That morning, I woke up around 8:30 am and started getting dressed for work and for my regular walk about 20 blocks uptown to work at the Jewish Theological Seminary. I was already late, and although I didn’t punch a clock at JTS, I was eager to get out of the house. Listening to my regular morning radio show on Z100, I heard a shift in the DJ’s tone. “By the way,” he said, “if you don’t have your TV on, you might want to go ahead and turn it on – the World Trade Center is on fire.”
Back in those early moments of that clear September morning, we had no idea what we were witnessing – smoke billowing from one floor of the WTC, we assumed, was from an internal fire, perhaps an explosion of an undetermined origin. I called my mother in New Jersey to make sure she was watching. (Checking the official timeline reveals that this phone call might have happened shortly before 9am.) We watched CNN together for a few minutes, as the announcer shared a new theory, that a small plane had accidentally flown into the tower. It was surreal, and sad. But at that point, we didn’t even have the tragic imagination to begin to understand what was happening, that we were under attack, that two other planes were currently en route to additional targets in the DC Metro area. But it was while we were watching that tragedy – which we assumed to be tragic, but concluded - that we saw the second plane (9:02:59).
At first I thought that CNN had gone to an instant replay. But the tower in the “replay footage” was already smoking - we realized with horror that this was a second plane. My heart jumped, and I jumped off the couch, and said out loud, on the phone to my mother, “Osama fucking bin Laden.” I don’t know why, but that was my purest, most immediate response; perhaps it was some sort of flashback to the first World Trade Center bombing, which my college roommate’s boyfriend had escaped from. At that moment, I knew I couldn’t go to work. I was staying home, phone-tethered to my mother, until I knew what was going on.
[Esther's note: This was an email I sent to friends in the early hours of September 13, 2001.]
September 13, 2001 (12:09:27 AM)
I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well in a week marked by terror, fear, misery and sadness. (I apologize if some of you get this email twice.) For those of you outside New York, thank you for your concern. I am fine, having been far from downtown on Tuesday. I am sure all of you have been glued to CNN while trying to contact loved ones and make sure that everyone is ok. I have begun to hear the personal stories that I know will continue to pour in over the coming weeks.
So far, I have only heard stories that conclude with escape; these triumphant survivals do not alleviate the emotional burden that we all bear these days, and I wait for the other shoe to drop, as we learn the
identities of those who have been lost. I have also been inspired by the difficult but essential work done by New Yorkers trying to help: the fire fighters and policemen who rushed into chaos, debris swirling
around them like disintegrated evil; the thousands of New Yorkers who showed up at blood centers citywide; the hundreds of Upper West Siders who factored food and water for Red Cross workers into their purchases; and the social workers and mental health professionals, including my cousin, who spent their day staffing a Red Cross sponsored missing persons hotline. These unbelievable efforts are also the basis of an adhesive that can rebind us as a city, one community at a time.
I wrote the following over the past two days, and have submitted it to the Jewznewz.com website as well as to the Jewish Standard in New Jersey. Please feel free to share your stories with me as well.
With prayers for peace,
The Words of War
In the wake of Tuesday’s coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I am haunted by floating phrases, sound bites provided by the media that repeat over and over, creating a mental state that is at best cluttered, at worst, disintegrating.
“Worse Than Pearl Harbor.” Pearl Harbor was chosen for its proximity to a military installation, a clear act of war by the Japanese. The explosions at the World Trade Center struck at civilians. The oppressor
is as yet, unnamed. Are we at war? And if so, with whom? We don’t know. Are the casualties worse than at Pearl Harbor? We don’t know. What we do know is that Tuesday’s first attack was an attempt to destroy what New York represents: grandeur, capitalism, tourism. The Twin Towers were an identifiable landmark. A destination for tourists. A setting for romantic movies. A center of commerce. The second target, the Pentagon is a symbol of the inner workings of the United States military. Together, the targets were not just postcard panoramas, not just buildings and people: in a one-two punch peace of mind, national security and democracy all bit the literal dust.
“Handing Out Candy.” In the West Bank town of Nablus this was how Palestinians reacted to news of the attacks in New York and Washington. Yasser Arafat later condemned the attacks before the international
media, conveying shock at the events and sending his condolences to President Bush and the American people. But the PR damage had already been done. The world had already seen how Palestinians, the people he represents, celebrated the terrorist acts. Revelers waved Palestinian
flags, laughing and dancing in the streets, distributing candy in honor of the explosions, which they called “sweets from Osama Bin Laden.”
