I’m very excited to announce our newest blogger, Michael Berenbaum. There are a lot of blogs on Israel and Jewish politics. But Michael’s blog will provide fresh, topical perspective on the Jewish news of the day, rooted in his profound understanding of Jewish history and text, and his passion for Jewish survival. At a time of increasing political polarization and urgent, life-and-death decisions, you will find Michael judicious, fair, accurate and insightful. You may not agree with all of his opinions, but you will come to respect the depth of learning and caring on which he bases them.
Michael Berenbaum is an American scholar, professor, rabbi, writer and filmmaker, who specializes in the study of the memorialization of the Holocaust. He is perhaps best known for his work as deputy director of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust (1979–1980), project director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) (1988–1993) and director of the USHMM’s Holocaust Research Institute (1993–1997); as such, Michael played a major role in the creation of the USHMM and the content of its permanent exhibition. From 1997-1999, Michael served as president and CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and subsequently (and currently) as director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust, located at the American Jewish University (formerly known as the University of Judaism), in Los Angeles, Calif.
In searching for a lead blogger on Jewish news, we wanted someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of Jewish history, culture and religion. It just so happens that Michael was also the executive editor of the New Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd ed., which includes 22 volumes, six million words and 25,000 individual contributions to Jewish knowledge, published in December 2006.
The title of the blog, “A Jew,” recalls both the great intellectual Ahad Ha’am’s self-reference as “One of the People,” as well as the name of the first Jewish periodical ever published in America, “The Jew,” printed in 1832. In the digital age, the way Jewish news is delivered may change, but the quality of that news and opinion must remain high.
Please make Michael Berenbaum’s “A Jew” part of your regular reading. Click here to add Michael to your RSS Feed.
Here’s his latest: Listen, Learn, Then Challenge
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