My Photo

Upcoming Events

  • Esther Kustanowitz - Consulting & Freelancing
    Whether you need a content plan, communications strategies, or a social media orientation, I can help you. Reasonable rates available - contact me at esther.kustanowitz at

@EstherK on Twitter

Become a Fan

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« No April Fool's Post, But Double the Traffic on April 1 | Main | "About That Email..." - JTA Posts Apology for Email Language »



Great post, Esther. Well said.

Maya Norton

Right on the mark, Esther. Thanks for this.

~ Maya

The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy


"I'm just a blogger"

A well informed, tuned in and media savy one, too.

Shavuah tov,

Dan Sieradski

Official JTA response

Jo Ellen at Zeek

Yes, that fundraising letter was truly misguided. Bloggers are tne new columnists of today's media.

Jacob Shwirtz

Very well said!


Can't wait to write about this!



I appreciate your response to what has been said over the past few days on the blog-o-sphere. But, I am also quite disappointed that it came from you (regardless of your position in the JTA). The feelings that Elisa's solicitation email brought forth deserve a formal response from her, as both the author of the email and President of JTA.

On a related note, and lost in all the various comments is that the solicitation email asks us "to join JTA by becoming a member of our online community. For just $50..."

Membership implies certain benefits not available to non-members. What exactly are the benefits of JTA membership?

Bungalow Babe

As the extremely close relative of a certain Columbia prof and former Times writer recently quoted as saying F#(% New Media in the pages of New York Magazine, I see this drama as:

F#(% New Media -- The Kosher Edition.

My ECR took a LOT of heat for his comments, was the subject of many blog entries and was called such kindly things as a Luddite and a Dinosaur. He even got an email to his personal Inbox describing a certain method of death involving heavy ropes.

As the ECR of the aforementioned reporter/professor, I was the first to jump to his support...after I finished laughing hysterically at his predicament, blogging about it and sending out links to the New York Magazine article.

Because we live in extremely close proximity, I knew that, problematic though his statement was, it wasn't delivered in a vaccum, though it was reported as such.

In fact, ECR's comments were totally decontextualized (he was talking about not neglecting the basic skills of writing and reporting within the fast-paced, instant-gratification world of cyberjournalism).

But as Esther the Kvetcher ably points out, the JTA situation warrants a different response. In her characteristically intelligent blog post, our Woman in the Blogosphere positively NAILED the Wrongheaded Weirdness of this particular pitch letter, which was to equate the brave writers of New Media with, say, Ahmadinejad.'s a lot worse than saying F#(% New Media.

Indeed, it's kinda saying LOOK OUT! NEW MEDIA IS COMING TO KILL YOU!

And even an Extremely Close Relative of the author of that solicitation letter (easily one of the WORST in fundraising history)would have a hard time supporting that sentiment.

Dan Sieradski

JTA President Elisa Spungen Bildner responds:

Schelly Talalay Dardashti

Well said, Esther.
As the very first blogger (back in 2006) on JTA with Tracing the Tribe - The Jewish Genealogy Blog, I was really dismayed that Elisa Spungen Bildner would write in those terms. And, BTW, Tracing the Tribe was just named to the top 25 most popular genealogy blogs for 2009 (the only Jewish one on the list!), ranking at #10.

The comments to this entry are closed.