With this week’s edition, we at The Jewish Link have reached another milestone in the life of our publication. Which milestone, you ask?
On page 165 The Jewish Link is publishing the initial chapter in our first-ever serial fiction series, entitled “Family Foundations.”
As a newspaper guy who loves the printed word in all its many forms, I am always looking for new ideas, new columns, new sections, new writers etc., and at the core, I am always aiming for our paper to be more than just a community Shabbos paper. I often see and read columns and content in other magazines and papers that I feel could work well in ours, if we are able to identify the right writer or partner. I never need to stick with the status quo for our paper; enhancing our unique “cholent” or content mix is something that I love to do, sometimes to my editors’ chagrin.
And something that I have long enjoyed in other Jewish publications is the serial fiction series in which, over a period of weeks and months, chapter by chapter, the readers begin to follow and hopefully draw close to a fictional Jewish family or set of characters going through challenges, tragedies, terrors, celebrations and all of life’s varied ups and downs. Some of these serialized novels are set in the past and some are of contemporary vintage but I have yet to read one in any of the existing publications that I felt truly mirrored the lives of the community that I, and many of our readers, are living in today.
As both a reader and publisher, I have long yearned to read and publish in the pages of my own paper the story of a multi-generational family that started off in the tri-state area, with adult children who live in places like Teaneck, Passaic, the Five Towns, Ramat Beit Shemesh, Modiin and Efrat (apologies to all of the communities I am leaving out). I have long desired to read about families struggling with such diverse, real and often painful issues such as their children and grandchildren serving in the IDF, staying Shana Gimmel (yes, it’s a thing), drawing closer to yiddishkeit or, conversely, sometimes moving further away, along with all of the other “normal” issues and struggles that crop up within families trying to stay connected with each other but growing distant at the same time. I just want to read about the same events and themes that dominate our own lives and relationships, and see ourselves in these same stories. So I set out about seven or eight years ago to find the right writer for the job.
About three years ago, I finally approached Ariella Aaron, a pen name for one of the leading Jewish fiction writers out there today whose work has appeared in practically every major frum publication. Her body of fiction and non-fiction work is quite impressive and I have long admired her style and writing. Once we finally worked out the details, she let me know that I would have to wait a year and a half before she was ready to start writing for us because her calendar was that booked up. I agreed unreservedly and I didn’t forget about it and practically counted down the days until the Chanukah edition this week when we would be able to start.
So, dear readers, I invite you to read the first installment of the series in this week’s edition and to follow along and get to know the fictional Taubman family as they embark on a two week vacation with the entire family, all three generations together in an Airbnb in upstate New York. I hope you will enjoy reading about them and getting to know them well, for I believe their lives are essentially a mirror of our own.
Of course, I welcome any and all comments at [email protected]
Last but not least, I would like to wish our readers a heartfelt Chanukah sameach. Chag urim sameach and a freilichen Chanukah!
By Moshe Kinderlehrer, Co-Publisher