News, Ethics & Culture

Is Gary Rosenblatt Unethical and The New York Jewish Week Fake News?

Is Gary Rosenblatt Unethical and The New York Jewish Week Fake News?

Let’s say you were in an acrimonious legal fight with someone, and an article putting a negative light on you appeared in a news outlet, containing information about you that could only come from your opponent. Then you discover your opponent was a writer for this same news outlet and the article itself was written by its publisher. But this was not disclosed anywhere.

Would you call that unethical? Would you call that news outlet, “Fake News?”

Well, that’s exactly what seems to have happened with an article “The Battle For Reb Noach’s Legacy At Aish HaTorah” written by Gary Rosenblatt, of The New York Jewish Week and published on the Times of Israel. This article references the ongoing dispute between Rabbi Noach Weinsberg’s (OBM) close disciple, Aish International’s, Rabbi Boruch Rabinowitz, and Aish HaTorah. This dispute is currently in beit din (Jewish court) and Rabbi Rabinowitz is the plaintiff.

UPDATE 6-13-2017: After this blog was published on 6-12-2017, and a bais din session was held in Brooklyn, where Rabbi Burg was presented with allegations that he may have colluded with Mr. Rosenblatt, it seems that Mr. Rosenblatt has edited his article. He changed the title to be a more harmful one to Rabbi Rabinowitz as well as other parts of the article. As of 6-13-2017, the original article can still be found here.

What Mr. Rosenblatt has failed to disclose in his article is that Rabbi Steve Burg, who is Aish HaTorah’s Director General (Mankal), is also a writer for Mr. Rosenblatt’s, The New York Jewish Week. Rabbi Burg is directing the litigation for Aish HaTorah, and issued the letter dismissing Rabbi Rabinowitz from his 40 years of service to Aish, which is a main point of contention in the dispute.

This is the same Rabbi Burg, who as former eastern director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the New York Museum of Tolerance, had to distance himself from his association with Jona Rechnitz, who has been implicated in the NYPD Scandal involving New York City Council Funding to the NYC Simon Wiesenthal’s Museum. This story has been featured prominently in the NY Times and the NY Post. When Mr. Rosenblatt’s publication covered the story, somehow Rabbi Burg’s name is not mentioned in the article.

(Update October 2019: Burg comes to Rechnitz’s defense during sentencing)

Additionally, Mr. Rosenblatt has written favorably about Rabbi Burg in another article on his platform in January of 2013. It seems they have known each other for quite a while.

Would you call Gary Rosenblatt unethical? Would you call The New York Jewish Week, “Fake News?”

As adviser to Rabbi Rabinowitz, and someone who has become familiar with the dispute, I was asked by Mr. Rosenblatt for an interview for his article. When we sat down to discuss matters, I was extremely surprised and dismayed to learn from Mr. Rosenblatt how much detailed information about the dispute and beit din case he had. It was clear to me, he had information from sources inside Aish HaTorah. It was also clear to me, he had many of his so-called facts wrong.

My interview is referenced prominently in the article and in some places Mr. Rosenblatt has accurately represented what I told him. But in some places, he has cleverly spun or edited what I said in a way that helps to create a negative impression of Rabbi Rabinowitz. It may be why he didn’t record my hour-long interview – leaving only his hand-written notes as a record of what I said.

And, it was this seemingly deliberate spinning in the article that cast aspersions on Rabbi Rabinowitz that got me to do some research on Mr. Rosenblatt. I discovered an article written by Rabbi Steven Prozansky, “Gary Rosenblatt Lies. Now He Should Apologize.” and then I searched on Mr. Rosenblatt’s, The New York Jewish Week, and that is where I found his connection to Rabbi Burg.

On a final and ironic note, Mr. Rosenblatt recently wrote an article, “Understanding Journalism In The Age Of ‘Fake News’ – Maybe this is an appropriate time to reflect on what real journalism is, and isn’t, and why it matters so much in a free society.”

I wonder if that may have been a “Freudian slip” by Mr. Rosenblatt?

Would you call Gary Rosenblatt unethical? Would you call The New York Jewish Week, “Fake News?”

I leave that call to you.

Is Gary Rosenblatt Unethical and The New York Jewish Week Fake News?

2 replies »

  1. Gary R has done this to several orgs over the years as a way to create news for his shrinking newspaper. See OHEL in 2011- a wonderful organization…Of course the OU and the RCA constantly…Never YU because of their major advertising with him. What was once a robust 80 page newspaper has shrunk to half its size and it is running on fumes supported, ironically, by the advertising of orthodox institutions such as YU, Artscroll and of course those extravagant Pesach programs

  2. Gary was approached to expose other molesters besides Lanner but he was not interested. Why was that Gary? Only Lanner interests you because you had a score to settle with the OU?

    Gary has always been a fan of so called rabbis who cross all the red lines out of Orthodox practice. Gary was head cheerleader for Emanuel Rackman of wedding “nullification” infamy who was publicly condemned by leading rabbis throughout the Orthodox spectrum..

    And now Gary huddles with Steve Burg, who moonlights as a LGBT propagandist

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