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June 21, 2013 9:33 am
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The AP’s Double Standard on Israel, Women Ordained as Orthodox Clergy, and Religious-Themed Entertainment

avatar by Ronn Torossian

Email a copy of "The AP’s Double Standard on Israel, Women Ordained as Orthodox Clergy, and Religious-Themed Entertainment" to a friend

From left to right, at the June 16 Yeshivat Maharat ordination ceremony in New York: Rabba Sara Hurwitz (dean of Yeshivat Maharat), Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman, Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold, and Maharat Abby Brown Scheier. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Here are a few random thoughts I wished to share:

  • When Prime Minister Netanyahu was reelected in January, The Associated Press (AP) described him as the leader of a “hard-line bloc.”  But when Hasan Rowhani won the Iranian Presidential election recently, the AP described him as “a relative moderate” who had “the backing of Iranian reformists.” Of course, Prime Minister Netanyahu (the “hard-line” candidate) has called for negotiations with the Palestinians and other regional powers, presides over a real democracy, and respects the human rights of his citizens (including minorities, women, homosexuals, and Muslims). Rowhani, the “relative moderate,” has spent decades working for a regime that refuses to negotiate with its neighbors (preferring instead to use terrorism against them), brutally suppressed the Green Revolution, and frequently persecutes minorities, women, homosexuals, and non-Muslims. Once again, the American press has shown that Israel will be held to a different standard, even compared to one of the world’s leading state-sponsors of terrorism.
  • Special congratulations to Yeshivat Maharat, a Modern Orthodox yeshiva that recently ordained three Jewish women as members of the clergy. Yeshiva Maharat, based in New York, describes its mission as “actualizing the potential of Orthodox women as rabbinic leaders.” And given that all of their graduates have already secured positions in Orthodox congregations, it’s clear that there is a desire for female clergy in Orthodox communities. If indeed men are from Mars and women are from Venus, the men and women of the Jewish community should be served by leaders of both sexes.
  • Family-friendly entertainment is attracting more viewers than ever. One Christian-themed outlet, The Inspiration Network (founded by David Cerullo) was recently named the sixth quickest growing network in the United States.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Jewish network that could take off? It would do so much good for our people.

Finally, I wanted to share an incredible video: watch lightening strike the headquarters of the world renowned charity Kars for Kids – Yes, you read it right:

Ronn Torossian is CEO of PR agency 5WPR, and author of “For Immediate Release.”

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