A long-held birthday tradition is to wish the one celebrating ad me’ah ve-essrim shana: May you live until 120. According to the Torah, it wasn’t until the ripe age of 80 that HaShem gave Moses the assignment of his life — to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, a task that we know occupied the succeeding 40 years. “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, ‘yet his eyes were undimmed and his strength undiminished.’” (Deuteronomy 34:7).
This year, as the Chronicle lights its 60th candle — halfway to 120 — we recognize the ever-growing urgency for financial support from our community. For six decades, the Chronicle has connected Jewish Pittsburgh. In the last few years, we have seen some of our most significant growth and change in both print and digital formats. We connect with more of our community, on a more frequent basis, than any other Jewish organization. We don’t have a building or a large staff, but we are a vital part of the infrastructure of the Pittsburgh Jewish community. We help individuals enrich their Jewish lives. We help other Jewish organizations thrive by spreading the word about all the good things that they do more than they could on their own.
The life of this paper has matured over the last six decades. We’ve grown in many ways, and there’s no denying our successes. What more tangible evidence of the strength of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community is there than a weekly print publication read by thousands of community members each week, with a digital presence reaching tens of thousands each month?
Publishing news will never go out of style, but the printed paper as we know it may well be giving way to new forms of distribution. It’s imperative that we continue to invest in our online offerings and further develop our digital distribution channels if we want to stay relevant to the next generation of Jewish Pittsburgh. We must continue to evolve our platform, or we will be rendered obsolete.
Our community needs us not just to survive, but to thrive. As technology and society continue to evolve at a rapid pace, we will continue to innovate and develop new ways to foster dialogue and connection across our community.
In honor of the Chronicle’s 60th anniversary, I implore you to give generously — in the face of diminished advertising revenue and ever-rising costs; despite growing readership and absent subscription fees; and, not the least compelling argument, that you’re reading these words, on this page, right now. We can’t afford to continue week after week, year after year, and decade after decade without your continued support.
Although the arc of my tenure as the chairman of this worthy institution is only in its infancy, I hope that the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle will continue to garner support from our community and continue connecting Jews in Pittsburgh and beyond, that its eyes will remain undimmed, its strength will remain undiminished and that it will continue to deliver good news to our community for another 60 years!
Yom huledet sameach! PJC
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