The Zionist Conspiracy
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
This week's Jewish Press features a front/back page piece by Robert J. Avrech about his late son, Ariel Avrech, who tragically passed away last year at the age of 22 from pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable lung disease. Robert Avrech, who lives with his family in the Pico-Robertson section of Los Angeles, is a screenwriter who won an Emmy for "The Devil’s Arithmetic." He also wrote "A Stranger Among Us" which, of course, is familiar to many observant Jews. Ariel Avrech was a student at Ner Yisroel, a leading yeshiva in Baltimore.
Robert Avrech's piece comes from postings on his blog, which he maintains as a tribute to Ariel's life of righteousness and in honor of Ariel's memory.
Many of us who are familiar with the Jewish blogosphere have come across Robert Avrech's blog. It is safe to say, however, that very few readers of the Jewish Press have until now.
For all the criticism of the Jewish Press - and some of this criticism has appeared on this blog - a great deal of credit is due to the paper's senior editor, Jason Maoz, for continually searching for ways to enhance the product offered to his readers. The Avrech piece was published at Maoz's initiative and after considerable effort on his part.
Maoz has given a forum to a number of talented people who his readers had previously never heard of. In December, he prominently featured Steven I. Weiss' fine piece about an Israel Policy Forum event in support of the Geneva Accord at which Tom Friedman assaulted a critic. Many of us had already read the piece in Jewsweek and about it in Protocols. For the vast majority of Jewish Press readers, however, the piece - and Steven I. Weiss - were brand new.
Maoz has also given a platform for Chananya Weissman of End The Madness to attack the dysfuctional, dogmatic and outdated shidduch dating system. One wonders when The Jewish Week will allow a person in his or her 20's without establishment connections to rail against the Jewish establishment's dysfuctional, dogmatic and outdated federation system.
Maoz has also listed Jewish blogs of interest and frequently quoted scoops and interesting observations from bloggers in his weekly Media Monitor column. In contrast to the Jewish Week, whose op-ed page appears to be limited to "leaders" of "Jewish organizations", Maoz has opened his op-ed page to a number of bloggers whose ideas he finds interesting.
The Jewish Press is not and should not be immune from criticism, but its improvements are evident and should be recognized and applauded.