Note to My Readers: Short Blogging Hiatus

Medicine (Image)
Photo by Nic McPhee

Dear Readers,

You know me, I’m a passionate blogger and I care deeply about bringing you Jewish philanthropy news, updates, and trends. But sometimes life intervenes.

I’m not feeling that well right now (don’t worry, I’ll be fine in the long run) and I need to spread my energy out to cover the basics of my freelancing business first.

I’ll be back soon enough. If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss anything, please consider subscribing (by e-mail or feed) to make sure you don’t miss my return.

In the meantime, you can follow my writings and projects under my Read Me section, which I am updating regularly.

Stay warm and Shabbat Shalom. I’ll be thinking of you.


24 Responses to Note to My Readers: Short Blogging Hiatus

  1. Shai says:

    Get well soon(er) 🙂

  2. Maya Norton says:

    Thanks, Shai. Appreciated. 🙂


  3. Ian says:

    The blogosphere will be empty without you. The philanthropic world wont be the same without you. you wont even update the important Bronfman contest seminar of the 24th? Your health is all that matters so do whats best for you to be healthy and feel well. You are too valuable to lose to the caring and emotionally maturing world.
    best health

  4. Feel better Maya! You’ll be in my prayers.

  5. womentc says:

    Refuah Shlemah!

  6. Take care of yourself, Maya!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery,

  7. Gary Kulwin says:

    Hi, Maya –

    I hope that you are feeling better, and that we’ll all be able to read more of your writing here soon (there are a lot of “The New Jew Junkies” out there!). In the meantime, for the rest of the Bronfman contest junkies who are reading this: the JTA recently posted an article summarizing the five finalists’ proposals, which were formally presented at Brandeis this past weekend.

    While I root for Ariel Beery as the “hometown favorite” (his proposal was posted here before he was selected as a finalist), I personally think that Saul Singer’s proposal is the most interesting for a potential book. A collective discussion about proselytizing, IMHO, could lead us to considering lots of other, deeper issues: what we represent as a people (to ourselves and to others), what our organizations are really able and willing to accomplish, the relationship between us and our “competitors” (the other monotheistic religions), and the interplay between the ethnic/cultural and religious dimensions of Jewish identity.

    Anyway, best wishes to everybody here in the New Jew community. Refuah Shleimah, Maya!

    Regards, GK

  8. Ian Zwerling says:

    WIth Israel facing a huge and powerful enemy alone, I cant see how proselatizing is going to help. This contest is a missed opportunity, a joke really.
    I have no doubt it wil be Singer because his background is almost the same as Sarna’s, both have a father who was a biblical scholar. Mark my words.
    American Jews are so far out of reality they are almost falling off the world. With 46% of Americans making six figures, I think this says it all. Worshipping the Golden Calf again.

  9. Ian Zwerling says:

    Jonathan Sarna says that they have already succeeded. It is ironic that in the end he attributes the contest itself as the primary success, not the finalists. He discounts the success of the contest but takes personal credit for its existence. If he isnt the most egotistical person in Jewish life today, he must be a finalist. I always said that in the world of Post-modernism, with the devaluing of the person as central to the collective narrative, in the end the only thing to be remembered about this contest is the contest itself. Sarna proved it with his statement.
    Its funny that they only take credit for Judaism and modernism and we live in a post-modern world which kind of makes Jews unimportant. This contest and Brandeis university participation says to me that they should leave serious thought to the adults and to keep playing with their expensive toys.

  10. Ian Zwerling says:

    A recent editorial by a German professor in the JPost about how to battle anti-semitism in Germany recommends that Jews make the world know more about them than the holocaust and Israeli conflict. In my mind these cant be seperated from knowing who Jews are. The contest recommends this same disconnect that she recommends. The Heisenberg theory of uncertainty is a part of any German scholarship. Using this method one can say that this German professor is turning back time to before the holocaust and implictly blaming Jews for the Holocaust, though benignly.
    Living in a Kibbutz I always said that Socialism is an excuse for not being social. In the world of post-modernism, the discounted person becomes much more important in his own mind. I think this contest illustrates that Sarna will have used this contest to enhance his persona. I think the signature form-letter controversy is indicative of this.
    This contest does a public service by showing how out of touch Jews have become, how they cower in fear of reality and how weak willed we are when being accepted. We are like dogs who love getting pet. Like they say about personal freedom that it ends at the tip of your nose, being a Jew ends in the past. We can only see a future in our past. What a tragedy we are as a people.