“Are You Okay?” On the streets of Manhattan, stripped of our essential public transportation, pedestrians flowed into the street, trying to get to or from work. Every few blocks, you could hear radio coverage of the news from a parked truck or van. People clustered around it, desperate for information and for community companionship. They stopped to ask friends if they were okay and if everyone they knew was accounted for. My brother Jack called my parents from Jerusalem to find out if we were okay. When my phone finally started working, I got calls from friends outside New York, asking me if I was okay. When it occurred to me that this was a direct reversal of the phone chain that Israelis and their families' experience whenever terrorism strikes the Middle East, I began to cry. I had made such phone calls before; I had never expected to be on the receiving end.
“Barukh Dayan Emet.” When religious Jews hear of death or tragedy, the usual response is “Barukh Dayan Emet” (Blessed is the true judge). During times of trauma, observant Jews seek out the help of God, sometimes reciting Psalms to alleviate feelings of helplessness and to reassure ourselves that God will protect us. But the judgment that led to Tuesday’s destruction and loss of life was not God’s. We still don’t know who is responsible or what their motives were. But, after this week, any illusions that we are safe here, under the aegis of America and God, have certainly been shattered.
“...Condemns the Attacks...” International leaders from Chile to the Vatican weighed in with statements against the attacks. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced that, in solidarity with a violated
America, Wednesday would be a national day of mourning in Israel. The war against terror, Mr. Sharon announced on CNN, is an international war, pitting the free world “against the forces of darkness who seek to destroy our liberty and our way of life. I believe that together we can defeat these forces of evil.” With Vladimir Putin, Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair all expressing solidarity with the US, and with Islamic Jihad and Hamas denying involvement in these attacks (albeit somewhat less enthusiastically) the obvious question remains. So who is responsible? Public assessment of the coordination and scale of the terrorist acts indicates the handiwork of the elusive Osama Bin Laden. His spokespeople, of course, deny his involvement.
As I write this, I have lowered CNN to a murmur in the background of my studio apartment,. But it seems like every hour, there is something new to report: an additional building in the World Trade Center complex collapsed. Explosions of undetermined origin were underway in Kabul, Afghanistan, purported home of Osama Bin Laden. From beneath rubble in and around the collapsed buildings, victims called relatives on cell phones. SWAT teams surround a Boston hotel to take suspects into custody. The Empire State Building, evacuated at the slightest threat.
Thousands of people who worked in the destroyed buildings in New York and Washington are classified as missing or injured. The New York death count, currently at “at least 82” will only climb. Part of the Pentagon has collapsed from the force of the explosion, in which an estimated 800 are missing or dead. The Twin Towers have been erased from the New York City skyline. The smoke still billows forth. Citizens of New York and Washington are still screaming in pain and grief. The fires continue to
burn as the smell wafts north.
The words of war continue to make their impact. Slowly, stories begin to graft faces and identities onto previously anonymous victims. One survivor, covered with a mottled combination of dust and blood, reported on rescue efforts: “They told us to make a human chain, and we got each other out of there.”
It was these words that affected me most. Whether or not we believe in God, or Osama Bin Laden, or capitalism, or democracy, we need to remember that in the wake of tragedy, the human chain is what provides us with comfort. And though Psalms pale in importance when people we know and love are missing, we continue to recite them individually and in groups, trying to find meaning in the words that form a historical chain between the author of the Psalms and our modern selves.
In the coming weeks, we will need to believe in humanity with a whole heart, as general shock gives way to more specific horror, and as the pain of grief’s sharpness yields to thoughts of vengeance. Our fear and anger threatens to enslave us, but we need to break free of them and learn, once again, to believe that it is the human chain that can bring about redemption, that can resurrect both our hope and our peace of mind.
On September 13, 2001, I wrote an email (full text linked) to some friends and family, with some first reactions to what had happened to America two days before. This email was from an account that expired about five years ago, and I had lost access to all the things I'd sent years before.
