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Articles written by Gary Rosenblatt

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Struggling for 'The Middle Way' in a world of extremes

Can you feel the center collapsing all around you? Looking to the left and to the right—politically and religiously, here and in Israel—I see the gap widening at an increasingly rapid rate. The search for The Golden Mean, the desirable balance be...

 

My 'Horrorscope' For 2016

OK, so 2015 was a bummer. But we are a people with a tradition of looking to the future with hope—and having a sense of humor. So here’s my prediction for the major news stories of 2016: January: In the midst of a winter heat wave, Madison...

 

Iran 'No' vote need not lead to war

With the Obama administration determined to see the Iran nuclear agreement passed in Congress, and increasingly belligerent toward its critics, many opponents of the deal worry that by continuing to wage what appears to be a losing fight in...

 

Iran deal driving Jews farther apart

One of the lessons learned from the intense debate over the Iran nuclear deal is that there is a serious and growing divide within American Jewry. In large part it’s between those who are active in Jewish and Israeli life, and those who are not. Th...

 

No way to treat an ally

In January 2011, with the U.S. trying hard to convince the Palestinians to withdraw or moderate a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, President Obama called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to make a deal. Th...

 

'I love Israel, but does Israel love me?'

The four hours of discussion on U.S.-Israel-diaspora Jewry relations was winding down as the dinner hour approached at the annual JPPI (Jewish People Policy Institute) Brainstorming Conference last Monday afternoon in Glen Cove, Long Island....

 

Sharing the blame as fault lines deepen

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to appeal directly to Israel’s nationalist camp in the final days of the election campaign appears to have paid off, at least in the short term. He won a decisive victory and is now in the process of forming a...

 

Struggling to stay together

On the eve of 5775, more than 50 Jewish thought leaders and communal activists from around the country gathered at a retreat near Baltimore last week for 48 hours to talk about whatever was on their mind. Not surprisingly, their frank discussions...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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. But...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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