JewishIsrael in Transition: From the Written to the Visual

This is, in a sense, a guest post.  After nine years of serving as content and research director for JewishIsrael, I have opted for a much needed sabbatical (which began in March 2016). 

For 25 plus years I've struggled with and explored the written word and the world of activism in a sincere, but not always successful, attempt at defending the Land of Israel, the integrity of Judaism and the Jewish people.  And now I'm taking a break to return to my first love – drawing and painting – with the hope of inspiring my people, and to instill within them a love of Torah and of Eretz Yisrael.

My work with JewishIsrael has been grueling and not always popular. From its inception, JewishIsrael has called for accountability from Jewish leadership and has not been afraid to challenge decisions and policies that we feel have jeopardized the status of Judaism in Israel. In my position as content and research director, I've done my best to present difficult and complex subject matter in a truthful, sensitive, responsible and dynamic way (humor included). And it has been done with the full support and supervision of Avraham Leibler and the exceptional team at JewishIsrael, and under the unfailing guidance of Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold.  

It should be noted that in addition to an online presence, JewishIsrael's work included scores of behind-the-scenes meetings with, and presentations to, Jewish leadership.  Over the years we have also built a significant library of Halachic Rulings, Opinions, and Definitions . But it is no secret that my work and JewishIsrael's policies have been largely inspired by the writings and foundations laid down by Rav Joseph Dov Ber Soloveitchik, Z"L, and by the Torah portion, and numerous commentaries, on Vayishlach.

JewishIsrael will be continuing its vital work in documenting the pitfalls and costs involved in engaging and partnering with a christ-centered, evangelizing community. But in a highly visual world, which has lost much of its interest in the written word, and no longer has patience for exhaustive factual reporting, JewishIsrael will be directing its efforts towards video production and documentation, in addition to issuing concise community alerts.

Over the years we've noticed that JewishIsrael's growing video library has been one of the more referenced and popular features of our site. JewishIsrael will therefore be investing in the equipment necessary to produce high quality video presentations. I will still be retaining an advisory position, should my assistance be called upon.

So on behalf of JewishIsrael, we ask our readership for their patience during this period of transition.

Ellen Horowitz

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