Welcome to the inaugural issue of New York Jewish Life. This new weekly print and digital newspaper, distributed throughout the New York City metropolitan area and in Albany, will be unabashedly centrist in its outlook.
But what does “centrist” even mean these days? How exactly is that defined in today’s charged political climate?
I say “centrist” because we are passionate about our shared civic life; nonpartisan; and hold favorable opinions of some Republicans and some Democrats. We have strong reservations about the direction some parts of the Democratic Party are intent on—despite clear messages sent by the voters concerning the party’s embrace of self-referential and usually condescending rhetoric—and we are very troubled with aspects of the Republican Party’s anti-immigrant agenda. We are conservative on fiscal issues but progressive on social issues. We are internationalist in outlook and open to the world.
This paper will feature reporting, news, editorials, investigative pieces, photography and coverage of issues impacting, and about, New York’s diverse Jewish communities, institutions and culture. But it will also have a wide lens, writing on general civic affairs, city and state concerns, and politics.
It’s been said that I am, on some issues, so progressive that I seem conservative, while on other issues so conservative that I seem progressive. New York Jewish Life will mirror that. Our cover story this week, sharing the results of an opinion poll in our large distribution area, confirms that sense of things in the wider community.
Above all, we believe in small-d democracy, fair process and transparent public institutions locally, nationally and in global affairs. We are passionate about media and news as vehicles for providing information. We are excited about the state of modern news and not cynical about the state of reporting these days. We believe in fairness.
We are, without reservation, Zionist and pro-Israel, aghast at continued foreign pressure on Israel to compromise its safety in the name of what others think is appropriate. We celebrate the full diversity, accomplishments and dynamism of New York’s Jewish community, our history, our institutions and our culture. We embrace faith communities and their priorities.
I myself come from a Jewish tradition of social and political activism, which will be recognizable to many of you, and which I look forward to sharing as we spend more time together. An attorney by training, I am a proud graduate of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the State University of New York at Albany, and then of the City University of New York School of Law. I have served in politics, government and media for nearly 25 years, and have worked for and with some exceptional people and causes.
New York Jewish Life is guided by newspaper professionals who, among them, have been turning out high-quality weekly publications for over 60 years. We are grateful for their support.
Nothing stays the same, and everything changes. Media and reporting have been in severe flux for two decades now, and though there is no indication that this tumult will slow down, there are encouraging signs that it has settled in to a new workable foundation. We are excited to have New York Jewish Life—in print and online—be a part of today’s news landscape and a new addition to your home.