Those words should have been gone forever. But thanks to Facebook, I put out an APB on my lost words, and a friend - who had been on the initial distribution list 10 years ago - searched his mail, found my words, and returned them to me. This proved to be a gift to me - a chance to revisit my state of mind and mourning so many years ago, and to see what has and hasn't changed since that day.
But this isn't my real 9/11 post. My real 9/11 post is somewhere in the air between my brain and the keyboard, and aspires to arrive before the 10th anniversary, over the next few days. This is both prelude to that post and retrospective of posts past, a visit from and with my old words, with their different levels of shock, trauma, distance and contemplation. I share these words, from that previously-lost email, from this blog and from articles I've written - and dated 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, and 2009 respectively - below.
"The real 9/11 post" - that's tomorrow's job.
Welcome to the first utterly pointless post I've put up in some time.
Several months ago, I went to a trivia night at a bar in Santa Monica - that night, the other teams all knew math and circumferences and astronomy references, while I managed to eke out two correct answers to pop culture items, but that was about it. Suffice it to say, that evening did not make me feel smart.
But in going through my receipts and papers in preparation for taxes last week, I found a piece of paper from Trivia Night, which challenged us to determine - from a list of Italian names - which names belong to members of the mob, and which are members of the Jersey Shore cast. I am sad to say / happy to report that I got them all right.
I have reproduced the list below for your entertainment: to test which group is actually more dangerous, and so I can finally throw away this piece of paper (because I wanted to blog about this months ago). Good guessing to you all.
Tell me whether this person is a member of the show Jersey Shore or may have buried someone there, i.e. a member of the mob. [Then there were two columns: you had to write "member" or "burier" in one column, and the person's nickname in the other.]
I know, I know. I said I wasn't going to take on any more jobs: between my work at Federation in LA and my ongoing consultancy with the ROI Community, I'm already working about 8 days a week (except Shabbat - don't try to do the math or you'll hurt yourself). But every once in a while an organization comes along that speaks so perfectly to my interests and experiences that it's impossible to say no.
Jewpros Lacking Boundaries (J-LaB) is inspired by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), an international relief effort staffed by volunteer doctors who travel to sites of tragedy or natural disaster to provide much needed aid - in moments when their skills are most in demand, they relinquish ego in favor of humanitarian aid. Similarly, J-LaB staff is a volunteer workforce, made up entirely of people who currently work for Jewish nonprofit organizations - they too, relinquish their egoes and their professional titles, and become a voice for equality, justice and peace within the Jewish communal world, specifically among the notoriously fickle "NextGen" (20s, 30s and sometimes 40s, depending on where you live).
This group, collectively presenting decades of experience in every sub-area of the Jewish professional field - from fundraising to programmatics, from recruitment to young adult engagement - is uniquely qualified for this work, and achieves its impact through active listening, a virtual version of open space technology, and one-on-one Skype mentoring - all conducted anonymously, to maximize honesty and transparency without fear of repercussions from employers, many of whom are included in the first cohort of organizations counseled by J-LaB.
There's a vital textual component to the curriculum that ensures organizations learn the sources about respect in the workplace, Jewish values and business ethics, and roleplaying workshops designed to identify unwanted behaviors. The organization uses cutting-edge tools, such as social media, virtual reality and Second Life avatars (see some J-LaB staff members in the above photo) to ensure maximum access and anonymity - they have asked me to counsel them on virtual strategy, PR and marketing. (So bloggers can expect pitch letters and press releases from me soon.)
"The organizations in J-LaB's first cohort are innovators, conquering uncharted territory," executive director Minya Zavute says. "When it comes to treating their employees with professional respect, like responsible adults, these are the organizations that require our attention. They're the places where young women are told their new haircuts makes their faces look thinner, where young men are told they're too skinny and should eat something, where people are judged by how young they appear to be instead of for the experience that they clearly have. There's no excuse for this anymore - we believe in the biblical injunction to reprove our fellow Jews, to point out when they're doing something wrong, and our anonymous, no-holds-barred system enables us to do just that."
Furthermore, Zavute maintains, "27.5% of all Jewish communal professionals actively contemplate leaving Jewish nonprofit life every day; we can help reduce that number through a policy of honesty."
Thanks to J-LaB for putting their trust in me. This could be the beginning of something big. And it's an honor to be one of the few public members of their team. For a recent article about J-LaB, click here. For a related article from this blog, read this post.
