli Jews.

11/01/2012

If Mitt Romney is elected president next week, Bibi Netanyahu will finally exhale, with a sigh of relief. The Israeli prime minister can feel confident that he will not be pressured to make peace with the Palestinian Authority anytime soon.

But is that a good thing?

Don’t Mistake Criticism Of Policies As Lack Of Caring For Israel

Young people are engaging in the multilayered reality of Israeli life and policy, and thinking independently about solutions.

10/23/2012

On the Israel-diaspora front, surprising good news and, unfortunately, not-so-surprising bad news.

First, the bad news. The arrest and harassment of a woman reciting the Shema prayer aloud during Rosh Chodesh services this past week at the Western Wall is nothing less than shameful — an act that Jews of all denominations and beliefs should view as an embarrassment and outrage.

Is ‘Free’ Judaism A Good Idea?

The Torah gives us a paradigm. Each Israelite in the desert contributed a half-shekel to keep a census and maintain the sanctuary.

10/16/2012

Maybe I’m just jealous of the free offers being made to young Jews today, but part of me worries that down the road, these well-meaning programs and proposals — like trips to Israel, High Holy Day services, books for children and Shabbat meals — may have a negative effect on a generation that is being coddled and spoiled Jewishly.

My Inning With George

When I go see the Orioles play the Yankees in the Bronx, I feel like a Marrano in 15th-century Spain, hiding my true identity for fear of being punished for my beliefs.

10/10/2012

The last time the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees met in the playoffs before this week, I spent a few surreal moments schmoozing with George Steinbrenner in his owner’s box in Yankee Stadium, trying very hard not to let on that I was a fervent Orioles fan hoping his team would lose that day — and every day after that until the end of time.

If You Build It, It May Fall

Every sukkah has a story. Some guys remember fondly every car they’ve owned. I can get misty about every sukkah in my life.

10/03/2012
Editor And Publisher

When it comes to hardware stores, you can count me as a One-Day-A-Year Jew — and that day occurs just before the holiday of Sukkot, when I focus on putting up our family sukkah in the backyard. Thank God it only has to stand for eight days.

Part of the wonderful rhythm of the High Holy Days season is that we go directly from the cerebral solemnity of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur to the hands-on, harvest-inspired, outdoor-focused festival of Sukkot, recalling the wanderings of the ancient Israelites in the desert those 40 long years.


Gary Rosenblatt

A Rare Chance to Reflect

09/27/2012
Editor and Publisher

Sometimes conversations are more noteworthy for the topics they don’t include than for the ones they do.

Gary Rosenblatt
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