When I was offered the job as editor of the Jewish Voice, about four and a half years ago, I knew that writing a column came with the territory. I was an avid reader of the editor’s column. In fact, I must admit I often turned to the column before reading the rest of the paper. However, I wasn’t exactly sure what writing the column would mean for me.
I dove in, but I never dreamed that one day I’d be staring down my 100th column. Yet, here we are.
People often ask how I write a column issue after issue. Sharing does not come easily to me. Sometimes the idea bank is blank. But long before I arrived on the scene, it was decided that this space would not feature editorials in the traditional sense of expressing the views of the newspaper as a whole, but a more personal column written by the editor. Yes, I might advocate for this behavior or that issue, but not a political viewpoint and its accompanying controversies.
To make this column my own, I’ve tried to share a little about my thoughts and my life, along with thoughts about our community. I’ve written about my family. I’ve written about members of our community. I’ve advocated for civility – many times. I’ve written about the weather, famously.
One February, I wrote about the incredibly mild weather. By the time the paper reached your mailbox, we were in the middle of a raging blizzard. Whoops!
I did it again with a column about the cold weather. A week later it was nice and warm! Then my colleagues began to joke that I should always write about the weather when we wanted it to change.
One of my favorite columns was written during a snowstorm, when we did a lot of work from home. I wrote about how we feed the birds that visit our yard, which makes for quite a show outside the breakfast room window. I got quite a few responses to that – it hit a note with those of you who also take care of the birds during our cold winters.
In many ways, I have grown up in and with this community although I’m not a native. My children attended what was then called the Jewish Community Center Infant Toddler Center, and then the preschool. I even had one in the kindergarten (it only was offered for several years).
My kids attended classes at the JCC and learned to swim in its pool. So I’ve enjoyed sharing family stories and adventures with The Voice’s readers.
Last year, I wrote about my son and future daughter-in-law’s wedding adventures. This year I look forward to sharing the adventures of becoming a grandparent.
We have amazing resources in our Jewish community, which stretches from Westerly to Woonsocket, Newport to Attleboro, and out toward Fall River, New Bedford and beyond. We represent the entire spectrum of Jewish religious and political beliefs. I am in awe of our diversity each and every day as I meet community members.
And here’s the editorial part:
If I’ve learned nothing else from working at the paper, it’s that virtually every single person has something to contribute and is passionate about this community – but we can’t grow stronger without listening to each other and working together. As they say, it takes a village.
As the editor, I am committed to fostering and showcasing our community, and hope to continue the work of the past 100 columns for the next 100 columns. But I’m just one person, one voice – let’s all try to do what we can to strengthen our bonds and embrace our diversity.