  11. Ian Zwerling says:

    Post-modernism is living in a world where history doesnt belong to us anymore, to anyone. It belongs to whoever defines it to suit themselves. This is why the Obama phenomenon exists. It is similar to the Islamic exertion of its interest onto the world scene. One only needs to deem themselves important to be important. Obama is a blank slate that others can write on. He represents their ambitions the same way Bush was a poster child for post-modernism. It is ironic that Bush isnt despised even while hiding out until his term ends, a complete failure in every respect.
    Israel was the Jews return to the historical process. This was the basis of my proposal. To reject my proposal is to reject this notion of our return to the historical process. Im still in shock for this idea being rejected by Brandeis. It tells the entire story of this contest and Jews self-image in the world. How can we combat Islamic aggression if we dont stand on this basic principle? This is why I am devastated, that we prefer to be victims to successes and leaders. Leadership from this contest. The leadership of Masada.

  12. Maya Norton says:

    Thanks for the link, Gary.

    I may be updating with major contest news soon from the point of view of this blog, so yes, junkies, stay tuned.

    Thank you very much for your warm wishes, all. They really mean a lot to me.

    Take care,


  13. Ian Zwerling says:

    Im addicted to you more than to the contest. Its unfair that you release this information without telling us what it is. But it isnt really that, its mainly missing you.

  14. Gary Kulwin says:

    Hi, Maya,

    I found a couple of more interesting links, on the Brandeis website, for the Big Idea addicts among us:

    The finalist announcement page now contains the written proposals (in PDF format) of the five finalists.
    As was previously announced, a semi-finalist page contains proposals from six of the fifteen semi-finalists who did not make it into the final round. Something especially nice to see here: the semi-finalist page also contains a link back to this blog!

    I guess that this link makes your “Big Ideas Series” a semi-official part of the contest (sort of like a small, secondary state at a music festival, where the less well known “alternative acts” can be showcased). Well, it has certainly been fun keeping track of the Big Ideas here; I can hardly wait to see what else you have in store for us… 🙂

    Kol Tuv, GK

  15. Maya Norton says:

    Thanks, Gary. I’m on it.

    I will have good news in relation to this shortly (shhh, you’ll have to wait and see).

    It was so good of Brandeis to link here. I really appreciate it.

    Nechama Liss-Levinson and Paul Marcus’ proposal on “Being There for the Other: Creating a New Jewish Community of Caring” will also be featured on this site shortly. They were kind enough to share it with us and I think you will really like their proposal.

    Best wishes,


  16. Shai says:

    Ms. Diamante didn’t provide any more info, not even on the Brandeis site. Hmm. Maya, I’m looking forward to seeing more. Somehow, though, ein li koach. Know what I mean? Congrats to Mr. Kurtzer, though – the book sounds like it will be a good read.

  17. Maya Norton says:


    I am aware that Ms. Diamant didn’t provide more information to anyone, and I’m fairly sure that it’s because a book is already in process– which I look forward to reading, as I have all her others.

    I think you’ll be interested in Yehuda Kurtzer’s proposal on Jewish memory– I’ve posted an excerpt on the most recent entry– and the caring communities proposal of Nechama Liss-Levinson and Paul Marcus in particular (they were semi-finalists) as it is very different than others we’ve seen so far.

    I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.


  18. Ian Zwerling says:

    I woke up sicker than Ive ever been. How appropriate. My body has good timing, somehow aligned with the sickness of our times. This winning proposal that I read yesterday is turning Judaism into a form of early christianity. Its something like a messianic Judaism where the messiah is Judaism itself. All I can get from it is that Judaism is deemed to be a persecuted religion that is attempting to whip up a messianic fervor to save it. How sad. How untrue. What a waste. Its like a Disneyland version of Judaism.

  19. Maya Norton says:

    Oh no, feel better, Ian.


  20. Dr. Martin Laskin says:


    Feel better soon. You are doing very important work. The Jewish world needs you!

    All the best,


  21. Maya Norton says:

    Thanks so much, Martin.

    That really means a lot to me.


  22. Isidra says:

    Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin.
    Do you have any tips or suggestions? Thank you

  23. move Company says:

    I blog often and I really thank you for your information. The
    article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your blog
    and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  24. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a
    different page and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your web page repeatedly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: