Reporting to a diverse audience

by | Jan 30, 2017 | Other News

An article this month in the London-based The Jewish Chronicle, headlined: “Trump will widen the fissures in Jewish America,” states: “American Jews are well positioned to weather the storm that Mr. Trump has unleashed. The same, however, cannot be said for the organized American Jewish community. The next four years will challenge its assumptions, its values, its strategies, indeed the very notion of a cohesive American Jewish community.”

The article sites examples of the divide, with issues ranging from the selection of Steve Bannon as chief strategist (ADL, URJ opposed; ZOA, invited him to dinner); to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations hosting a Hanukkah party at Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington (several member groups boycotted the event, some protested on the streets, while others enjoyed the party at the new venue).

From across the pond, The Chronicle’s article hits home. Never before has an election so divided the Jewish community, and that includes ours in Tidewater.

Polls show that nearly a quarter of American Jews voted for Trump, which translates, of course to the majority of American Jews casting votes for another candidate.

No longer is there one Jewish opinion. For example, while many cheered the letter in our January 16, 2017 issue condemning the US decision not to use its veto power in the UN Security Council to defeat a resolution criticizing Israeli settlements— others in the community were disappointed, to say the least, with United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s position.

The intention of Jewish News is to accurately inform our readers of events and actions that impact Jewish communities and individuals in Tidewater, in the USA, in Israel, and throughout the world. That reporting, especially in today’s political climate, will undoubtedly upset some readers, and at the same time encourage others. It’s also possible, even probable, that the next issue—or even an article on an adjacent page in the same issue, might alter who is upset and who is encouraged. What we don’t want to do is remain silent out of fear of a negative reaction. These times are too critical and the issues too important. We know and respect that the negative and positive emotions run high on both spectrums.

That said, in each issue we strive to offer balanced articles and views, publishing the news as reported by our primary source of information, the award-winning international news service, Jewish Telegraph Association (JTA).

With heightened awareness, we continue our dedication to delivering a quality product to our community. As always, we aim for civil conversation and encourage your letters to the editor, opinions, and articles. So, please, write or email. Listening to each other has never been more important.

And, we thank you for reading.

Jay Klebanoff
United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
Harry Graber
Executive Vice President
United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
Terri Denison
Editor, Jewish News