June is the month of graduations, weddings, gardens and great hopes for warmer times.
This year, it also seems to be the month of climbing to the other side of COVID-19 as our life opens up again.
And it’s the final month of our annual Patron Campaign.
Supporting journalism has never been more important than it is right now. I would argue that supporting local journalism is even more important.
Jewish Rhode Island offers local, community-centered journalism that you can’t find from any other source. Our mission is to cover the Jewish community.
Who else can cover the cantor in Woonsocket and the cookbook in Narragansett? Who else keeps tabs on the men’s club in East Greenwich and the book series in New Bedford?
We are the clearinghouse for community events through our calendar, and we try to offer readers a taste of what’s going on throughout our coverage area, north to south and east to west. We offer a forum for user-contributed content that isn’t available anywhere else in the Little Rhody area. And we continually strive for more and better coverage in the face of shrinking dollars and rising costs that affect staffing, printing, paper, distribution, you name it.
We have worked hard during the past 15 months to bring you a print paper and keep you connected to a community that spent a lot of time figuring out how to stay connected despite shutdowns and social distancing. We are still here and we have plans for a bright future for the paper, the website and additional multimedia platforms, such as podcasts and videos.
During the pandemic, other Jewish newspapers have had to alter their model or suspend publication entirely.
As shuls shut down, distribution points dried up for papers like the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. With nowhere to go, they put the print paper on hiatus in October 2020. But they kept going with their online paper – and a promise to return to print as the community reopens.
The Boston Jewish Advocate shut down completely in September 2020, after 118 years of publication. Despite a promise to return digitally as a voice for advocacy, it remains closed. An article announcing the “hiatus” cited a decline in advertising and falling donations.
This March, the Arizona Jewish Post, which has covered Tucson and southern Arizona for 75 years, shut down due to a lack of advertising and the loss of philanthropic support. Unlike the Los Angeles and Boston papers, this was a Federation paper, operated by the Jewish Community Federation of Southern Arizona.
We are fortunate in Rhode Island that the Jewish Federation Foundation continues to contribute to our funding with a substantial grant that keeps us going. We are grateful to those advertisers who have stuck by us, and we welcome new advertisers, who are now part of the Jewish Rhode Island family.
But our patrons continue to be a key part of the funding mix. By contributing to the Patron Campaign, you can make a real impact on Jewish Rhode Island and the Jewish community it serves.
Your contributions give us the peace of mind to plan for continued coverage. Your contributions show the community that you are committed to keeping a newspaper going here in Rhode Island. And your contributions – no matter the size – show that you support Jewish journalism in Rhode Island.
If you have not already become a patron, please consider doing so. There is an ad on the back page of this issue with a coupon to mail to us, or you can donate at jewishrhody.org. You’ll have the appreciation and sincere thanks of the entire Jewish Rhode Island team.
At Jewish Rhode Island, June is all about food. I bet we got you with those black and white cookies on the cover! We are also delighted to be a sponsor of this year’s Top Nosh. Showcasing the best of Kosher Rhode Island, you can buy a Top Nosh food pass for $18 and nosh away for the entire month of June. I just got my pass and I’m already trying to decide where to eat first. Check it out at jewishallianceri.org/top-nosh.
And if you are still drooling over those cookies on the cover, turn to page 18 and read “Baking with Lisa,” where she writes about black and white cookies and offers up a recipe, and where you will also find a link to the first “Baking with Lisa” video. Let us know how you like our first-ever JRI video; email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And watch for future videos!
Fran Ostendorf, Editor