I want to share a secret about American Orthodox rabbis: We have no power. We serve at the pleasure of lay leaders who sign our paychecks. We often live in homes we do not own. With relatively few exceptions, we are employed under contracts that must be renewed every few years. If we make a few false moves or anger the wrong laypeople, our contracts can be bought out or it can otherwise be made clear that we are no longer wanted, that our time here is up.
Why doesn’t The Jewish Week criticize UJA-Federation for its financial relationship with Jewish Communal Fund (JCF), which funds Israel-bashing organizations like B’Tzelem, which participates in Israel Apartheid Week programs (“Promoting Disunity,” Editorial, June 5)? And why doesn’t the Jewish “flagship” newspaper pressure major donors to UJA-Federation and other communal leaders to sever relationships with the New Israel Fund, which funds BDS supporters?
If Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt’s habit of bringing boys and young men with him into the sauna was perfectly acceptable, why was it kept hushed by leaders of the congregation (“With Sauna ‘Secret’ Out, Riverdale Shul Faces Tough Choice,” June 5)? Why wasn’t this announced from the pulpit: Boys and youth, take off your clothes, your rabbi wants to mentor you.
Yiddish, they tell us, is the ever-dying language.
Don’t tell that to the organizers of the bold weeklong tribute to Yiddish and Jewish arts known as KulturfestNYC, the first international Jewish performing arts festival, taking place across Manhattan from June 14-21.
Efforts to reduce the heavy economic burden on Jewish families who send their children to religious day schools can receive a belated but much-needed boost from New York State next week, but opposition from some labor unions may stand in the way.
Journalistic expose is a sign that all our internal mechanisms have malfunctioned.
Special to The Jewish Week
We have been here before: persistent rumors and reports of sexual misconduct by a rabbi over the course of decades culminate in a scandalous expose in a newspaper (The Jewish Week, “With Sauna ‘Secret’ Out, Riverdale Faces Tough Choice,” June 5).
The Greek hero Prometheus steals fire from the gods, for which he is chained to a rock and tortured endlessly. In Jewish lore, on the other hand, Adam is afraid when the first night arrives and God instructs him on how to create a fire. When the blaze ignites, Adam says gratefully, “Blessed be the creator of fire.”
As he prepares to step down, ADL’s iconic Abe Foxman speaks out on his hopes and fears.
Editor and Publisher
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson sent the first U.S. combat troops to South Vietnam, Levi Eshkol was elected prime minister of Israel, and Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax chose not to pitch in the opening game of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. It was also that year that Abraham Foxman, a 25-year-old immigrant fresh out of law school, took a job as assistant director of the legal department of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
Board votes to seek a settlement with Jonathan Rosenblatt and have him step down.
Editor and Publisher
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.