Photo by Julian Voloj (Zeek Magazine)
For the past two years, I've been watching Glee and assuming that no high school kids anywhere had voices like the kids on the show. Clearly another case of Hollywood glamorizing and exaggerating what was possible for a high school glee club. I mean, we didn't have anyone who was nearly that vocally talented in my high school. Vocal Adrenaline? I mean seriously: Vocal Ritalin, maybe - then we'd at least be able to focus on the songs we weren't singing.
But then it occurred to me - the reason for this assumption was because there were no opportunities for kids in my high school to sing "Don't Stop Believin'" to a panel of judges, in competition with other kids in the state league. Best we could approximate was our high school choir busting out a rousing dirge of "Oif'n Priptichik" or if we were feeling really boisterous, "The Partisan Song." (It's a Holocaust song, but it's about the partisans surviving in the woods, which means it's a jaunty march, although still in a minor key.) There was the one year we put on a musical production of "Pinocchio," but we had to sing all of the songs as a group, to avoid the problem of kol isha, of girls singing alone and unwittingly causing teenage boys' hormones to run around like vildechayas. Because that would be the first time this would ever have happened in a yeshiva day school.
Did kids in my school have good voices? Who knows? It's possible that they, themselves, don't even know. Not even to this day.
Once I got to college, I started hearing about friends who had had opportunities to discover their voices in their respective high schools - through musicals, through something amazing called "sing," in which they did just that - each class (freshman, sophomore, junior and senior) had their own "Sing," an internal competition and celebration of song. I had grown up in a house of music, of song, of musicals both Broadway and homegrown. We had memorized librettos, listened to Disney musicals on long car trips, and performed original songs and song parodies at family events. The concept of "Sing" sounded like my idea of heaven.
College should have been a perfect time to test the old pipes, see if I had anything other than a love of music and song. But I felt like it was too late to start - people in college had the benefit of years of training and performing experience; I couldn't even read music. So my singing stayed inside: showers had great acoustics, I discovered, and I lucked into a group of college friends who liked to sit around singing the libretto from Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and Aspects of Love, so it was like a second family, only with the occasional outing to a fraternity party.
In the years that followed college graduation, I found my voice. In writing, mostly. Occasionally in performance, whether in at a piano bar downtown on my first birthday in NYC, at the improv classes that transformed my writing and confidence or at karaoke, where I learned lessons about myself and about others. Watching others, trying to typecast them and predict the songs they chose to perform - and getting it wrong lots of the time - made me realize that you can't always see a person's song or inner self in their outer presentation. People started to surprise me, and it was in this venue that I started to surprise myself. I got back in touch with the songs that moved me and learned to channel the personas of the singers that made them famous.
Glee came along years later. It appealed to the musically-inclined, but musically-stunted high schooler in me, to my inner musical theater geek/would-be-diva seeking coolness, approval, self-confidence. From the first episode, studded with the strains of 80s hits, I was taken with it like a soulmate spied across a crowded room. There was music, and hearts soared, and it was love.
As the show progressed, there were missteps - but the episodes that failed to thrill me were still better than no episodes at all. And as I sing along every week - even with some of the original songs, which I'd never heard before - I feel regretful to have been denied the opportunities of music in high school, and grateful to have these moments in the years since, moments in which I can reach into my heart, yank out a song, feel it resonate in my bones and flesh, and rediscover my own voice.
Stuck at JFK (or any major airport) overnight thanks to a Virgin Atlantic or other airline flight cancellation? Put off by a hard, dirty floor that's probably crawling with human germs and rodent feces? Well, get down off your high horse and embrace the inevitable - the human body can only take so much walking around an airport before you need to catch forty winks. Plus, if you ever get to that conference in the UK you're supposed to present at, you'll want to make sure you don't sleep through your own presentations! So here's how to get comfortable when there’s no comfort able to be found!
Step One: Scan & Select Your Space
As soon as it becomes clear that you'll need a place to sleep, the prime sleeping spaces will go quickly, so scan the terminal like you're the Terminator, assessing the potential spots for their potential comfort based on your internal programming: Are you seeking solitude? Heat? The company of others? Find a piece of floor that reflects your preferred sleeping sensibilities: if you stake out your own space, people may give you a wide berth, resulting in your own island of space in a crowded terminal. Or, if solitude is threatening to you (single females, you may wish to consider this) or is in a dark location away from the public eye, you may wish to seek out a trustworthy-looking group of similar-age individuals - this selection may be a bit rowdier or more brightly lit, but may appeal to your sense of safety and community.
