I have been a working journalist for over 24 years. In my time working for commercial media organizations I have covered everything from terrorism to Olympic athletes.

More often than not, if a controversial article was published that made someone involved look bad, I receive either a phone call or an email calling me a ‘hack’ or ‘not a real journalist’ or an invitation for me to go back to journalism school and learn morality and ethics. When those emails start coming in, I know that the story I put out was accurate and hit the nail right on the head.

In the past week, aside from harassing phone calls to both my mother at 2am and to others involved in my life, at more appropriate hours (not by the same person), I’ve received numerous emails by various people not directly associated with the Jewish HIgh School stories I’ve been posting calling me a ‘hack’ and ‘not a real journalist’.

As I’ve said often, if you enter public life, be prepared for public scrutiny. Everyone faces it (myself included), nobody likes it, but it really is part of standing on the public stage.

That said, this ‘hack’ journalist, who probably ‘should go back to journalism school to learn ethics and morals’ and perhaps ‘become a real journalist’ will continue on his quest for the truth.

My end goal, as always is total transparency in our Jewish school system, accountability for decisions made and staff hired and of course, the continuation of the teaching of Judaism and Jewish culture in our Jewish parochial schools.

To be clear, I have since I started reporting on these subjects, never hidden my agenda. That said, I have promised to be as objective as possible within the confines of my agenda and am fairly sure that I have succeeded. In journalism, complete objectivity is a myth, every newspaper, magazine, tv show has an editorial direction. Journalists are mandated to work within the editorial policy of whatever publication or station they are working for.

I have no secrets, no hidden agenda, no beef against anybody or any institution.  I report the stories as accurately as possible.

That said, I strongly urge you not to believe a word I write and investigate your schools. Use my articles to ask the tough questions and get the answers. I’m sure once you do, you will realize that the truth isn’t far off from what you see on this blog.

Thank you for reading.

Howie Silbiger

One Response to “This ‘Hack’ Journalist Shall Continue”

  1. Joy

    When I read this is just sounds like you are trying to justify your career. Is this an inferiority complex thing? I don’t know of too many journalists who go around explaining why they do what they do. It’s a job it doesn’t define you as a person. Let’s not over emphasize the importance of your job. It’ s a fringe media outlet with their lone “special reporter” reporting on a single story. Where is the empathy for the student that you talk freely about. What can come out from the story for him? He is an innocent in this and should be left out. The story I believe is not why David Shapiro resigned or what happened with Rabbi Felix or their association. These are by products of the story. The story is how a thriving Jewish School went in a few short years to half their enrollment. How this school failed to find enough competent administrators and teachers to make this institution thrive. The story is there is still no real plan to turn the tide. Freezing tuition or lowering fees at entry levels is a reactive measure to try and keep enrollment where it is. This clearly is a plan to fail. The reason people stopped enrolling and pulled out is they didn’t find value for their money. UTT and Herzliah are full with approximately the same fees’s. LCC, St. George’s, ECS, Selwyn House… Are all near full primarily because Jewish kids have opted for their quality of education at considerably higher tuition prices. I feel the real problem is getting bogged down by process. Process is a vital and necessary thing but has hindered Bialik’s ability to make changes. They rely too heavily on parent’s demands rather than what is of the best interest of the institution now, in the medium term nd for the long term view. Professional and lay leaders need to act now for the good of the community in the near and medium future. They failed when they let the opportunity of a merged school not take place. They all saw the challenges that were going to be faced but didn’t have the will or energy to battle some of their parent body. Parent’s by nature are interested in what is good for them and their children not what is best for the long term survival of the institution or the community. It is a shame that such a wonderful physical plant has lost the trust of their constituents and if ear it is too late to get it back.


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