Inspired by a challenge from philanthropists Arthur J. Epstein and Bryna Litchman, The Jewish Journal has begun an unprecedented $200,000 fundraising campaign to help sustain the publication for the future. The married couple has generously agreed to donate $100,000 to the Journal if the publication can raise $200,000 by July 15, 2021.
“I believe that the Jewish Journal serves as the connector of our North Shore and larger Jewish community, and we all need to invest in its sustainability,” said Epstein.
A native of Malden, Epstein spent most of his adult life on the North Shore. He began his professional career with Midas Muffler in 1966, ultimately holding the most franchises in New England and winning numerous awards for his service. He is one of the most respected and supportive community leaders and has contributed his time, expertise, leadership and resources to several local institutions. In Salem, he funded the creation of the Epstein Center for Behavioral Health at the North Shore Medical Center, and in Marblehead, the Epstein Hillel School – the area’s Jewish day school – is named for him.
Epstein is fond of saying that he invests in people, and his respect for and confidence in Jewish Journal Publisher and Editor Steven Rosenberg is evident with this challenge.
“I believe in communication and I think that the Jewish Journal is an essential part of our Jewish community. It informs us about the latest local news, and about the JCC, the Epstein Hillel Jewish day school and the synagogues. It is a link that holds the community together,” said Epstein.
The Journal, which began publishing in 1977, is the largest Jewish paper in New England – mailed free to over 10,000 homes every other week. Over the last year, it has faced significant economic challenges during the coronavirus health emergency – with its major source of revenue, advertising, dropping over 35 percent. Still, while other Jewish papers in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles dropped their print editions, the Journal has continued to print and remain a free publication – mostly because of loyal advertisers, donations from readers, and a committed staff.
“This is an historic fundraising campaign for the Journal. The funds we raise now will serve as a bridge to the immediate period after COVID-19, and to the years ahead,” said Steven Rosenberg, the Journal’s publisher and editor. “We will be able to bolster our journalism, website and social media presence and also provide wider coverage of the area. Most importantly, it will allow us to continue to print our paper, and mail it for free to our dedicated readers. And it will allow us to continue to connect the community, which is an essential part of our mission.”
“Arthur and Bryna’s generosity has truly inspired us to think about how we can do more to inform, educate, and connect our community, to strengthen the ties that keep us together, and to reach more readers who share our love of the Jewish North Shore,’ said Johanna Matloff, president of the Journal’s Board of Overseers. “Their gift, along with the community’s support, will provide not only the financial security we need to sustain our mission but also to allow us to be there for our readers in even more ways, whether that be through enhancements to our website, or providing breaking-news coverage to expose acts of anti-Semitism, or reaching more members of our community and others who have an interest in it through social media. Steve Rosenberg and the Journal’s staff have done a tremendous job keeping us informed and connected, and I know that, with this gift, the Journal will be able to have an even greater impact.”
Over the last year, the Journal has provided comprehensive coverage of the health and economic impact COVID-19 has had on the Jewish and interfaith community, and its institutions. It has also covered the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism, while also focusing on area temples, Jewish education at Epstein Hillel and other programs such as the Lappin Foundation’s initiatives. The paper serves Greater Boston, and is mailed to more than 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts, and to subscribers in dozens of states.
Journal Board of Overseers members Matthew Swartz and Howard Rich are serving as co-chairs of the historic fundraising campaign. They called it a remarkable opportunity to solidify the Journal’s future. “We need the whole community’s support to contribute and help reach our goal of raising $200,000. I’m confident that we will reach a level of solvency and sustainability that is essential in order to continue to serve the community,” said Swartz, a Swampscott resident.
Howard Rich, of Marblehead, who is a close friend of Epstein and Litchman, praised the couple’s commitment to the community. Rich believes this is an essential fundraising campaign. “This is what we need to do to keep going through this period, and until the economy recovers. The Journal’s high-quality level of journalism is extraordinary, and it is read widely allowing people to connect to the community,” said Rich.
The Jewish Journal is a registered nonprofit and all donations are tax deductible. Donations can be mailed to The Jewish Journal, P.O. Box 2089, Salem, MA. 01970, or made on our website at jewishjournal.org. For more information, call 978-745-4111 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org