Hal Sacks Jewish News Archives preserves community’s past for the future

by | May 19, 2022 | Other News

Hal Sacks was a man of many words and a visionary.

An author of two books and the Jewish News Book Review editor for more than 30 years, among his many activities within Tidewater’s Jewish community, Sacks spent several years on a personal mission to benefit the community—using his written and oratory skills, as well as his subtle, yet effective power of persuasion.

Sacks single-handedly conceived and initiated the gargantuan, multi-year project to catalog, scan, and preserve (then) 69 years of Tidewater Jewish News and Renewal magazine issues. Sacks’ goal from the start was to make it possible for everyone—community volunteers and professionals, nostalgia seekers, genealogists, historians, students, or family members—to have access to issues, which until then, were safely stored, but unavailable to the public. In March 2016, the Hal Sacks Jewish News Archives officially went live on the Jewish News website.

Sacks was the force—in every way— behind the archives, which not only preserves the Jewish News, but preserves the Tidewater Jewish community’s history.

He pushed to get the project done, donated the proceeds from his book sales to the project, and raised funds to ensure that the costly, but very important project continued.

Anyone, anywhere in the world can go online and search and browse decades of world and community events, and people, whose names and faces and stories are told in Jewish News.

Six years later, the archives continue to be updated. And, it’s all because of the vision and persistence of Hal Sacks.

The Hal Sacks Jewish News Archives can be found at JewishNewsVa.org. 

Terri Denison