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Articles written by Gary Rosenblatt

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 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    September 19, 2014 

Popular rabbi's parting shot

When I asked Rabbi Andy Bachman what he plans to speak about in his sermons during this, his last, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services as senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Elohim, I thought he would bring up the importance of closing the gap...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    August 22, 2014

Tough Conversations

The woman to my left said she felt “overwhelmed” and “emotional” in dealing with the news about Israel’s war in Gaza. The heavy volume of postings on her Facebook page were so upsetting, with their criticism of Israeli actions, that she...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    June 27, 2014

Ruskay looks back, and ahead

In a rare quiet moment, John Ruskay, who is stepping down at the end of the month after 15 years as CEO and executive vice president ofUJA-Federation of New York, sat in his office on East 59th Street and described his feelings these days as...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    June 13, 2014

JFNA launches effort to promote civil marriage

The Jewish Federations of North America, or JFNA, may soon launch an effort that would include supporting groups in Israel working to limit or end Orthodox control of personal-status issues such as marriage, divorce, conversion and burial, The...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    May 23, 2014

Our rituals are illogical, but we perform them faithfully, anyway

On Shabbat mornings, when I go outside to pick up the newspaper from the front stoop of my house, I am aware of a deep sense of responsibility. I know that where and how I open the paper to check the scores during the baseball season determines wheth...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    May 2, 2014

My Tea With 'Dudi'

Watching a first-rate documentary a few weeks ago on Showtime about David Steinberg, the controversial but loveable Canadian-born comedian, actor, writer and director, brought back a flood of memories for me. Called “Quality Balls,” the...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    February 28, 2014

Reclaiming Anne Frank's Jewishness

Los Angeles—Anne Frank is the most universally known of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her diary has been read by millions of people around the world, and her tragic story of living in fear, hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    January 24, 2014

A call for 'audacious hospitality

There was a time when American Jewish families sat shiva when a child married out of the faith. Even two or three decades ago the prevailing attitude was one of disappointment, embarrassment and regret, coupled with a parental commitment to make the...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    January 10, 2014

Every move a gamble in efforts for peace

At the outset of this new year, I’m reminded of the line from “All About Eve,” the classic 1950 film about ambition and betrayal on Broadway: “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” This year portends to be a momentous...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    November 1, 2013

Jew vs. Jew in reverse

One of the unintended highlights of this year’s Conversation—the annual Jewish Week-sponsored two-day retreat for a wide variety of Jewish leaders and future leaders from around the country—was the emerging friendship between two participants...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    October 18, 2013

Pew Report: Trend lines suggest continued erosion, but that's not the whole story

Not surprisingly, there has already been a large wave of reactions to the first major national survey of American Jews in more than a decade, with its sobering, if not bleak, portrait of a community on the fast track toward assimilation. The response...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    October 11, 2013

ADL at 100

‘Words of hate can easily turn into acts of hate,’ says Foxman in new book on perils of Internet. Last Thursday, a 5-year-old British girl, April Jones, who had been raped and murdered, was buried in London after her funeral was televised...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    September 20, 2013

In-marriage: A new discussion

“A Portrait of American Jews,” a major study due out soon from The Pew Research Center, is said to show that more than 60 percent of the children of intermarriage are raised as Jews. It also notes that only 22 percent are given a Jewish...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    September 13, 2013

Hearing us where we are

If our prayers are heartfelt, they will resonate on high, and be answered favorably. One of the loveliest aspects of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is the concept of forgiveness, the notion that if we are sincere in our commitment to make atonement...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    August 30, 2013

Dialogue goes both ways

Much attention, here and elsewhere, is given to encouraging American Jews to have a deeper understanding of contemporary Israel, in all its complexity, as a country that is seen by much of the world as Goliath while it perceives itself as David....

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    August 16, 2013

Mission impossible?

Common sense suggests that one of the most effective ways of heightening Jewish identity and Israel engagement among young people is through summer teen trips to the Jewish state. The younger our kids are exposed to the miracles and challenges of...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    August 9, 2013

European anti-Semitism: The unpleasant truth

Anti-Semitism in Europe, often in the guise now of anti-Israel rhetoric and actions, has become too big a problem to ignore or rationalize away. And it is taking place on two levels: as official policy, and within societies where, according to...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    July 19, 2013

American Jewry's 'leadership cliff'

Is the American Jewish community about to go over “the leadership cliff?” That phrase, which appears in a sober new study by the Jewish People Policy Institute, an independent think tank, reflects a growing sense that at a time when as many as...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    June 28, 2013

Talking with Ruth Calderon

Jerusalem—In the hour she spent with 150 young Jewish entrepreneurs and social activists from around the world last Wednesday morning at the annual ROI (Return on Investment) Summit here, new Knesset member Ruth Calderon chose to teach a Talmudic...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    June 21, 2013

Post-army text study could draw religious and secular together

EIN PRAT (in the Judean desert between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea)—How do you encourage young Israeli Jews, both secular and observant, to deepen their “Israeli-ness,” exploring their Jewish and national identities in a way that is serious,...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    June 7, 2013

Jerusalem seeks new image

JERUSALEM—On the night we arrived in Israel two weeks ago, my wife and I went for a stroll to see the newly renovated train station complex in the center of town. As we walked through the gates and saw the large, enthusiastic crowds, we realized we...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    May 24, 2013

Israel: Don't overreach

By Gary Rosenblatt David Passig, a professor at Bar-Ilan University, is the first to admit that he is neither a prophet nor a seer. Still, his job is to predict the future, based on the new academic discipline of Future Studies. His latest book,...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    May 17, 2013

AJCongress: Jack Rosen's one-man show?

What’s your definition of a “major national Jewish organization”? Could it be made up of less than 20 people? Don’t laugh. Consider the case of the American Jewish Congress. The storied organization, dating back to 1918 and led in its early...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    April 26, 2013

A candidate's chances

A few months ago Rabbi David Stav, the 53-year-old founder and president of Tzohar, a rabbinic organization that strives to make the face of traditional Judaism more appealing to Israelis, was seen as the Don Quixote candidate in the upcoming...

 
 By Gary Rosenblatt    Opinions    April 19, 2013

Sharansky urges equal prayer at Western Wall

Charged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come up with a Solomonic solution to the growing controversy over women’s prayer at Judaism’s holiest site, Natan Sharansky, the chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, is prepared to...

 

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