St. Paul's Jewish muck-raking blogger profiled in the NY Times

Categories: Religion

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Shmarya Rosenberg, who's built a worldwide following from St. Paul with his muckraking blog FailedMessiah.com, got some front page love from the New York Times Web site on Friday. A print version of the tory also ran the following day.

Rosenberg, who is Jewish, describes himself as a former member of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect, to which he was drawn for his reputation for its mysticism and social social service. He later left, disillusioned after failing to win its support for trying to rescue Ethiopian Jews from Sudanese refugee camps.

Mr. Rosenberg, 51, has transmuted a combination of muckraking reporting and personal grudge into a must-read digest of the actual and alleged misdeeds of the ultra-Orthodox world. He has broken news about sexual misconduct, smear campaigns and dubious business practices conducted by or on behalf of stringently religious Jews.

Operating thousands of miles from the centers of ultra-Orthodox Judaism in Brooklyn and Jerusalem, waking at 3:30 a.m. and working a dozen hours at a stretch in an apartment cluttered with books, Mr. Rosenberg has had his scoops cited by The Wall Street Journal, Columbia Journalism Review, PR Week and Gawker. The national Jewish newspaper The Forward listed him among the 50 most influential American Jews, and the hip, cheeky magazine Heeb put him in its top 100.

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