Inspired by a challenge from philanthropists Arthur J. Epstein and Bryna Litchman, the Jewish Journal has successfully reached its goal of raising $200,000. With the campaign reaching its mark, Epstein and Litchman plan to donate $100,000 to the Journal. Their gift is the largest single donation the Journal has received in its 44-year history.
“Bryna and I think this is great and unbelievable and we both appreciate everybody who contributed to this most worthwhile campaign to keep our Jewish Journal as a central link to the Jewish and interfaith communities,” said Epstein, who funded the creation of the Epstein Center for Behavioral Health at Salem Hospital, and has donated generously to the area’s Jewish day school – the Epstein Hillel School in Marblehead – which is named for him. “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.”
Donors to this historic campaign are listed in a special section within this week’s paper and represent gifts or commitments made between March 11 and May 11. Additional gifts can still be made, and those donations received between May 12 and July 15 will be included in a special acknowledgment page in July. The funds from the campaign will help bolster the paper’s journalism, its website and social media platforms, allow for broader distribution and also strengthen the Journal’s endowment.
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 have eliminated 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. “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.”
“Every single donation has meant so much to us as an organization and we are truly blessed to be a part of this wonderful community. Thank you to all who have supported us and to Arthur and Bryna for their generosity and for believing in us. I look forward to the future and making an even greater impact,” said Johanna Matloff, president of the Journal’s Board of Overseers.
“The community has spoken and it is a statement of just how much people value the Journal and its content. I am very proud to be a part of this historic fundraiser. With these funds we can begin the process of creating a plan for the Journal’s long-term sustainability,” said Matthew Swartz, co-chair of the fundraising campaign and a member of the Journal’s Board of Overseers.
Co-chair Howard Rich, of Marblehead, who is a close friend of Epstein and Litchman, also praised their commitment to the community and the quality of the paper. “The campaign is a confirmation of how people feel about the Journal. The enthusiasm is just overwhelming.”
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, day school 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.
The Jewish Journal is a registered nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible. Donations can be mailed to the Jewish Journal, P.O. Box 2089, Salem, MA 01970, or made on the home page of this website. For more information, call 978-745-4111 or email email@example.com.