Several readers asked why I left Zeek Magazine. In general, this is the sort of thing I’m loathe to write about. However, since the Tikkun Olam blog posted an article about the goings on at Zeek, I thought I should say just a few words, even though the article only barely mentions my departure.
As I told Richard Silverstein, the author of the piece in question, my departure from Zeek was entirely my own decision. I was neither let go nor was I in any way pressured to leave. In fact, I declined a request to continue there on a monthly basis, but with a mutual agreement that I might submit articles there on an ad hoc basis in the future. The parting was totally amicable.
Like Silverstein, I was dismayed to say the least that The Forward decided to publish an op-ed piece by John Hagee, giving him an opportunity to cover activities which are detrimental to a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict with friendly words to Jews which I believe were disingenuous. But this had nothing to do with my departure.
I also have nothing to add to the issues Silverstein raises regarding Rachel Tabachnik and her departure from Zeek. Both sides in that argument have presented their views and will, I’m sure, continue to do so. As I was not privy to any of the internal discussions involved there between Rachel and Jo Ellen Kaiser at Zeek, I have nothing to offer on either side. I can only say that I hope these things do not escalate as, at the end of the day, we all have the same ultimate goals and we only help the conservative forces in our community when we fight among ourselves.
As Silverstein mentioned, Zeek editor Joel Schalit departed Zeek last week. Joel was the person who brought me into Zeek and has been working closely with me as my editor for years, long before we both came to Zeek. I expect that Joel and I will continue to pursue mutual projects. Due to other personal changes that I am working with at this time, Joel’s departure seemed a good time for me to leave as well. That was all there was to it. In no way did anyone at Forward or Zeek encourage my departure, but to the contrary, asked me not to. I did not leave in protest or under pressure.
I hope that Zeek will continue to produce its unique material, I wish Jo Ellen and everyone there only the best, and I hope we will work together again in the future.