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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Jewish Newspaper & Mag Meme

The Jewish Blogmeister has challenged me to his meme, the "Jewish Newspaper & Mag Meme." It goes, a little, like-a this:

1) What Jewish Newspaper/Magazines do you read?

I currently subscribe to three:

The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Action Magazine


2) How do these different publications differ?

The Chronicle is a local Jewish paper which deals with events going on in the Wisconsin Jewish community and also some national/international Jewish issues. I subscribe to it primarily because I have a policy of supporting local institutions. And it gives me something to read Friday nights (assuming it shows up before Shabbos like it's supposed to).

It is technically a "non-denominational" paper which does not espouse a particular religious or political point of view, and often prints opposing points of view on its opinion pages. I would consider it to sway slightly to right of center, although in years past, it has been considerably to the left of center. Center in this case probably being Conservative Judaism. Orthodox perspectives are welcome, as are Reform or Reconstructionist, but usually not the major thrust of the editorial pages. On the whole, the paper tends to be inclusive, but they seem to draw the line at Messianic Judaism (although they did allow the Messianists space to respond to a negative editorial).

Jewish Action comes with my paid Orthodox Union membership (and BTW, I encourage all Kosher consumers to join and pay up--there may be plenty of Kosher food in NY, but when I see aisles full of Kosher prepackaged food at a Piggly Wiggly in Wild Rose, Wisconsin, it makes me want to kiss Steven Savitzky's tuchas).

Jewish Action is an interesting magazine which adheres to a relatively Modern Orthodox, Yeshiva University-oriented view of Judaism. In fact, several writers are familiar names from my YU days (including Rabbi Krauss, my old rebbe). Moreover, it seems to tackle problems that other publications don't want to deal with. Like how computers can actually help you with your Judaism, as opposed to being a tool of the Devil(TM). They seem to go with the assumption that the real world actually exists, and that Modern Jews need to be prepared to deal with its challenges, not stick their heads in the ground and hope that it goes away. I feel fairly comfortable with the points of view it espouses, and unlike more right-wing publications, which I may read and then shrug away into irrelevency, I often find myself contemplating change based on what I find in its pages.

I think my wife subscribes to Kashrus. I'm not sure how we started getting it. Mainly it's interesting for the travel guides (remember when we used to drive cross-country?) and the lists of what is/isn't kosher now/anymore. And why.

3) How often do you read them?

Same answer for all three: when they come.

4) Do you ever read the ads?

All the time. Hard to miss them, no? I'm particularly peaved by all the ads for non-Kosher restaurants in the Wisconsin paper. I guess it's understandable that they should solicit ad revenue from non-Kosher places in light of the fact that there are no Kosher restaurants in Wisconsin. But personally, I would rather they printed no restaurant ads then fill an entire section with traif places. But it is an accurate depiction of the level of dedication to Yiddishkeit that the great majority of Wisconsinites display, in that they can't manage to support a single Kosher establishment, but are obviously frequent customers in the other places.

5) Which one is the worst?

Far be it for me to disparage any honest effort. Let's say Jewish Action is the best.

6) Whats the best article you ever read ?

Jewish Action had a great series on Paying for Jewish Education which I referenced here in the past. The Jewish Chronicle had a nice article about me in 1995. Kashrut has never mentioned me, but had an interesting piece on bugs in your lettuce.

7) Which Pub do you despise?

All the others.

8) Ever find your picture in one?

Very rarely. I have 6 good-looking kids and you'd never guess that they attended any community or school events in this town.


But the truth is, these days, I get all of my information about the Jewish Community at large from the J-Blogosphere.


Eshet Chayil said...

About number 4. I was in Texas once, (dont ask why) and I was looking EVERYWHERE for a kosher place to eat. I pcked up a chabbad paper and found a kosher deli in it and went on a 2 hour shlep to get there. When I got there, uh, well, the first thing on the menu was a cow with cheese on it. As I continues to yell at the guys working there, who only spoke urdu, I asked for some kind of SOMETHING that made it kosher. Well, he says, we have kosher salami...

PsychoToddler said...

There are internet sources now that tell you which restaurants are under which hashgacha in which cities. I always check before travelling.

But yeah, I know what you mean. When Mrs. B and I were first married, we moved to the Bronx and went to a deli on Lydig avenue. Lydig used to be a very Jewish street with all kosher stores. The store had a big kosher sign over the door (I think it was something like Zion Kosher Deli) but once we got inside it was very clear that this place hadn't been kosher since the 60's. No hashgacha, non-kosher meats, etc. Terrible. We learned our lesson and started shopping in Queens.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

PT: This doesn't sound like a MEME -- it reads like a consumer opinion survey!

Stacey said...

I couldn't live w/out my subscription to the CJN (Cleveland Jewish News). It is a fabulous newspaper. The Texas Jewish Post mostly sucks, but has great recipes!