Posts by Ari Rosenblum

Giving Thanks

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families. We are truly blessed to be able to celebrate. One important precept of our Jewish tradition is to be thankful and to express that gratitude, whether it is to the Almighty or to our friends and neighbors. We use the term 'ha…

A tour of Federation’s local partners and some of their great programs.

Lillian’s Café, organized and run through Rockland Jewish Family Service, is a unique program designed to employ individuals on the Autism Spectrum. It provides job training and real work experience to enhance the strengths and potential of each employee - who hold themselves to the highe…

“Now go and learn!”

This is the advice of the great sage Hillel the Elder, who lived more than 2000 years ago. Hillel was asked by a scoffer to teach him the entire Torah while he stood on one foot. Instead of rebuking his mockery, Hillel told him “That which is hateful to you, don’t do to others. That is t…

Reflections on a Year in Rockland

This week marks my first anniversary as CEO of the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County. It has been a busy year, getting to know this community, building bridges within and beyond it, advocating for it, and finding its hidden strengths.

I am grateful to all of those who have…

It's been a rough week

It has been a tough time these past few weeks for Jews in America. We are seeing antisemitism in every element of society, from academia to billionaires on social media, from sucker punches on the streets of Brooklyn to neo nazi banners on California overpasses. We've seen swastikas and vand…

Making Sense of it All

It’s that time of year when we see signs and banners, social media posts and TV ads. No, I’m not talking about Black Friday sales. Those will come soon enough. I’m talking about elections. This year, Israel’s election day will be followed about a week later by our local, state and fe…

A Time to Give Thanks

When my older children come to visit from Canada, one of our usual running jokes is how I am now pronouncing things differently, or spelling things ‘incorrectly’, or using Fahrenheit instead of Celsius. There are many overt and some subtle - and humorous - differences between Canadian an…

Sukkot, a holiday that celebrates Zionism and Jewish Identity

As we prepare to celebrate the wonderful holiday of Sukkot, I am hopeful that those in our community looking for ways to respond to those who arrogate the right to define Zionism - Jewish self-determination in our ancestral homeland - as something evil or illegitimate, will read this…

Together, there’s no limit to what we can do

Today I’m sharing a short history lesson. Wednesday marked what is a little known footnote in the Jewish calendar, the Fast of Gedaliah. Who was Gedaliah, you may ask? Well, he was installed by the Babylonian conquerors of Jerusalem after they sacked the First Temple in 586 BCE. His role…

Shana Tova from all of us at the Jewish Federation of Rockland

A few days ago I read an op/ed by Abe Foxman, Director Emeritus of the Anti Defamation League. In it, he wrote that what keeps him up at night, after decades of fighting antisemitism and hate, is the vulnerability of synagogues and communal spaces in our communities.

What can we see, without a crystal ball?

Last weekend, scattered reports of a Ukrainian breakthrough in their 6 month long war pushing back the Russian invasion took shape as a broad and successful counteroffensive driving the invaders out of Kharkiv Oblast. As a student of military history and a news junkie for the last 30+…

A Royal Legacy

Reflecting on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, I am reminded of several instances where the Queen left an impression and perhaps a lesson for us. I know that the relationship Americans have with the British monarchy is complex, but I was born and lived most of my life in Canada.

Take Nothing For Granted

Two years ago the only way some of us could celebrate and observe our most ancient traditions was outside, spread out, under a tent to hopefully keep out the rain. Many of us could not even do that. We remained at home, alone or at best on zoom. No handshakes, no hugs. No after-shul…

Welcome back.

This week, I received a message from Dov Oliver, Executive Director of Hillel of Rockland. Hillel Rockland is one of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County's beneficiary agencies. Dov had just returned from bringing a group of Jewish students to Poland on a heritage and…

This is No Partner.

I usually don't write with a focus on Israel or her adversaries in my weekly message. There is so much to address here in Rockland, and also many themes that include Israel, but don't focus exclusively on it. Ironically, for many years researching, training, teaching, lobbying,…