When I think of some of the most enjoyable Jewish events I have attended, I think of those where members from all elements of our community have come together. Whether it be a communitywide celebration, a Federation annual meeting, or some other type of gathering, the connection with all our fellow Jews is what has made such events truly special to me.
The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle connects us in a different way. We connect each week through learning about events and people in our community. We together read thoughtful articles on a variety of Jewish subjects. We consider opinions from a range of perspectives. The paper is, therefore, not just informative — it is a community connector. That is why the paper’s masthead states, “Connecting Jewish Pittsburgh.”
I have been blessed with being part of our Pittsburgh Jewish community. Hebrew Institute, Beth Shalom, College of Jewish Studies, ADL, Hillel, B’nai Israel. YMHA, the IKC’s, JCC, JEI, AJL, Federation, Chabad on Campus, ZOA, Yeshiva, and Lubavitch Center have all played an important part in my life. As an attorney, I have also had the privilege of representing numerous temples, synagogues and other Jewish organizations. I have seen through the years how the Chronicle has played a vital role for these organizations and for our community as a whole. That is why I am proud to be a member of the Chronicle board.
Our board is purposefully diverse. Members are from different branches of our community to ensure that varied perspectives are considered and communicated. The result, I believe, allows our readers to hear voices they may not otherwise hear. We believe this is healthy, even though there are times when some — including myself — may strongly disagree with certain articles. This is because the Chronicle is not an organ of any branch or organization of our community. It is an organ of our collective community.
I have read Jewish newspapers from other cities, and I don’t believe any of the others can rival what the Chronicle provides in terms of local news and views. The Chronicle cannot normally provide the instant world news that internet news services provide. But it is the only source for what is happening throughout Jewish Pittsburgh.
Unfortunately, numerous Jewish publications throughout the country, as well as many secular publications, have folded because of economic pressures, and especially now due to the impact of COVID. The Chronicle is subject to the same economic pressures and, as a result, faces serious financial pressures that threaten its ability to continue to serve our community.
Sometimes we don’t truly value something until it is no longer there. I hope that it will not take a crisis at the Chronicle for us to fully understand its value. For the future of our community’s paper, we now need everyone’s financial support. Not only will your financial support aid the Chronicle, but it will also benefit our entire community. And as Hillel stated, “And if not now, when?” PJC
Charles H. Saul is a member of the board of trustees of the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle and is an attorney at Margolis Edelstein.
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