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The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle: A reflection of our community

"Let’s not take the Chronicle for granted. It’s always been there for us as a written record of our community and a reflection of our day-to-day lives."

Seth Glick

As an adolescent in Squirrel Hill in the late 1990s, I read the sports section of a local daily newspaper every morning during breakfast. It was exciting to wake up and see the scores of the games that finished after my bedtime. I especially loved poring over the box scores, where the real details of the game could be found. How many goals did Mario score? Was Barry’s batting average still above .300? Then, as I got a bit older and my parents got cable, those morning moments were gradually replaced by after-school “SportsCenter” binges and their seemingly non-stop roll of highlights.

In high school, print journalism played a small role in my life, in two notable ways: opening the Chronicle every week and reading Larry Rubin’s Specialty Clothing ad that had random bits of trivia; and the arrival of the Sunday New York Times, bundled up in a thin blue bag and chucked on our lawn through an open passenger window. I looked forward to both, and they encapsulated the best qualities of a newspaper: a source of facts, and curiosity of new places and ideas to discover.

Fast forward 20 years and I’m still a subscriber to the same two newspapers, but this time they have my name on the address label. The Sunday Times, which still arrives in a thin blue bag, is, to me, a slow read to be enjoyed over the entire week. But it’s the other weekly arrival that is the one that truly connects me to my neighborhood, shul, coworkers, clients and the businesses where I shop.

When the Chronicle arrives, the first thing I do is put last week’s issue into the recycling bin (usually while whistling “Yesterday’s Paper” by the Rolling Stones). Then, I open it and scan the articles, making a mental note of the ones I want to read right away. After that, it remains a steady presence throughout my weekend. A copy is always sitting open on the kitchen table of my machatunim’s house while we’re over for Shabbos dinner. And I can always count on my mom and dad to text me about any stories that mention art, old books or “Seinfeld.” It’s almost required reading, because there’s a strong chance that at some point during the weekend a friend or family member will start a conversation with, “Did you see that article in the Chronicle?”

But my favorite moments are those weekend days when I have the luxury of spending an hour with the paper to read it front to back. Like a good book, it opens with attention-grabbing features. It then moves to the local news, the impassioned op-eds and the engaging letters to the editor. After a quick bit of Jewish history and a tasty recipe for pareve brownies, it settles into a satisfying conclusion that continues the important tradition of recording the life-cycle events of a community.

Other times, when life feel a bit busier, I just skip right to the back to see if there’s anyone I know in the community photo section or to check if I’ve finally been named a Macher and Shaker (I’m still waiting, by the way).

We’re so lucky right now that the paper is produced under the watch of a veritable all-star team. A group of true professionals in the prime of their careers, who have each been part of this community for decades. As a board member, my favorite thing to hear is that “the Chronicle has never been better” because I couldn’t agree more with that statement. The paper is a reflection of our community, filtered through the unique lens and personality of its talented staff. Whether it’s Adam Reinherz’s captivating opening paragraphs (overflowing like the fourth cup of wine on Passover with puns, turns of phrase and alliteration), or Dave Rullo’s local coverage that gives us the news we need with all of the polished tools of a seasoned beat reporter, each issue is guaranteed to leave the reader well informed, entertained and connected.

Let’s not take the Chronicle for granted. It’s always been there for us as a written record of our community and a reflection of our day-to-day lives. Now, more than ever, it’s our turn to ensure that future generations will know the happiness of getting the newspaper, opening it up to the back page and seeing a picture of their child in a photo with their classmates, each one with an undeniable smile.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. PJC

Seth Glick is a member of the Chronicle’s board of trustees.

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