Past Writers

Cross-Currents has featured the work of several distinguished contributors who have moved on to other projects.

Jeff Ballabon

Jeff Ballabon is the founder of Ballabon Group LLC, a strategic public affairs and communications firm. He has run lobbying, grassroots, and issue campaigns in Washington, DC, and across the nation. He is also the founder of the non-partisan Center for Jewish Values and hosts a weekly conference call for conservative Jewish activists across the US and in Israel.

Jeff is a graduate of Ner Israel Rabbinical College, Yeshiva University, and Yale Law School. He practiced law in New York before going to Washington, DC, where he served as Legislative Counsel to Senator John Danforth (R-MO) and Republican Counsel to the Consumer Affairs and Product Safety Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

His writing today is more political in nature, and can be found on Political Mavens. He was also a founding writer of the “Judge and Jewry” blog.

Mark Bane

Mark Bane is a partner at the Ropes & Gray law firm, practicing in New York City. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Orthodox Union, where he previously served as the Chairman of the Institute for Public Affairs.

Harvey Belovski

Rabbi Harvey Belovski is the rabbi of the Golders Green Synagogue in London. In addition to his rabbinical duties, he lectures regularly at venues including the JLE, LSJS (where he is a teaching fellow) and Torah Way. He is the New Chaplains’ Mentor for Jewish Chaplaincy, a relationship counsellor, dating adviser and popular speaker.

Rabbi Belovski is the author of two books published by Targum Press, contributes frequently to the Jewish Chronicle, and has written numerous articles for Hamodia and other publications. His areas of interest include Midrash, contemporary Halakhah, 19th-century Polish Chassidic thought, pre-marital counseling and developing independent-minded students. He is currently a post-graduate student at Birkbeck College in London, where he is researching the Chassidic school of Sochaczew.

Rabbi Belovski received his ordination from Gateshead Yeshivah, and graduated in mathematics from University College, Oxford, and was considered for the post of Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom upon Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ retirement.

Dovid Gottlieb

During his time as a writer for Cross-Currents, Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb was the rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Baltimore, MD.

In addition to his weekly Torah classes, R. Gottlieb delivered guest lectures at many of Baltimore’s synagogues and educational institutions and was a regular contributor of essays on the weekly Torah portion to the Baltimore Jewish Times. Many of R. Gottlieb’s classes can be heard online at yutorah.org and shomreiemunah.us. He is involved in a number of communal organizations and is a member of the Executive Board of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) as well as its recently reconstituted Vaad Halacha.

Rabbi Gottlieb received his ordination from the Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), where he was also a member of their prestigious Wexner Kollel Elyon. While a student, he published numerous scholarly articles on Torah topics and also co-edited two Torah publications. In the winter of 2003, he authored Ateres Yaakov, a book of essays about a wide range of halakhic topics which has been well received by both scholars and laymen alike.

Toby Katz

Toby Katz teaches Jewish History and Tanach at the Beth Jacob High School of Miami and also teaches adult education courses at CAJE (the Council for the Advancement of Jewish Education) and other venues. Her articles and stories have appeared in Jewish Action, the journal of the Orthodox Union, as well as published anthologies. She is a homemaker with three children; her husband, Rabbi Michael Katz, served congregations in Johannesburg, South Africa, Melbourne, Australia, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia — he now owns a Judaica store in Hollywood, FL.

She is the daughter of the late Rav Nachman Bulman, zt”l, who was one of the great Torah leaders and thinkers of his generation; and tibadel lechaim, of Rebetzin Shaindel Bulman, the Jerusalem writer, raconteur, rebetzen and great-grandmother extraordinaire. She studied at the Michlala in Jerusalem and has a degree in English and History from Brooklyn College.

Eytan Kobre

Eytan Kobre studied at the Yeshiva of Staten Island and Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah. A graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, he practiced law with two Manhattan firms and served for several years as associate general counsel at Agudath Israel of America.

A published author in both Hebrew and English, Mr. Kobre has written about the contemporary American Jewish scene for various print and electronic publications including The Forward, Sh’ma, Jewish Observer, Beliefnet, Jewish World Review and Aish.com. Mr. Kobre’s deep interest in Jewish education and outreach has found expression in his past roles as a regional director of the Jewish Heritage Center of Queens and Long Island, and as a board member of the Mussar Institute. Mr. Kobre lives with his family in Bayswater, New York.

Today Mr. Kobre is the US Editor of Mishpacha Magazine.

Gedalia Litke

Gedalia Litke is an attorney in private practice with a large New York City firm. He specializes in real estate finance and development and has lectured and published extensively in his field.

Mr. Litke is involved in a wide array of Jewish community activities. He is a founder of Kayama, which facilitates gittin, Jewish divorces, for unaffiliated Jews who are divorcing civilly. His activities have led to his being honored by or asked to serve on the boards of numerous organizations, including, at the national level, Agudath Israel, the Orthodox Union and Young Israel. He is also a Trustee of the Maks and Lea Rothstein Charitable Youth Trust and of the Yeshiva of Spring Valley. He has lectured nationally for Aish HaTorah and is now an adjunct lecturer at Ohr Somayach of Monsey. He is also heavily involved in various political issues and fundraising campaigns of interest to the Jewish community.

Mr. Litke attended Columbia Law School and Ner Israel Rabbinical College. He also has a Masters from Johns Hopkins University.

Yaakov Yosef Reinman

Rabbi Yaakov Reinman is a writer, historian and scholar of international renown. The editor and publisher of numerous historical and philosophical works, he is also the author of a study of Talmudic contractual law used in yeshivos throughout the world. He is best known for his book, One People, Two Worlds, which he co-authored with Reform Rabbi Amiel Hirsch. While the publicity for the book misconstrued it as authenticating the two Rabbis as partners in building a Jewish future, the text between the covers remains an outstanding response to efforts to change Judaism to be consonant with the vagaries of our age. Rabbi Reinman lives in Lakewood, NJ, where he continues his daily studies in the famous Beth Medrash Govoha.

Nosson Scherman

Rabbi Nosson Scherman is the general editor of ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, and few people — if any — can claim a greater influence upon the production of traditional Jewish learning materials in readable, contemporary, well-written English. His single contribution to Cross-Currents appeared on December 3, 2004.

Sarah Shapiro

Sarah Shapiro is a Jerusalem-based author, whose books include Growing With My Children [Targum], A Gift Passed Along [Shaar Press/Artscroll] and Wish I Were Here (Shaar Press/Artscroll). In 1991, she edited the first Our Lives Anthology, designed to promote writing by Orthodox women. The fourth volume in that series, All of Our Lives: An Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Writing, was opened to all Orthodox writers and published in May, 2009. She has also been teaching writing since 1992.

Mrs. Shapiro speaks in both Israel and the United States on numerous topics. Her articles have appeared through the years in The Jewish Observer, The Los Angeles Times, Jewish Week, Jerusalem Post, Yiddishkeit, International Herald Tribune, Hadassah, Jewish Action, torah.org, aish.com, ou.org and other publications. She has served as a columnist for Hamodia, The New Standard, Mishpacha, and American Jewish Spirit.