Gary Rosenblatt, the Baltimore-born editor and publisher of the New York Jewish Week, the nation’s largest Jewish publication, recently announced he is stepping down at the end of September. He is considered by many in the field “the dean of Jewish journalism.”
“For the last 26 years I’ve been so fortunate to fulfill a dream in covering and being a part of the greatest Jewish community in the world, working with such talented and caring colleagues on both the staff and board of the paper,” Rosenblatt wrote in a memo to the Jewish Week’s lay board. “And now it’s time for me to make room for new leadership.”
Rosenblatt, 72, came to the Jewish Week in June of 1993. Previously, he served as editor-in-chief at the Baltimore Jewish Times for 19 years, recruited by the publication’s late publisher, Charles A. “Chuck” Buerger. Together, they expanded the publication’s circulation base, page count and scope, while creating what was at that time widely considered the nation’s premier Jewish publication.
In 1985, Rosenblatt was named one of two Pulitzer Prize finalists in the category of special reporting for his article, “The Simon Wiesenthal Center: State-of-the-Art Activism or Hollywood Hype?” The article examined if the Los Angeles-based human rights organization was truthful in marketing itself as a non-sectarian, humanitarian institution in order to receive state taxpayer funding.
It marked the first time that a Jewish publication was cited in a Pulitzer competition.
Rosenblatt also received the University of Maryland’s Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism in 2000. That same year, he received both praise and criticism in the Jewish community for his series on Rabbi Baruch Lanner, an Orthodox Union educator accused of decades of sexually harassing teenagers. Lanner was eventually convicted of sexually abusing two teenage girls.
Rosenblatt is the chairman of the Jewish Week Investigative Journalism Fund. Under his stewardship, the Jewish Week in 2002 started Write On For Israel, an educational/advocacy program to prepare high school students for the Middle East debate on college campuses, and in 2005 The Conversation, a retreat to discuss major issues facing American Jewry.
Rosenblatt grew up in Annapolis and graduated from the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore. He lived with his maternal grandparents in Baltimore on weekdays from seventh through twelfth grade while attending T.A.
Rosenblatt is also a graduate of Yeshiva University, and he earned a master’s degree in journalism from the City University of New York. He worked at TV Guide prior to moving back to Baltimore.
Rosenblatt’s father, Rabbi Morris D. Rosenblatt, served as spiritual leader of Congregation Kneseth Israel in Annapolis for four decades until his death in 1985. His mother, Rebbetzin Esther Friedlander Rosenblatt, a beloved figure in the Annapolis Jewish community, died in 2009.
The board of the Jewish Week announced that Rich Waloff, the publication’s associate publisher and chief revenue officer for the past 25 years, will succeed Rosenblatt as publisher.
Robert Goldblum, managing editor of the Jewish Week for the past 26 years, will continue in his position. Goldblum worked with Rosenblatt in Baltimore from 1991 to 1993 before joining him at the Jewish Week.
“It has been an honor and privilege to work as a team with Rich and Rob for all these years,” Rosenblatt said. “They are the best at their jobs of anyone I know, and like brothers to me. I am so glad they will carry on in serving our readers and community.”
A new Jewish Week editor is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Stuart Himmelfarb, president of the publication’s board of directors, called Rosenblatt “the premier Jewish journalist in America. His combination of editorial and reporting skills, and commitment to strengthen Jewish life has enabled us to achieve The Jewish Week’s dual mission of journalistic excellence and community building.
“His retirement is bittersweet for us all: while we wish him all the best as this new chapter begins and express our deep thanks for all he did as editor and publisher, we will miss his steady hand, sense of humor, moral compass and leadership.”
Rosenblatt will continue contributing to the Jewish Week through writing occasionally and his involvement with the publication’s educational projects.