Battling Perceptions in Bergen County

The controversy surrounding the New Jewish Jewish Standard‘s decision to publish a same sex marriage announcement continues to make news. A look at two reports: first, The Jewish Channel printed a leaked draft statement from the RCBC, or Rabbinical Council of Bergen County and following, a local New Jersey publication reports on a meeting between the papers and community leaders. We found the following from the RCBC Statement, and the apparent blame shifting, ‘interesting’:

It is a source of embarrassment to the greater Jewish community that there are various Jewish blog sites, claiming that they accurately report on the Jewish world in general, or cover the Orthodox world in particular, or something of the like, who seem, at least in this case, to have felt no need to display any sense of professionalism, journalistic integrity or even common courtesy. Any one of these values would dictate that all relevant facts should be thoroughly checked and rechecked before launching a nasty verbal attack on others, but that clearly did not happen here. Instead, the sites fed off of one another, built on the uncorroborated posts of others hiding behind the anonymity of a screen name and “protected” themselves by inserting words like “allegedly” and “supposedly” every once in a while. And so the Orthodox rabbis of Bergen County have this past week been labeled thugs, Ayatollahas, Mafiosos, Taliban and who knows what else. All, of course, in the name of tolerance, decency and sensitivity to the feelings of others, and all based on falsehood.


Rabbis discuss Jewish Standard’s gay marriage notices

The Jewish Standard’s publisher and editor met with about 35 North Jersey rabbis and secular Jewish community leaders Thursday to discuss the paper’s controversial decision to publish its first gay wedding announcement before abruptly reversing course.

… James Janoff, the Standard’s publisher, did not reveal whether the paper would start publishing gay marriage notices again.

Janoff said in an e-mail after Thursday’s meeting that the paper continues to meet with “rabbis and communal leaders from all segments of the community, getting their input on how an independent local newspaper can best serve the diverse interests of a varied constituency while remaining true to its editorial mission.