The RosenBlog

Appreciating Elmore Leonard: More Than A Crime Writer

Several years ago, as I made my way over to the Barnes and Noble store on the upper West Side, I wondered if anyone else would show up to see the guest author, Elmore Leonard, appearing on such a chilly winter midweek evening.

Maybe I’ll have him all to myself, I thought, anticipating meeting one of my writing heroes, the author of dozens of crime and Western novels – yet someone I thought wasn’t well known enough to the masses to draw a crowd.

Remembering A Feisty Colleague

There was a time when Yehuda Lev, an outspoken Jewish journalist who died this past weekend at the age of 86, was the talk of the Los Angeles Jewish community. His weekly column, “A Majority Of One,” published in the local Jewish Journal was widely read and hotly debated each week in the 1980s. He often delighted in skewering local machers and people he considered to be religious and political extremists on the right.

Election Of Haredi Chief Rabbis Will Backfire On Hardliners In Long Run

Ironically, the victory by the haredi candidates in this week’s election of the two chief rabbis in Israel may, in the long run, lead to a more liberal and open approach to religious life in the Jewish State.

Ron Dermer And Michael Oren Share Similar Backgrounds

With the choice of Ron Dermer as Israel’s next Ambassador to the U.S., Prime Minister Netanyahu finally will have his man in Washington, one he trusts completely and who shares his worldview.

Dermer’s name first came to the public attention as a possible candidate about six months ago.

Sharansky, Understanding The Need, Presses On For Kotel Changes

Support faltered, then rebounded, this week for Natan Sharansky’s bold plan to transform the Western Wall into a site for both traditional and alternative prayer, as the Jewish Agency chair held intense discussions with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s office, seeking to establish a timeline for the project and move it forward.

Yehuda Avner's 10 Commandments

Ambassador Yehuda Avner is the 84-year-old rock star of Jewish media these days.

His 2010 memoir, “The Prime Ministers,” based on the notes he took as a senior advisor to five Israeli prime ministers in their private meetings with world leaders, is still a best-seller and still in hard cover. A full-length documentary film, based on the book, will have its New York premiere on May 7.

Yehuda Avner: Protect Jewish dignity and honor at all cost. Michael Datikash

L.A. Film Director Having A Jewish Impact

Jill Soloway, a hip Hollywood writer/director/producer (“Six Feet Under,” “The United States of Tara”), has become a Jewish activist in the last several years and is having quite an impact on the L.A. community. And it could go national soon.

She spoke at the international conference of the Jewish Funders Network this week in L.A. of how she helped found East Side Jews, an informal and popular group, particularly among young artist types, that seeks to “reinvent” Jewish life and make it “about joy, not sadness.”

Why Is Obama Going To Israel In March?

There has been a good deal of speculation about why President Obama, who did not visit Israel during his first term, is planning to go to Jerusalem in three weeks.

Hey Oscar, Consider Tina Fey: Seth MacFarlane Offends

Most of the criticism leveled at Seth MacFarlane, the Oscars host from left field, was focused on his negative comments on women, and deservedly so.

Hoping Israel’s Oscar-Nominated Film Loses

I’m not rooting for “The Gatekeepers” to win the Academy Award Sunday night for Best Documentary.

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