Want to recharge as you recharge? Make sure to locate the "sleeping spaces" next to electrical outlets: if you have a power strip with you for some reason, now's the time to use it and become very popular.
Step Two: Sterilize Your Space
Make sure your chosen space is clear of obvious garbage that will muck up your sleeping experience - steer clear of sticky patches of spilled Coca-Cola or snowy wet boot tracks, for example. If you have 3 oz of Purell in your Ziploc bag of allowed liquids, now's the time to use it to sterilize the space. (Or save it, to clean yourself once you rise up from your nap.)
Step Three: Build Your Bed
Then spread out a blanket and – what’s that? You don’t have a blanket? Wrestle one away from one of the airline staff members (they claim they don’t have them, but they DO!). If your airline doesn't have blankets, you may go to another airline with a cancelled flight. They don't know who's on which cancelled flight, so the important thing is to get a blanket from someone before everyone runs out. You can then use it as a mattress (recommended for comfort and hygiene reasons) or as a first layer over your shivering body in contact with the near frozen floor. and build a nest out of that and whatever you have on you: your coat, scarf, a hat pulled down over your face to block the light, an extra pair of pants stuffed into a laptop sleeve and used as a pillow: be inventive. It’s like Project Runway, only - let's face it - you are probably never going to get to the runway.
Step Four: Tweet Your Position
Step Five: Secure Your Stuff - To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Once you've built your bed, now's your chance to lie in it. But before you close your eyes to enjoy the wrenching back pain of sleeping on a rock-hard airport floor, make sure your valuables are secured to your person: this may entail things like using your computer bag as a pillow, threading a bag handle around your arms or legs so you'll feel it if someone tries to nick it, or trusting a virtual stranger who says he or she will watch your bags whilst you sleep. There may be a price for generosity like this - like your photo ending up on Twitter - but it's a small price to pay to greet the morning (or the later part of the morning) having had 20 minutes of sleep, isn't it? When you wake up, it will be time to battle with the rest of the hungry airport zombies for food at airport eateries with dwindling supplies, so you'll want to have had that 20 minutes to fuel your attack strategy.
We at My Urban Kvetch hope that you've enjoyed this practical travel guide to sleeping at international airports. Stay tuned for other helpful guides about overnight airport bathroom survival and use of nearly useless food vouchers at eateries that don't accept them or have 200-person lines and minimal supplies.
I recently signed up for an event using EventBrite – it offered an option to post to my Facebook wall that I had RSVP’d and was planning to attend. I clicked “yes,” sharing it with my network via my wall. While some people responded that they would be joining me, another discussion also popped up – around the language that event organizers use when they want to attract – let’s just call it – “young energy.” The discussion was remarkable both for its intelligent conversation and for its tone of respect – not always a given in “Facebook wall discussion.”
In my post, I had described the event as being geared for “young professionals,” hoping to avoid the conversation about the stated age range (25-39), because - really, how are a 40-year-old’s needs or ideas older, or less valuable, than a 39-year-old’s? – age ranges delineate the difference between young and old in a way that’s not always helpful.
Sarah Lefton, co-founder of G-dcast.com, registered her frustration with the phrase "young professionals", noting that “this is a pet peeve phrase of mine and Federations seem to love it.”
Susanne Goldstone Rosenhouse (she of Jewish Tweets and so much more Jewish social media), added: “[she and her husband] went to an event here in Dallas for 'Young Professionals' and were literally the only marrieds there. The attendees thought we were chaperones or something. At least in NY or LA its a more ambiguous term.”
I (unintentionally) fomented the discussion with a few words. “Just don’t call it a singles event.”
Sarah responded that her objection wasn’t about marital status, but about the implication of “professionals”: “Are grad students, teachers, artists and nonprofit workers unwelcome? Because to me, what is coded into the phrase young professionals is, ‘people with money.’" She noted that, if truly everyone young is welcome, why not say young adults? Speaking from her experience as someone who was “dirt broke poor” as an artist and non profit employee and felt excluded by Jewish events, she said that “whether they MEANT to feel exclusive is not the point. It's what the perception is on the outside.”
