Looking forward

Looking forward

There’s a patch of old snow in a corner

     That I should have guessed

Was a blown-away paper the rain

     Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if

     Small print overspread it,

The news of a day I’ve forgotten—

     If I ever read it.

“A Patch of Old Snow,”

                                    by Robert Frost

Nothing could put newspapermen (and women) in their place better than these few simple lines by one of America’s most historic poets. And Frost wrote this poem without ever imagining the Internet.

For us, though, the instant age of social media, blogs, e-zines, apps and a host of other electronic ways to glean one’s news is very real, and we wrestle with it every day.

So in such times, we’re very humbled that people still turn to the Chronicle for news and information about Jewish Pittsburgh and surrounding communities from Altoona to Wheeling. For our competitors, it’s just another beat; for us, it’s our number 1 priority.

So we would like to take a moment and express to you, our readers, our appreciation for all you do. Maybe you read the paper cover to cover, perhaps you pick it up for the opinion pieces. Possibly, you turn immediately to the obituaries (as honorable a reason to read a newspaper as any). It doesn’t really matters how you interact with us. One’s reading habits are as individual as fingerprints; they define you while they support us.

We’re also gratified many of you turn to our website, Facebook page or Twitter feed, for the latest about Jewish Pittsburgh.

So from all of us at The Jewish Chronicle, thank you for sticking with us all these years, and we promise plenty of breaking, thoughtful, emotionally compelling coverage in 2014.

That’s an easy promise to make, because the news never stops. Here are just some stories we’ll be sure to watch, report and make sense of in the months to come:

• Israel’s security: Security will be foremost in the minds of many Jews as the P5+1 nations continue to negotiate the controversial nuclear arms treaty with Iran, and the U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority continue. However, don’t discount Israel’s other neighbors either. Egypt’s current regime is cracking down hard on any kind of dissent, which could further radicalize its people. What that would mean to the Jewish state, if it happens, remains to be seen.

• Holocaust education: The state General Assembly is considering a bill that would, in some way, allow for greater Holocaust education in the public schools. Efforts to have a bill ready for the governor’s signature by the end of the year fell through. One of the holdups is a debate over mandating Holocaust education, which has its proponents and opponents under the capitol dome.

• Community building: It’s a vast subject, but always a critical one, especially in light of the Pew survey results. We’ll continue to examine issues such as youth involvement, synagogue affiliation, egalitarian worship (both here and in Israel) and inclusion versus exclusion. We’ll also look at how Jews project their faith and values, not just on our community but the broader community as well.

These are just a few subjects we’ll keep our eyes on in 2014, but one never knows though what the New Year has in store for a community. Whatever it is, though, the Chronicle will report it. That’s been our mission for more than 50 years, and we continue to accept it.