The Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards nomination process will be open for another two days (April 19th). Before I go any farther let me explain that I have an extremely checkered history with JIBA. In its previous incarnation under its founder, Aussie Dave, I detested JIBA as a cheerleading venue for the most partisan pro-Israel blogs like IsreallyCool, Little Green Footballs, and the neocon Pajamas Media crowd. JIBA then seemed like a clubhouse for a rather insular brand of Anglo-Israeli blogs. There were some blogs I respected like Jewschool, Dov Bear and others, but they were the exception that proved the rule. Also, the sole sponsor was the Jerusalem Post which I thought also limited the competition and pigeon-holed it ideologically.
The new JIBA is run by a committee and Aussie Dave has handed it off to them, a good thing. While this committee has continued to make some decisions that I find unfortunate, the chief organizer, Chaim Rubin, is totally open to doing things differently in the future. Unfortunately, I discovered the new JIBA too late to make any meaningful contribution to it. But if Chaim lets me know next year when preparations begin, I’d be willing to play a role in making it a truly inclusive and diverse competition.
I encourage all my readers to visit the site and look over the categories with an eye to nominating blogs you especially like. I’ve been nominated in one category and have myself nominated another blog or two. I’d like to see more progressive blogs nominated in more categories. I’d rather they hadn’t created categories like “Left-Wing Blog” (please call us “progressive” or “liberal” in future) or “Pro-Israel Advocacy Blog” (and how do we distinguish that from “Right-Wing Blog”?) since they are so ideologically charged, but I’m hoping that this can be reworked next year.
You can tell that I’m ambivalent about JIBA this year. It’s something that has possibility and has improved. But it isn’t there yet. I’m saying it’s worth supporting as a show of good faith toward what we hope it can become in the future.