Publisher’s note
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Publisher’s note

Greetings and a notice regarding rate changes

Jim Busis
(Photo by Toby Tabachnick)
(Photo by Toby Tabachnick)

As we approach the new year, it’s a good time to extend greetings, take stock of where we are and to ask forgiveness.

I wish each of you, our readers and fellow community members, l’shana tova, a happy, healthy new year. No matter what our personal circumstances in other areas, we all share the stress and difficulties of living through two and half years of a pandemic.

The last two and a half years were exceedingly difficult for the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. We saw a precipitous and unprecedented drop in advertising due to the pandemic, new challenges in fundraising as many donors prioritized organizations perceived to be more directly involved in responding to the pandemic, and increased costs due to the pandemic. We are cautiously hopeful that we might be finally transitioning from the most severe stages of the pandemic, but time will tell. It also remains to be seen whether the country falls into a recession or manages to avoid it.

Something else has been going on in the past year or so that has also dramatically affected the Chronicle for the worse. For roughly a generation this country did not experience significant inflation. However, for whatever combination of reasons, during the past year, and especially in the past six months, the United States has seen dramatic inflation. Jewish organizations of all types already were raising prices over the years, and now even more so. We saw many of our costs creep up over the years, but in the past six months we have seen significant price increases from our vendors in virtually all areas — not just in printing and postage which are needed for the weekly print edition, but also in our digital services which are needed for all of our publications and activities online. On the other hand, the Chronicle has not raised prices in more than 10 years; it’s been so long that I’m not really sure when we had the last significant price rise.

It is no longer tenable for the Chronicle’s prices to remain as they are. Accordingly, all of our prices will rise effective Oct. 1. This includes advertising (including obituaries) and paid subscriptions. This won’t directly affect the vast majority of our readers, who are members of the Pittsburgh Jewish community and will continue to receive the print edition, access to the website and all of our emails for free. Other customers will have to pay a bit more, but considering how long we maintained the same prices those increases will be modest.

Finally, our pre-Yom Kippur request for forgiveness. I don’t think a mass apology issued through media counts from a halachic standpoint. Nonetheless, I know that over the course of the past year we have offended or disappointed some of our readers with some of what we have — or have not — published. We try our best and we welcome feedback, but we also apologize for any mistakes or errors in judgment that we made along the way. We will endeavor to do better this year, and we fervently hope for a year of easier and more pleasant news stories.

May 5783 bring comfort and contentment to all. PJC

Jim Busis
CEO & Publisher

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