July 1, 1961 |
Buffalo, New York
|Nationality||United States, Israel|
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin|
|Known for||Jewish outreach, media coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict|
Shraga Simmons (born 1 July 1961) is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, journalist and filmmaker involved in Orthodox Jewish outreach. He is the senior editor of Aish.com and the director of JewishPathways.com, both Jewish learning websites. He has produced a number of short, online films about media bias in coverage of the Arab–Israeli conflict.
In 2012, he published David & Goliath, a study of Western media bias in reporting the Israeli-Arab conflict. The 500-page book is sourced with over 2,000 footnotes and includes statistical studies that claim to document a pervasive pro-Palestinian slant in the New York Times, CNN and much of the British media.
Simmons was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism, he worked as a reporter for newspapers and magazines. In 1994, he received rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He served three years as Director of Outreach for Aish HaTorah in Los Angeles.
His columns, particularly "Shraga's Weekly" and "Ask the rabbi", are featured on many Jewish websites. Due to these columns, he is often quoted as a rabbinical authority in print and online media. His work has been translated into Hebrew, Spanish, French, Indonesian and German.
Simmons is an activist in matters regarding media bias relating to the Arab–Israeli conflict. He is the founding editor of HonestReporting, a pro-Israel media watch group. In 2006 he produced a short film "Photo Fraud in Lebanon" which was viewed by 5 million people in a span of days. In 2009 he produced a video which exposed glaring inconsistencies in media coverage of the Gaza flotilla raid. This video garnered over 200,000 views on Aish.com and YouTube.
In 2012 he wrote, directed and produced a short Internet film, The Red Line, explaining the peaceful advantage of putting additional safeguards into place to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The film was viewed by over one million people in one week.
- David & Goliath: The Explosive Inside Story of Media Bias in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Emesphere. 2012. ISBN 0-9840398-0-5.
Together with Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith of Aish.com, Simmons has co-edited four collections of articles which originally appeared on that website:
- Like Water on a Rock. ArtScroll. 2011. ISBN 1-4226-1175-2.
- Heaven on Earth: Down to earth Jewish spirituality. Targum Press. 2002. ISBN 1-56871-206-5.
- Israel: Life in the shadow of terror. Targum Press. 2003. ISBN 1-56871-237-5.
- Triumph: Inspiring true stories of challenge and spiritual growth. Targum Press. 2006. ISBN 1-56871-411-4.
- "Antisemitism and the Holocaust" in Kornbluth, Doron (1999). Jewish Matters: A Pocketbook of Knowledge and Inspiration. pp. 30–37. ISBN 1-56871-188-3.
- "Second Look". torah.org. 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- Greenberg, Karen J. (2006). The Torture Debate in America. Cambridge University Press. p. 167. ISBN 0-521-85792-9.
- "Rabbi's Sermons – Does Judaism Allow Cloning?". Mishkan Torah Synagogue. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- Kazilsky, Amy (8 January 2009). "Genesis Reads Like a Sibling Rivalry Primer". Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- Memberg, Fran. "Organ Donation, a Lifesaving Mitzvah: Beth Jacob Member Needs a Kidney". Atlanta Jewish News. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- Haist, Paul (15 November 2008). "Chosen Pets: May Fido have the lobster?". Jewish Review. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- Gerstenfeld, Manfred; Green, Ben (Fall 2004). "Watching the Pro-Israel Media Watchers". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- David House, "A Picture is Worth... Ah...", Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 27, 2006.
- Chottiner, Lee. "U.S. Jews play 'historic role' in campaigning for Israel". The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- David & Goliath: The Explosive Inside Story of Media Bias in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
- The Red Line film
- Shraga Simmons website
- Shraga's Weekly commentary on the parashah
- List of articles by Simmons on Aish.com
- How Terrorists Use the Media (video analysis by Rabbi Shraga Simmons)