The Announcement I’ve Been Dreading: Official Long-Term Hiatus

Dear Friends,

I’ve long been dreading making this announcement, wanting to put it off as long as possible hoping that things would change. As you know, I’ve been on hiatus, but it’s only fair that I make it official.

Jewish philanthropy, as manifested in my career, my volunteer work, my writing, and most poignantly, this blog, are my passion. It is my privilege to work on behalf of the Jewish people and the State of Israel every day of my life.

I regret to say that at present, I am no longer able to devote the immense time and energy needed to maintain this blog. It is my ardent hope that I will be able to return to continue its work, but the time is not now.

For the many of you who have written to ask about the Bronfman Big Idea Series, the series will be revived (with the permission of individual authors) when the blog returns. I apologize for any inconvenience this has incurred and assure you that I would keep blogging and writing about issues central to the Jewish world and our innovations if I had any capacity to do so at present. But I don’t.

Thank you all so warmly for your devoted support. I encourage you to stay subscribed so that you will be notified when I return.

I am available by e-mail (although with some delay) at mayan80 [at]

With love and admiration,


16 Responses to The Announcement I’ve Been Dreading: Official Long-Term Hiatus

  1. Tsvi Bisk says:

    Love you Maya,

    Be well!!

    Tsvi Bisk

  2. Martin Laskin says:


    Whatever your illness is I hope that you will recover soon. You have been doing work that is so important and inspirational for Israel and the Jewish people. Is the medical system in Israel treating you well? If you decide to go abroad for any treatment you already have contacts in many large U.S. cities adjacent to first class facilities. We live in the New Haven Connecticut area, (Yale New Haven Hospital). If we ever can be of help please do not hesitate. Refuah shlamah.

    Martin Laskin

  3. Maya Norton says:

    Right back at you, Tsvi. Thank you.


  4. Gary Kulwin says:

    Kol Ha_Kavod Lach, Maya. Even if (G-d forbid) you never posted another word here, your contribution to having a serious public discussion about the possibilities and challenges for the Jewish future has already been tremendous. I hope that you go from strength to strength.

    Stay healthy and be happy, and hopefully some day many of us in this little blogging community will get a chance to meet. It has been a very long time – more than a decade – since I’ve been in Israel, but if I ever do make it back somehow, getting to chat with poeple like you, Shai, and Tsvi would certainly be the highlight of the trip.

    As Martin already said, Refuah Shlema.

    Regards, GK

  5. Maya Norton says:

    Dear Martin,

    I can’t thank you enough for the kindness and thoughtfulness of your words and caring you’ve expressed.

    I realize that I am causing so many people a great deal of worry because I haven’t said specifically what is wrong and given the length of time I’ve been feeling ill, my readers and friends I’ve made through The New Jew automatically fear the worst.

    Actually, the news is wonderful in that I am expecting a baby boy on Rosh HaShana. Unfortunately, every step of the physical part of this process has been beyond exhausting, causing me to eliminate many important things in my life simply due to a lack of time and energy resources. You saw it first in my blog because that was my biggest investment (and I also started a new job at that time), but it has permeated all other aspects as well.

    I can’t begin to imagine the changes that will come for me and my family in the fall, but as I say all the time, this blog reflects values that are very important to me and that– I hope– contribute to the bigger picture of world, Jewish, and Israel Jewish philanthropy, which affect our lives in ways that we may not quite understand the impact of at this point. In short, I’ll be back. 🙂

    Warmest Wishes to you and your family, Martin.
    Shabbat Shalom,


  6. Maya Norton says:

    Thank you, Gary. I look forward to the day when we meet, sweetened by your return to Haaretz after all these years.

    (I will be back, so no need to worry about that.)

    Thanks for your kind words– and likewise.

    Shabbat Shalom,


  7. Ian Zwerling says:

    I seem to be as evil as your unfortunate illness but I am just happy to know you are still a remarkable and inspiring person to one and all. Take as long as you need because you have already made a significant mark on all who have had the priviledge of knowing you and the field you endeavor to contribute to. Thank God you are the person we knew and thank you for your update. May God Bless you and speed your recovery.

  8. Ian says:

    You’re a very important person for all of us with your blog. Take good care of yourself.

  9. Hi Maya,
    Thank you for quoting my article “ between Ramallah and Modiinon” on Global Voice, .

    On my blog korzacsol , among other articles, I wrote on events connecting Jewish, Israeli and Arab people, without subordinating them to the Israeli Arab conflict.
    You are always invited to take a look.

    Shlomo Korzac

    …And in the spirit of the above posts, not knowing you, I wish you the best..

  10. Hey Maya… I hope your hiatus isn’t permanent and also hope that it is fruitful… If you have the hankering to do any philanthropy writing on the side while you’re on your break, let me know.

    As for the rest of you. While Maya’s on leave, feel free to check out JTA’s newish Jewish philanthropy blog, The Fundermentalist.


  11. ARB says:

    Congrats on your growing family Maya. I will miss your blogging. Hope to see you posting again soon.

  12. ck says:

    Be well, stay healthy and mazal tov!

  13. Ian says:

    Have a successful pregnancy and easy delivery. That is wonderful and exciting news. Imagine, your blog will have a baby. Looking forward to your relaunch after the happy event in the New Year.

  14. Get well soon. You’ve done a great job and I hope you can return to this blog soon enough.

  15. OMM says:

    I really enjoy your blog. Hope you will be back soon with more insights to share with us.

  16. sarah says:

    Hi! You’ve been added to the Association of Smith Alum Blogs ( If that’s not ok with you, or if you know of someone else we should add, please email us at
    ~Sarah & Amanda

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