Editor’s Wrapup: Faith, Hope and Philanthropy
Despite some signs—an uptick in the Dow, an unexpected corporate profit or two, lots of hope—the impact of the financial crisis continues to spread. In the Jewish world, the recession is compounded by losses from the Madoff scandal and dependence of a largely nonprofit communal infrastructure on donors who are themselves tightening their belts.
In “Jewish Rainy Days,” Rahel Musleah surveys the landscape—from synagogues to soup kitchens, from day schools to job prospects—to measure the impact. “The crisis,” she concludes, “presents a combined financial and human challenge for the American Jewish community probably unprecedented since the Depression.”
But she also found that during hard times people feel more of a need to come together. Not only are more people showing up at synagogues—for religious services or for networking—more organizations are forming partnerships. To cite one example, Chicago’s Jewish Employment Network expanded from 16 to 36 synagogue partners in just four months. A community threatened, it seems, is a community mobilized.
Like the Jewish audience we address, Hadassah Magazine is staying mobilized. Forced to reduce our printed editions to six per year, we are working to improve our Web presence. Hopefully, you found it easier to find this edition of Hadassah Magazine Extra than the last one. By the fall, we hope to launch our own free-standing and easily accessible site.
Meanwhile, we are expanding content in our Web-only editions and in the Web versions of our printed issues. The Guide to the Arts is now a permanent feature and our Web editions carry more reviews of books, films, theater and exhibits than the print issue.
Like everyone else, we are adapting to new realities and making the most of our resources. We’re not only look for signs of hope. We’re creating them.
—Alan M. Tigay