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At the Jewish Press, we are getting ready for a very busy year. While we just finished our annual Passover issue, we already know what our theme will be for the 2020 Passover edition: it will be part of our Centennial Celebration. That’s right, G-d willing, the Jewish Press will turn 100 years old!
It’s a humbling thought; this weekly paper has been around longer than any of us. Of course, functioning in today’s landscape, we’ve faced challenges. We have seen countless community papers disappear, Jewish and other, and with them the stories they represented. It’s always sad to hear of another one that is gone forever.
And yet, here we are. The answer to why our paper still publishes week after week, in color, filled to the brim with local news, is simple: it’s a community effort. It takes all of us to keep it going for this long, with no plans to quit anytime soon, and we can all take pride in that. We have the support of the Jewish Federation of Omaha, of which we are an agency, and a community that understands this paper is an essential part of who we are.
In addition to a special issue in Spring 2020, we will also host an exhibit featuring front pages throughout the decades (Yes, we’ll include the first front page ever!). Please stay tuned over the coming months for more news and updates about our Centennial, because we are planning some very exciting ways to celebrate together.
In his 2012 Letter to the Shareholders, Warren Buffett wrote: “Newspapers continue to reign supreme in the delivery of local news. If you want to know what’s going on in your town, there is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job. Wherever there is a pervasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable to a significant portion of its residents.”
I think Buffett’s words still ring true for our Jewish community. That local angle is more important than ever: nowadays, we publish very little national and international stories because, let’s face it, we’ve already read them. We have so much news at our fingertips these days, from so many different sources; yet, it’s the local community stories that we can only find in one place: the Jewish Press. There is no other place where you can read about all our synagogues, Chabad, the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home, the Jewish Federation, the Institute for Holocaust Education, what’s happening in the JCC and what the Book Club is reading—and then some. It’s one-stop-shopping and it tells the story of us. And that is a story that is worth telling.
But we cannot do it without you.
For many years, we have not charged a subscription fee for in-town readers. We don’t plan to change that, because we feel it is extremely important that every single member of our community has access to the Jewish Press every week. Instead, we exist through a generous subvention from the Jewish Federation of Omaha, interest from our current endowments and advertising dollars. However, advertising will continue to shrink over the next decade—we are not optimistic about where print advertising is going. We’ve seen paper after paper disappear, largely due to the fact that the “old system’ no longer works. And so, we will either need a larger subvention during the years to come, or we need to grow our endowments.
Endowments allow us to earn interest that feeds directly into our operation budget. It means we can breathe easily, knowing that in future years, that interest will continue to keep us afloat. Because of that, with the help from the wonderful people at the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation, we’ve created the Centennial Endowment Fund.
We are not looking for a few big donors. What we’d like, what we hope for, is that we can build this endowment with the help of many, many small donors. Every gift counts, because when we all work together, when we all give together, it’s amazing what we can create.
You can be a part of it by filling out the form on the previous page and sending it back to us, or you can go here and donate online.
Please help us continue to do what we do by contributing today. Your gift will continue to breathe life into this paper and save it for the next generation.
Editorials express the view of the writer and are not necessarily representative of the views of the Jewish Press Board of Directors, the Jewish Federation of Omaha Board of Directors, or the Omaha Jewish community as a whole.