Well, we made it!
The Jewish Chronicle is 50 years old as of today, March 8, the same day our first issue came out a half-century ago.
We know, we know … we don’t look a day over 40.
It hasn’t always been easy. In fact, it’s rarely been easy. The newspaper business has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Many great newspapers in both the secular and Jewish presses are no longer with us, including the Chronicle’s predecessors, The Jewish Criterion and The American Jewish Outlook.
We’re not as thick as we used to be — the many family-owned Jewish businesses that once served our community and supported this paper having passed into local history.
And, of course, we’ve often had to take withering criticism from you, our readers — we’re too liberal, we’re too conservative, not enough of this, too much of that. That’s fine, too. It’s your right to say what you think about what you read here. And it’s one of our many jobs as a community newspaper to provide you the forum to do so, and to take it.
But this week’s issue isn’t about the past. You won’t find a single historic photo in its pages; not one recollection from a past Chronicle staffer or board member. There are no reflections on past battles won or lost. Not even an old recipe.
In this issue, we focus our gaze squarely on the future.
To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we wanted to do what we do best — write. So this week, we’re introducing a series of stories and columns on the future of Jewish life in all its many expressions:
In the coming weeks, you’ll read about congregations, the future of women (and men) in Judaism, the future of death and dying in Judaism, the future of giving tzedaka, the future of Jews in politics and, of course, the future of Israel.
Over the past year much has been said in Jewish Pittsburgh about courageous conversations on how to prepare Judaism — here and worldwide — for its future, but those conversations can go only so far without information. That’s where we come in.
We hope you enjoy “The Future of …” series. More so, we hope you find it a helpful tool as the Jewish world prepares itself for what lies ahead.
Thank you, Jewish Pittsburgh, for 50 great years. We’re looking forward to 50 more.
(Lee Chottiner can be reached at email@example.com.)