We begin our annual message to you with heartfelt thanks for your interest in and increased support for The Jewish Week, and wish you a happy, healthy new year.
On the eve of Rosh HaShanah, at this season of reflection and renewal, we recommit to our primary mission: journalistic excellence. This is a time of skepticism about government, about truth and fairness, and about the veracity of news stories, not to mention a toxic atmosphere of disagreement within the Jewish community reflecting divisions throughout America. Never has an independent Jewish press been more needed. And never has it been more in need of support. Like virtually every media company, we face ongoing financial difficulties, shifting demographics and changing media habits. We are not immune from the perils that forced household-name media companies to fold, go out of print or cut staff.
With it all, our award-winning staff continues to report on successes and challenges, from sparks of renewal in emerging communities to the reality of deadly anti-Semitism here on our shores. We strive to maintain the highest values of journalism, truth and Jewish ethics.
Our editorial and opinion pages present diverse views and encourage constructive exchanges, even in the face of deep disagreement. We help strengthen community when we model respectful conversation and debate, and it is our responsibility to take on difficult subjects, shining a light on delicate issues that need to be explored.
We are grateful for the team that makes up our dedicated board and talented staff, both in New York and in the communities we serve in New Jersey. In this season of transition, we congratulate Gary Rosenblatt on 26 years as editor and publisher as he steps down this week, and we warmly welcome his successor, Andrew Silow-Carroll, as editor. We are fortunate that Rich Waloff, who has played a pivotal role in the success of The Jewish Week’s business and advertising for 25 years as associate publisher, will take the reins as publisher.
Last week at our community forum with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and author Daniel Gordis on Israel-diaspora relations, Friedman cited Gary as “the best Jewish editor in America.” We agree, and thank Gary for his leadership and courage; we will miss his daily presence but are happy he will continue to write for and work with The Jewish Week as editor at large. Andy joins us after a distinguished career in Jewish journalism, most recently as editor-in-chief of JTA, the global Jewish news service. We wish him well as he brings his ideas and experience to our pages. And we are thrilled to recognize Rich’s dedication and his innovative, caring approaches to serving our clients and partners.
In our role of helping to build community, we expanded our Jewish Week Forums this past year. Last week’s Friedman-Gordis program brought 1,000 people to Temple Emanu-El. The week before, we held two events — in Scarsdale and Great Neck — where similar numbers met the cast and writer of “Shtisel,” an encore of our successful events in the spring at Temple Emanu-El and at Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell, N.J., that drew 6,000 enthusiastic fans of the series.
These events invite our community to experience first-hand the opinion makers and creative talents shaping ideas and cultural interests. And we plan more events next year with programs that reflect our commitment to build community and inspire conversation. We thank our partners at the synagogues that hosted the standing-room-only events and UJA-Federation, with whom we have cosponsored many successful events.
We also express appreciation to those of you who helped us fulfill our mission through our tax-deductible educational projects, including: The Conversation, Write On for Israel, Fresh Ink for Teens, The Investigative Journalism Fund and Community Forums. We could not achieve this portfolio of journalistic excellence and community building without your ongoing support. (Donations are welcome at thejewishweek.com/donate.)
We are proud of The Jewish Week and the central role it plays in this community. For us and the board we are honored to represent, it signals a way we can work together to inform and strengthen Jewish life in America.
Thanks to each of you for your continued interest and commitment, and best wishes for a year of good health, happiness and peace.
Stuart Himmelfarb, President
Peter Wang, Chair of the Board
P.S.: Please join us at our upcoming Gala on Nov. 13 — it’s a festive way to show your support. Visit jewishweekmediagroup.com/gala.