A Jewish Professor's Political Punditry
Fifty-Plus Years of Published Commentary by Ron Rubin
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Syracuse University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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According to the medieval Jewish philosopher, Maimonides, one of the ways for a Jew to fi nd divine forgiveness is by “dismantling for the purpose of building.” This term, a play on words, refers to one of the thirty-nine categories of work Jews performed in constructing the Temple in their biblical journey through the desert on the way to the Holy Land....
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Many fi ne people were involved in bringing this work to fruition and I would like to thank them all. Shari Glixman, in her gracious obser-vance of hachnasas orchim (the commandment to show hospitality to the stranger), began the process when she opened her home in Florida to a professor from New York and mentioned her cousin, an editor in Califor-...
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...horizons stretched beyond the boulevard shaped Grand Concourse. I had access to the lives of presidents, great cities, and political move-ments of the day through the newspapers, biographies, and periodicals that I was exposed to in my boyhood. Since I was raised in a Jewishly observant home and studied at various yeshivas, I naturally looked on ...
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For two thousand years, Jews exiled from their homeland and lacking political sovereignty were easy targets for elitist rulers on the right and the pseudo-egalitarian mob on the left. When Emancipation came and Jews exited the ghettos, Jewish self-made pitfalls were no less horrifi c, as many embraced the trendy “isms” of secular society only to spiritually assimilate ...
P a r t O n e
1An Undergraduate’s Entryinto Journalism
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After graduating from high school in 1957 at age fi fteen, Ron Rubin was admitted into the bachelor of arts program at New York University.“The NYU experience at fi rst felt rather liberating, graduating as I did from Yeshiva University High School which had classes from 9 a.m.–6 A political science major who often expressed his views in writing, ...
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...quickly earned his master’s degree. From 1962 to 1965 he pursued a doc-torate from New York University’s Department of Politics, winning his degree with a dissertation focused on the role of the United States Infor-mation Agency (USIA) and the topic of public diplomacy. The disserta-tion, which was later expanded into a book, The Objectives of the United ...
P a r t T w o•A Young Professorin a Young School,1965–1969
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With his “career” as a student ending, Rubin quickly moved out into the real world of political science, spending time in 1965 as a legislative assistant for United States Representative Jonathan B. Bingham (NY 23rd CD), one of Israel’s main champions. During that time he carried out research on legislative-executive relations of the United States Informa-...
4The Plight of Soviet Jewry
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During the summer of 1966, Rubin had an opportunity to tour the USSR with a Dutch student group, NBBS. As both the only American and only Jew in the group, he was greatly affected. Beginning with the following article about an especially poignant observance during this trip, Dr. Rubin researched and wrote extensively on the subject of Soviet Jewry ...
P a r t T h r e e•An Established Professorand Author at Home andAbroad, 1970s and 1980s
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...(BMCC) afforded him the opportunity to take a sabbatical year during the early 1970s—a year he spent in Israel as visiting senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Haifa University. His writings refl ect Two of Rubin’s main interests, communications and Israel, merge in the following four pieces. The fi rst addresses Israel’s Propaganda War, or ...
6American Jewish Political Behavior
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In the mid-1970s Rubin began writing about the American Jewish com-munity and its role in American politics. Between 1973 and 1978 his writ-ings addressed the diverging relationship between American Jews and the liberal establishment, the impact of the new Jewish ethnicism and politi-cal self-awareness, the controversial role of the new breed of Jewish politi-...
7Political and Communal Personalities
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Rubin began writing—and reviewing books and responding to arti-cles—about personalities in or affecting the Jewish world. His political and communal interests ranged from the world’s top political and reli-gious fi gures to the local Jewish councilman covering his own community Arthur Krock’s account of 12 American Presidents, from Theodore Roos-...
8The Plight of Soviet Jewry Continues
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Rubin’s continued interest in Soviet Jewry was echoed by the second oldest of his fi ve daughters, Shulie, in a touching Letter to Russia, the win-ning entry in the 1984 National Council of Young Israel’s National Youth Essay Contest, which is used as an introduction to this chapter. Another “winner” in the chapter is The Soviet Jewish Problem at the United Nations. ...
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In the 1970s Rubin wrote two op-eds about an educational issue impact-ing New York’s multicultural (including Jewish) population. Because they are similar, the second, CUNY’s Future: It’s All Politics [New York, Febru-In the next few months hard choices will be made concerning the future of the City University of New York [CUNY]—choices that go to the heart ...
P a r t f o u r•The Turn of the Century,1990–2008
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In the early 1990s Rubin wrote another “education” article, but this one was as much, if not more, about Jewish personalities and politics as it was about education. The yeshiva he wrote about—in the community in which he lives—has a very strong heritage, steeped in Jewish history and Judaism.The penetrating sound of Kol Torah that one hears upon entering the Beis ...
11Connecting to Israel
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Whether on sabbatical or on vacation, Israel is a frequent destination of Rubin’s. While there, he fi nds ways to connect with the Jewish state. In Part III, he served as a senior visiting professor at one of Israel’s top uni-versities. Here he addresses fi rst volunteering in the Israeli army and then being part of an organized group of people transported to Ben Gurion ...
12U.S. Foreign Policy, Terrorism,and the Middle East
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Throughout the fi rst decade of the twenty-fi rst century, Rubin followed the travesty that was the United States’ policy on terrorism and the Mid-east, writing prolifi cally about the key players: Colin Powell, President George W. Bush, John Bolton, and Condoleezza Rice. Forever politi-cally alert to news from the area, a Wall Street Journal article by Richard ...
13Political and Communal Personalitiesand the Jewish Community
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Rubin continues to look at contemporary fi gures and their impact on the Jewish community. In addition to the many articles he wrote about “personalities” during this time period, Rubin’s third book was also “per-sonality” focused. Rudy, Rudy, Rudy: The Real and the Rational, his book of quotes from NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, was published by Holmes ...
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Michael Medved wants it both ways when he attacks Sen. Joseph Lieber-man’s politics as well as the teachings of Orthodox Judaism. He takes issue with Sen. Lieberman’s attitudes toward abortion and homosexuality. Then, he arrogates to himself Rabbinic authority criticizing the Orthodox Mr. Medved compares Orthodox teachings on those issues to the ban ...
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During the 1990s, Rubin focused most of his writing energies on his biographies of Fred Lebow and Rudolph Giuliani. Anything for a T-Shirt: Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon was published by Syracuse University Press in November 2004 and was cited by Runners World as one November 7, the vision of its founder, the charming showman Fred ...
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I was introduced to the world of Judaica collecting in 1990 by the late Abraham Karp, who’d moved to my New York City neighborhood of Riverdale for his retirement years. I knew his name even before he came to Riverdale, due to my familiarity with his works on American Jewish history and his past presidency of the American Jewish Historical Society....
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Two articles about three personally meaningful “endings” were selected What is the touchstone that unites a 26.2-mile marathon with a Siyum Hashas celebration of completing the 7.5-year-page-a-day Talmud cycle?The concept shared by both events is human striving—or in the lan-guage of the Lithuanian yeshiva, the commitment to shteig, to stretch one’s ...
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Since mid-2008, after more than fi fty years of prolifi cally putting his polit-ical opinions, concerns, and predictions and his deep connection to Juda-ism and Israel in writing, Rubin’s pen has been virtually silent. He has been devoting his free time to family, a sixth book, and working more directly to impact the political and social areas he had been writing about. Instead of ...
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Page Count: 400
Publication Year: 2013
Series Editor Byline: N/A