Another commenter responded with the observation that in a different time and place, "Jewish Young Professional" could have meant something different, and that moreover, in different neighborhoods and denominations, even the word “Jewish” has differing definitions.
So here’s EstherK’s question: how do we make sure that what we name our “young professionals” divisions reflects both intention and a feeling of inclusion, while making sure that our events attract the appropriate populations?
Sarah (a former ad exec) suggests that “focus groups help us get outside our own experience…the phrase ‘young professionals’ seems to be at least a psychological barrier to entry to at least some people.”
Most organizations struggle with these labels as well as with age cut-offs. On the one hand, you want to indicate that a certain event is geared with a certain age, area of interest or marital status in mind, so people don't come with vastly unrealistic expectations. But who is to say that a 36-year-old has different needs than a 35-year-old when it comes to programming, socializing, etc? Take me as an example: I don't mind mixing with people who are already married, and who have children. But if an event promising an "exploration of the Passover seder" turns into "how to engage your children during a late-night Jewish ritual," that probably wouldn’t be something I’d make time for in my schedule.
Additionally, the term 'young leadership' may also be a challenge for people who might be looking for a way to engage, but as a participant and not necessarily want or have time for a leadership track. And you don't have to be a commitmentphobe to dislike this term. Unless we say "young leadership" is the same as "young adults" - which makes everyone a leader, whether or not they want it to.
I always vote for inclusion, and for events that are so wildly important and compelling that they include people from across different demographics in a perfect symphony of community...but which events (not the one-offs, like DAWN or even Limmud) can continually, successfully engage all demographics? The reality is that some events are more appropriate for certain populations than for others.
Sarah light-heartedly suggested that I "tell the funders you're achieving your goals on Facebook, to hell with the events. :)"
Done. I’m pretty sure my blog is now eligible for a major Jewish continuity grant.
What do you think, blogosphere? Is there a magic solution to this issue of language, inclusion and specificity surrounding “Jewish young adult” events?
Right before I left Israel, I opened up an article in the JPost that I'd seen posted on Facebook by former JPost editor and current JAFI spokesperson Haviv Rettig Gur (who apparently has a Wikipedia bio). The article (not written by Haviv) is an interview with new JTA Executive Editor Ami Eden, who revealed very little about JTA's actual plans, but spoke broadly about collaboration and creating a "unified web presence" for the American Jewish newspapers:
Looking ahead, he declared one of his “top priorities” would be greater cooperation with other Jewish media outlets. Ideas for collaborations were “percolating,” Eden said, and would materialize between “12 and 18 months.”
“I think it’s clear that most American Jewish newspapers haven’t figured out how to make money online,” he said. “Why should we not try to create a unified Web presence having one big Web site with a team that’s constantly keeping it fresh? We clearly could be pulling our technological resources and sharing the Web traffic. If we’re all investing in the same Web traffic, it becomes a great idea.”
Eden declined to go into further detail.
There is - of course - much to talk about here, which I started to synthesize while commenting on Haviv's Facebook wall (whoever says Facebook is useless really needs to start trolling better walls). I could jump to conclusions about how this plan is overly ambitious, or smacks of manifest destiny, with JTA playing the role of arbiter for what's best for American Jewish journalism. But any such discussion is premature, since this germ of an idea doesn't present the details or address the myriad challenges likely to arise.
But speaking as a writer, I can tell you that in the technology age (and I can't wait until we can stop saying that), journalism in general needs to figure out lots of things, including what the value of content is and how to ensure that content providers are paid fairly. And if this is true of mainstream magazines and newspapers, then it's certainly true of Jewish news outlets, which work with smaller audiences and smaller budgets than their mainstream cousins.
But let's take the discussion one step further, as Haviv did in framing the piece on Facebook:
Come to think of it, how is this different from the discussions in the JPost, or the debates going on in the Jewish Agency? We're all trying to figure out what the Jews need, and how to give it to them.
So here's one question: Who are "the Jews"? And here's another one: Who speaks for "the Jews"?
The next few paragraphs do not answer those questions. They deal mostly with trying to identify a path for the future of Jewish journalism and the JTA's relationship to local Jewish publications, but keep Haviv's framing in mind when you read them. In other words, this is about the future of Jewish journalism, or of practically anything else.