Susan Silverman, originally of Newton, is a rabbi, an activist, a mother and a writer, now living in Jerusalem. She recently released her memoir, "Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World" and discusses her memoir and her life in an exclusive interview with the Journal.
Dear Jewish Journal,
Congratulations. You have just set yourselves on a path towards becoming the worst Jewish community newspaper you can be.
Before Joshua Resnek, our copy of the Jewish Journal went directly into the recycling bin, without more than a glance. But when he started publishing, the paper suddenly became interesting, full of current, relevant news and diverse opinions. I read it cover to cover, whether I agreed with the opinions or not. I found it to be full of vibrant dialogue, a taste of Jewish achdut (singularity across the spectrum), and this was inspiring.
You see, my wife and I are “millenials,” a term we despise, and orthodox, nonetheless—a group you might not expect to be hearing from. We are the next generation of your readership. We were both educated in Jewish schools (Schechter), and value discussions, and new ideas. We find curated papers, written with curated ideas (to make everyone feel good) to be a waste of our time, which is limited already due to the fact that our generation is having to work multiple jobs in order to keep afloat. If you don’t start valuing diverse opinions, you will lose the interest of our generation—and then, years from now, what will be your legacy? When we were children, we used to pour over the informative local Jewish papers. But why would future Jewish children bother to read a one-sided newspaper, smattered with ads for treif restaurants and articles about golf? Is that the future of the Jewish people? Will that kind of content encourage meaningful dialogue? When the public doesn’t hear the bigger picture, (even if it makes some people cringe) learn about the real Jewish history and what’s actually going on in the world, local and beyond, folks like Donald Trump gain popularity. This is nothing new to Jews; it has happened in the past, many times, to detrimental results.
I challenge you to take the time to publish my letter, and not cast it aside as “too unsettling.” In the meantime, the recycling bin awaits…
On Sunday, June 5, Ma’ayan Sands, Elias Matthew Herb, and Vera Martina Broekhuysen, were among a group of eight women and men ordained by Hebrew College – two as cantors and six as rabbis – at a two-hour ceremony at Temple Reyim in Newton that was both solemn and celebratory.
Today I wrote to CJP requesting they cut off funding to the Jewish Journal. I urge you to consider doing the same:
I have been a loyal donor, subscriber, and reader of the Jewish Journal of the North Shore since I moved to the North Shore in 1995. Last week, I cancelled my Journal subscription. I did this because of the changes made by the new Publisher and Editor. The Journal has moved from an interesting, thoughtful, high journalistic quality newspaper to a tabloid propaganda piece. The deterioration in the journalistic quality and the bigotry expressed in the Journal is horrifying. "News" articles are now openly mixed with the narrow-minded opinions of the publisher and editor. The quality of the writing has degenerated to that of a high school student. Many pieces are full of rhetorical questions that seek only to inflame, not inform. The publisher and editor rant openly about what and who they are against; and never offer meaningful solutions or say what they are for. Random Facebook rants are reprinted in the pages of Journal, this is not an appropriate or productive use of newsprint.
I miss the old Jewish Journal and want it back.
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