Instead of mulling the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the threat from a nuclear Iran, relations between Obama and Netanyahu, and other ponderous issues, this recurring feature will consider some upcoming opportunities for our readers to become involved with their beloved Jewish newspaper.
As I mention from time to time, the continued publication of the AJW is not an immutable law of nature, like the rising and setting of the sun. The implosion of Wall Street banks and the subsequent economic downturn have dimmed the prospects for big daily newspapers and periodicals that occupy smaller niches. In May 2009, the Jewish World switched from weekly to biweekly publication, and the period of budget retrenchment continues. Hopefully, 2010 will see some improvement in revenues and the bottom line.
And you, dear reader, can play a part in our success. First, we are looking for support in publishing a special supplement honoring the United Jewish Fund and Council’s 75th anniversary. We will publish this supplement with our regular May 28 edition, ahead of the UJFC’s 75th annual meeting on June 7 at Beth Jacob Congregation in Mendota Heights.
This focus on the “Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul” will be of special interest to our readers in the eastern portion of the Twin Cities metro area — or those who have roots in St. Paul. Like me.
I was raised in St. Paul, attended the Talmud Torah of St. Paul, and celebrated my Bar Mitzva at Temple of Aaron. From time to time, I reflect on the ironic fact that perhaps the worst student in the entire history of the Talmud Torah is now the editor and publisher of the American Jewish World. (I vaguely recall my final year of Hebrew school, when Mr. Yudelman kicked me out of class every day — sometimes within a few minutes after the class had commenced.)
Hebrew pedagogy has improved greatly in the intervening years; and, hopefully, there is a more a diligent and well-behaved group of students enrolled now. What was your experience in Hebrew school? What are your fond memories of growing up Jewish in St. Paul? Where did your family live in St. Paul? What was distinctive about the old West Side?
We want to hear your Jewish stories of St. Paul for this special supplement honoring UJFC at 75. Please send us your submissions by May 12.
Also, we are soliciting advertising for the UJFC supplement. Any business that would like to offer congratulations to the United Jewish Fund and Council is welcome to advertise. (You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Levy’s rye bread or to advertise in the Jewish World.)
Likewise, individuals and families can place small ads (3.25 inches wide by 2 inches tall) on special pages congratulating UJFC on its milestone anniversary. The cost of these personal ads, with your name, or the names of your family members, is $40; please contact Lori Bieda, the AJW office manager, at 952-259-5237 or e-mail: email@example.com.
It would be wonderful if every AJW subscriber on the St. Paul side (and from the Minneapolis area, too) supported this salute to the Jewish community of St. Paul. With your help the AJW can publish a fitting tribute to the accomplishments of the United Jewish Fund and Council, and the synagogues, agencies and groups that have contributed to the growth and vibrancy of Jewish life in St. Paul.
Finally, we want to mention another feature in the May 28 edition — “Honoring Our Graduates.” We encourage our readers to submit photos and write-ups for their high school or college graduates. There is a $10 charge for processing photos. Please send digital photos and copy to Erin Elliott Bryan at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can mail photos and hard copy to: American Jewish World, 4509 Minnetonka Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55416. Again, businesses interested in advertising in this section can contact Lori Bieda for details.
We hope that you consider yourself part of the enterprise known as the American Jewish World. Newspapers have to be nurtured these days. We have no plans to port the AJW to the iPhone or the iPad or to any electronic gizmo. (We do have a Web site — ajwnews.com — and you can tune in on Facebook.) Basically, we believe that there is a window of opportunity still for this newspaper that dates back to 1912. We are working hard to produce an entertaining and edifying newspaper. The feedback is continually positive and the subscription renewal envelopes arrive in our offices daily, so we think that we’re on the right track.
I’m open to your ideas (I know, more right-wing commentary). Feel free to call me at 952-259-5234 (please not on the Tuesday when we go to press). This is your Jewish newspaper.
— Mordecai Specktor / email@example.com
(American Jewish World, 4.30.10)