The RosenBlog

Israel’s UN Ambassador Leaving When Needed Most

The government of Israel will be losing a key and effective diplomat in New York just when it needs her most.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, highly praised for her low-key, thoughtful and compassionate work these last two years, is returning to Israel and her academic life at the end of this month on the eve of what some Israeli officials here are already predicting will be a “Black September” for the Jewish state at the UN.

New Media Conference: One-Man Effort Outpaces Organized Jewish Community

Attention Jewish organizations looking to learn more about social media (and who isn’t?): be sure Dave Weinberg is on your radar.

The 28-year-old resident of Silver Spring, Md. single-handedly conceived of and put together an impressive conference in New York yesterday, billed as The Future of Jewish Non-Profit Summit, and attended by about 100 people in person -- and many more on Twitter and Facebook.

A Third Lebanon War?

There has been a steady and disturbing barrage of reports lately prediciting another war, sooner rather than later, between Israel and Hezbollah, the militant Islamic group that controls most of southern Lebanon and is firmly entrenched in the Lebanese parliament.

Even Orthodox Rabbis Here Bemoan (Privately) The Conversion Controversy

Amid all the furor from opponents of the proposed Knesset conversion bill that would turn the de facto Orthodox control into law, it’s instructive to note who isn’t speaking out, and why.

And one can appreciate how this controversy underscores the enormous gap in understanding between Jewish leaders here and in Israel.

My 15 Minutes With George Steinbrenner

My one personal encounter with George Steinbrenner was brief but memorable. It took place at a Yankees-Orioles playoff game in October 1996, and came about thanks to an introduction extended to me by my younger son, Dov, who was 15 at the time.

It was an afternoon game at Yankee Stadium, the day after my beloved Orioles had been robbed of victory by Jeffrey Maier, the 12-year-old who reached out from the bleachers to turn a sure out into a home run for Derek Jeter.

(I try not to hold grudges but that kid should have been carted off to jail for thievery…)

Will Women-Only Torah Study Soon Become Old-School?

The most remarkable aspect of the first full-time co-ed learning program just ending at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, a pioneer in advanced Torah study for women, is how unremarkable it felt.

I visited the experimental program for college and graduate students spending the month of June in a “student immersion program” that combined Talmud and philosophy in examining “the relationship between spirituality and community involvement and action,” according to the program description.

`Don’t Talk To Me About God’

 After Rabbi David Wolpe wrote a thoughtful column on the Huffington Post website this week about how to talk to children about God, he was astonished by the volume and vehemence of the response.

'Write On For Israel’ Graduates A New Crop, Just In Time

Looking out at the more than 100 people gathered for the eighth graduation ceremony of The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel on Tuesday night, I confided that I never envisioned that the advocacy-through-journalism program for high school students would last this long.

At the outset, nine years ago, I envisioned Write On as an immediate response to the intifada, which was raging in Israel. I thought that the program could and would end when the terrorism and suicide bombing stopped. But I was wrong.

Beinart Pleasantly Surprised He Hasn’t Been Marginalized

Peter Beinart, the former New Republic editor whose strong critique of the American Jewish establishment in a New York Review of Books essay continues to reverberate in the community, says he has been pleasantly surprised by the responses he has received from pro-Israel critics

Raising Children To Embrace Judaism: Authors Discuss Their Own Ambivalent Experiences

The struggle to raise an emotionally healthy child in a home where one parent is more religiously observant than the other was the subtext of a lively and revealing Jewish Week Forum last night with authors Judith Shulevitz (“The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time”) and Dani Shapiro (“Devotion: A Memoir”) at Cong. B’nai Jeshurun on the Upper West Side.

More than 250 people attended the program.

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