The coronavirus pandemic has enabled us to see certain things more clearly. We see who and what are truly essential to us, and what we can do without. We certainly miss being together with those we love, we miss going to shul and davening b’tzibur, and our kids miss all their activities, even—and slightly ironically—going to school. We have learned that we can make do with much, much less, yet we have also learned that the globe is much more accessible, going well beyond our individual communities.
As our physical world in this new normal appears to narrow, we maintain the hope that one day soon it will expand again, and we will be reunited. We are truly grateful that so many of our readers have reached out to us in the past weeks to tell us how much they appreciate our paper and our unique blend of coverage. And we know that fewer options “in the now” do not necessarily come with entirely negative consequences. True, those who have lost close relatives and friends to the virus will not emerge from the pandemic untouched, but really, all of us have been affected, and deeply impacted, in one way or another. For many, these past few weeks have brought about much cheshbon hanefesh and soul searching and we’ve all had to adapt in creative ways.
At The Jewish Link, we too are at a bit of a crossroads, one where we’ve, very serendipitously, been before. In 2015, our paper expanded, changing its name from The Jewish Link of Bergen County to The Jewish Link of New Jersey, widening our coverage area over the following year to welcome Essex, Union, Passaic and Middlesex Counties to our ranks. Around this time we also launched a new bi-weekly community newspaper, The Jewish Link of Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut (affectionately known to us as our BWC edition).
For four plus years now, the staff of The Jewish Link based in northern New Jersey has produced both newspapers, with the involvement in Riverdale, Westchester and Connecticut from our friends and contributors David Winter, Tamar Weinberg, Judy Berger, Yvette Finklestein, Michael Feldstein and others.
While the coronavirus situation has certainly brought challenges, we realize it has also presented an opportunity to fully “link” our communities one to another. The challenges and triumphs experienced in any one of our communities have been felt by us all; in that way, we have become one unified Jewish community more than ever before.
Our “new normal” is one where anyone in the world can join the same Zoom session. A normal where all of our children can benefit from and enjoy the same awesome “Kids’ Link” divrei Torah, crafts and games, as well as schools/sports stories and pictures. Our many dating, finance and parenting experts, and rabbis from many Jewish communal enclaves, can provide much-needed Shabbat reading; articles and insights can benefit those in Teaneck or Highland Park/Edison as much as those in Riverdale or New Rochelle/Scarsdale and everywhere in between.
In this new normal, our advertisers and non-profit partners can reach a broader and potentially even more valuable audience, while promoting the same services, products, foods and programs. This normal is one in which our thirst for news of Israel and our chayalim can be quenched with one newspaper.
In this new normal, our heroes—be they dedicated doctors, tireless nurses, delivery workers, or survivors of this terrible virus, whose first acts of chesed were to donate plasma to those in need—are the same for all of us.
In this new normal, we see clearly that it is time to pivot once again.
To that end, we have decided with this week’s edition to begin including—on a bi-weekly and trial basis to start—the unique content from our bi-weekly Jewish Link of the Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut edition into our larger and now expanded Jewish Link of New Jersey edition and we will be known more or less as The Jewish Link with our new and temporary tagline: Linking Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Passaic & Union Counties & NOW the Bronx, Westchester and CT!
We will now be distributing our expanded edition this week and on alternating weeks going forward in the Bronx, Westchester and CT areas via free home delivery and in all relevant stores, restaurants, nonprofits and shuls (when they are allowed to re-open)—as we have been doing until now and with the goal of continuing on our regular schedule for our Bronx, Westchester and CT paper.
We can’t wait to bring more achdut (unity) to our growing, vibrant, super-happening observant Jewish communities. We look forward to including the exciting perspectives and unique and compelling stories from our neighbors in the observant communities of Riverdale, New Rochelle, Scarsdale, Yonkers, White Plains and Stamford. We warmly welcome them into the fold of this new iteration of The Jewish Link.
co-publishers;Elizabeth Kratz, associate publisher/editor;
Jill Kirsch, senior editor