Talk:David E. Stern

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Notability[edit]

This article does not seem to meet the notability criteria for people. From what I see, the article's main claim to notability is that he serves on an editorial board for a national journal, and I don't think that is significant enough. While he has written several essays, those essays do not appear to have been the subject of multiple independent reviews. I tried a Google search and I searched the archives of the Dallas Morning News, but the only mentions of him in reliable third-party sources were trivial, either talking about his beliefs about Darfur or him talking about other people or instances. Has he done anything else that would meet the notability guidelines? Are there more sources? Karanacs (talk) 19:58, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

My suggestion, by the way, would be to redirect this to the article on the Dallas synagogue, as I don't think there is enough information in reliable independent sources to support this article. Karanacs (talk) 15:48, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I think the information is out there and needs to be properly compiled by people who know it. I don't see any reason to delete this right now - it is clearly a notable person who just hasn't been fully researched. JerseyRabbi (talk) 17:03, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting a deletion, but a redirect. I still question whether his position makes him notable for an article, but there are no reliable independent sources cited, and when I searched the archives of the Dallas Morning News (the newspaper for the area his synagogue is in) there were no results, nor did I find any in a search of the online archives of the Jewish newspaper that covers the area. WP:BLP requires reliable independent sources for biographies of living people, and without that I think the article should not exist on its own. Karanacs (talk) 17:09, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
There are reliable sources such as the University of Notre Dame's website. An example can be found at, [1]. Bhaktivinode (talk) 21:00, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
That is a professor's personal website, so it doesn't meet the criteria for reliable source to establish notability. For a biography, a reliable source is usually a book or a newspaper or magazine article, provided there is editorial control (vanity pubishers don't count).Karanacs (talk) 21:23, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Dang. Bhaktivinode (talk) 21:28, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I added much more info, references, etc. I realize that it is not perfect in sources used, but the Reform Movement and most synagogues are both not very good at self-promotion and properly documenting history on the web. I think this is a reasonable start and warrants removal of the notability question. JerseyRabbi (talk) 22:29, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

<undent>I think your additions definitely make this a better article, but I still don't think it establishes his notability.

Source 1 is a review of a book about the synagogue, not about Stern. Is Stern even listed in the press release (as I am not a member of JSTOR I can't see pages 2 and 3). If he's only mentioned in the press release as being the leader of the congregation, that probably doesn't incur notability.
Source 2 is a press release, which is self-published
Source 3 mentions him only in passing, and does not really tell anything about him. Per WP:RS, that is only trivial coverage, and cannot establish notability.
source 4 is a blog, which generally does not count as a reliable source.
Sources 5, 6, 9 are self-published (not subject to editorial review) and only prove that he is a member/on the board of those organizations—acts which are do not make him inherently notable.
Source 11, a paid obituary, is self-published (not subject to editorial review; his family paid for it)
Sources 7, 10, and 12 are biographies furnished by his employers (or that of his father). These don't qualify as independent, third-party sources because he likely provided that information.
Source 8 is actually a reliable, third-party source (I think), BUT the information it incudes does not establish Stern's notability.

Basically, most of the sources (except for the blog) are adequate for providing background details about him, but taken together they don't provide the type of coverage that confers notability. The information included in the article doesn't have much of a claim to notability either - he is one of many who serves on charitable boards, serves as editor of a journal, and is an advocate of protecting those who need help. The article makes him out to be someone that most people would be privileged to know, but does not seem to make him notable. I don't want to see this article deleted, but it might be wise to take it to AfD to see whether consensus shows that I am wrong and that being a leader of a large congregation is enough to establish notability. I doubt the outcome would be deletion; but I think it would either be kept or redirected. What do you think? Karanacs (talk) 21:25, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't see the need to spend this much energy on this article. He is the rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world - and certainly the south/southwest, he is a major figure in Texas Judaism (especially Reform) - and since that is a narrow slice of the world but still legitimate, I'd say he is notable within his own world; he is active in numerous notable areas of Reform Jewish and social action life. There aren't great references out there - I did the best I could using the existing resources I could find online. I think spending a lot of energy for the few of us to continue to bat this article around is a waste when we could move onto other articles with the intention of always furthering this article as sources reveal themselves. So my thought is for us to leave it alone. It isn't hurting anyone; it clearly isn't a vanity bio; he is "notable enough" that it isn't harmful to Wikipedia to leave it and my thought is with the good effort already in place a better article will continue to develop.
(As an aside, I really think looking for hard factual articles on rabbis and synagogues will lead one wanting. As a rabbi, I can tell you that the most common places for our efforts and accomplishments to be recorded are:
1. Our own synagogue newsletter/website - not an effective Wikipedia reference and often not archived so it isn't available to use.
2. Local Jewish newspapers - rarely with online archives even though they would be acceptable references
So I think we have to cut some slack on the accomplishments of decently notable but not hugely famous Rabbis, etc. Frankly if we spent this much energy on an article like Eric Yoffie - a total stub on the URJ President; or David Ellenson, basically a stub on HUC's President; or Alexander Schindler - an orphaned stub on the great UAHC Past President - all clearly major notables in Reform Judaism - we'd be doing ourselves and the Wikipedia community a better service).
As much as this is a consensus decision, I recommend that we continue working on the article but use our time and energy to focus on the major Reform Jewish rabbis who have articles that are bare stubs and leave this one alone. I appreciate everyone's time and energy spent on this already. JerseyRabbi (talk) 22:06, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm adding the notability tag back for now, though, because I think it still needs a lot further work. Karanacs (talk) 22:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the article needs further work. Bhaktivinode (talk) 05:47, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Fo those who had been involved in the deletion discussion, I am pleased to add a resource that should sway some of the previous posters who were on the fence - Rabbi Stern was selected as the 26th most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek magazine in April 2008. I added the information and the link ([2]) to the page.- JerseyRabbi (talk) 21:12, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Excellent work! The article should be safe from future deletion/notability debates now. Karanacs (talk) 21:17, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
That certainly does denote notability. Bstone (talk) 21:30, 16 April 2008 (UTC)