web analytics
March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Interviewing The Interviewer: A Conversation with Jewish Press Staff Reporter Elliot Resnick

Elliot Resnick

Elliot Resnick

Elliot Resnick has been conducting interviews for The Jewish Press for more than six years now. Along the way he has parried with an impressive range of characters: from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks to Governor David Paterson, Professor Alan Dershowitz to Cantor Sherwood Goffin, MK Danny Danon to Ambassador Yehuda Avner.

Resnick has collected five dozen of his best interviews in book format. Called “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books), the collection includes updates on nearly every interviewee plus several questions that never appeared in The Jewish Press.

The Jewish Press: How does it feel being interviewed as opposed to the one doing the interviewing?

Resnick: It certainly isn’t my customary position.

Why did you decide to publish this volume?

Over the years I’ve received some very nice feedback on my interviews, and I thought to myself: Why not put them together under one cover so that people can access them whenever they want?

Also, though I obviously don’t agree with everything my interview subjects say, I do find a great deal of their answers fascinating and thought-provoking. Take Rabbi Meyer Schiller, for example. He is a baal teshuvah and Skverer chassid – he wears the full regalia – and yet passionately believes in Torah Umadda, which is the philosophy of Yeshiva University, where he teaches. I wanted to share his unique perspective, and that of so many others, with a wider audience.

Who is the most interesting person you interviewed?

It’s hard picking a favorite. It’s much easier for me to highlight personalities who introduced me to whole worlds I knew next to nothing about. CBS News correspondent Dan Raviv, for example, taught me much about the history and methods of the Mossad; Cantor Sherwood Goffin initiated me into the world of chazzanus – trust me, it’s a lot more fascinating than you might imagine; Efraim Zuroff educated me on Nazi hunting; and Dr. Paul Kengor introduced me to Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA who mentored President Obama in his younger years.

So no favorites?

Not really. I admit, though, that I do have a soft spot for dreamers. Dr. Ari Greenspan, for example, thinks his organization, Ptil Tekhelet, has identified the chilazon and wants all Jews to wear techeles on their tzitzis like they did in ancient times. Rav David Bar-Hayim wants to restore what he calls “Eretz Yisrael Judaism.” In other words, now that half of world Jewry lives in Israel, Rav Bar-Hayim believes we should start paskening based on the Yerushalmi rather than the Bavli.

One final example would be Lenny Solomon of Shlock Rock. I admit that before I interviewed him I thought he was just a businessman who loved classic rock and pop. If you had asked me beforehand whether the man had any depth, I would have ventured “no” as my guess. I can’t tell you how surprised I was. He is extremely sincere and idealistic. He truly believes that his music brings Jews closer to Judaism and will bring Mashiach. I asked him about the propriety of setting Jewish words to non-Jewish music, and he started giving me marei mekomos.

I’m still not sure I agree with him, but he certainly is the real deal.

How do you prepare for your interviews?

I do a lot of research. If I’m interviewing a person about a book he wrote, I usually read the book, or at least enough of it to ask intelligent questions.

Otherwise, Google is my best friend. I honestly don’t know how people functioned in this business before the Internet. It’s usually a trove of information and always gives me gist for the interview. Of course, sometimes you just have to go with the flow. If someone you’re interviewing says something unexpected or interesting, you follow up on that.

The interviews in this book include several questions that didn’t appear in The Jewish Press. Can you give an example or two?

I actually called up Rabbi Moshe Tendler, Rav Moshe Feinstein’s son-in-law, before the book was published to ask him for further clarification on his father-in-law’s stance on Chalav Yisrael. He’s adamant that regular milk is completely muttar and says Rav Feinstein’s children and wife drank it. He also said that many American rabbanim permitted regular milk even before Rav Feinstein wrote his famous teshuvah.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Interviewing The Interviewer: A Conversation with Jewish Press Staff Reporter Elliot Resnick”

  1. You're an equally fascinating subject, Elliot. Enjoyed reading about the person on the other side of the table and am convinced that one day you too will be labeled a "mover and a shaker."

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Pelosi turns her back on Netanyahu and Congress.
Netanyahu Says Israel Can Stand Alone – and Pelosi Turns her Back [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
An anti-Semitic poster seen in Europe.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

Red Line Obama

UN inspectors were flabbergasted when Iran allowed them full unfettered access to All nuclear sites

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressing Congress.

Obama’s real problem is that he knows Netanyahu has more credibility on the Iran issue than he does.

Silwan, in the eastern part of Jerusalem, founded by Yemenite Jews in 1881

Kristof’s op-ed “The Human Stain” was flawed and wrong; more than anti-Israel, it was anti-Semitic.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt-how undeterred by fear of G-d”

Stalin’s plan for the Soviet’s “final solution of the Jewish question” was totally assimilating them

Many Jews oppose the speech fearing it will further erode relations between Israel & US. I disagree.

The University of Georgia Student Government Association called for more investment in Israel.

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both outspokenly critical of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Congress, were wowed by him in 2011.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/interviewing-the-interviewer-a-conversation-with-jewish-press-staff-reporter-elliot-resnick/2013/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: