January 2008

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Ben Burrows, editor-in-chief of the Philadelphia Jewish Voice
News and Opinion


The Philadelphia Jewish Voice begins the new year with a new editor-in-chief: Ben Burrows. He takes the reins gratefully from the capable hands of Charles Smolover, whose yeoman's work as volunteer editor has continued to grow this online journal into a new progressive voice in the Philadelphia Jewish community. Ben Burrows will not be shy about expressing his own editorial point of view.

Ben invites all members of the community to apply their skills to discuss subjects of concern in Jewish and secular life. Ben invites articles from many points of view, protest letters from those who disagree, quibbles and compliments to the articles you agree with. Articles and letters to the editor will be carefully reviewed by Ben and our dedicated volunteers. Please see our submission guidelines for more details, and our publication calendar for relevant deadlines.

Our goal is not to support or oppose any particular person, group or agenda, but to embrace the "two Jews, three opinions" diversity our community represents. The Philadelphia Jewish Voice aims to represent the diversity of viewpoints held by the Philadelphia Jewish Community.

Ben Burrows came from a mixed family: His mother is a Democrat, and his father (z''l) was a Republican. Although Burrows has views which are well left of center, he believes strongly that community journals should present a broad spectrum of views. During teach-ins in 1967-68 at the University of Rochester, for instance, Burrows actively recruited speakers from the Conservative Party of New York, despite his own disagreement with their positions. Ben has longstanding friendships with people who disagree with him politically and religiously. After a long period of political dormancy, Ben began writing more frequent letters to national and local newspapers -- to assure that their editorial viewpoint would not continue to be dominated by the same frequently published right-wing voices. In 2003, Burrows became involved with the Howard Dean campaign and joined the Rapid Response group for Pennsylvania, to advocate for Dean and for liberal Democratic positions. Ben has continued to advocate for liberal causes, and has written replies to articles and letters (even in the Voice) as letters to the editor.

Ben Burrows grew up in Chicago as a Reform Jew. Ben and his wife Ariana were married in 1982, and moved to the Philadelphia area in 1987. They first joined Old York Road Temple Beth Am, where Ben became an early member of their Shabbat Morning Torah Discussion group, and was active in the Social Action Committee. Ariana was an active member of Sisterhood. Their son Reuben attended Jewish day school at the Perelman (Schechter) Melrose Park campus, and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at Beth Sholom Congregation. Reuben recently graduated Towson University in Music Education. Ben and Ariana are now members of Congregation Melrose B'nai Israel Emanu-El. His wife Ariana was recently elected a Vice President at the synagogue.

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is a not for profit journal, and survives on the volunteer efforts of its staff and contributors, and on the financial contributions of our readers and supporters. Contributions are tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

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