March 30, 2000
A Letter From The Editor
I first thought of publishing an Orange County section of The Jewish Journal -- or better yet a separate edition -- about five years ago. When I took a closer look, though, our resources seemed too thin. We lacked the necessary funds and staff. And so we -- the publisher, the board of directors and I -- set the idea aside.
We are five years older now and better situated. But, of course, there is still one missing ingredient essential to the whole enterprise, a factor that makes money and manpower irrelevant: Namely, the interest, desire and loyalty of a community of readers.
We have a strong partisan following in Los Angeles, but that is one community and O C quite another. The profiles differ; as do the rhythms of daily life. In Los Angeles, there is a strong and ubiquitous Jewish presence. There are compelling Jewish events nearly every night of the week. I am less certain that this is as true for O C
My hope is that you find our paper readable, fair and accurate. But equally that it brings as well a Jewish perspective -- a window if you will -- into O C life, without necessarily separating you or us from the wider American world in which we all live.
The premise behind our appearance in O C is as follows: The County itself is large, dispersed over something like 60 miles. And the approximately 80,000 Jews are so scattered that it is difficult to identify a broad Jewish community in O C, or even very much of a Jewish presence, the Jewish Federation of Orange County and the Jewish Community Center in Costa Mesa notwithstanding.
A newspaper seemed to me one way to establish links across boundary lines that stretched from Irvine and Laguna Hills across Newport Beach and Fountain Valley all the way to Westminster and Seal Beach. It is our hope that the lines within Jewish factionalism are also bypassed -- so that connections are formed between the observant and the secular, the Jewishly affiliated and those who claim a Jewish identity because quite simply, that is who they are.
Perhaps we are too slender a reed for such aspirations. I hope not. If you find us so, I would urge that you hold off dismissing us for another issue or two. The Jewish Journal is a weekly newspaper; but the O C section will come out once a month, usually the last Friday. If we develop a cheering section within O C, we will try for a weekly edition. I can tell you that we have already expanded: We now have a calendar editor and will have an a larger section next month.
Meanwhile, of course, if you like what you have read, you can always fill out the subscription form alongside, send a check for $23.50 and become a regular reader. We mail the paper to subscribers every Thursday. And, I will add the obvious: We want very much to hear from you. Critical letters are always in demand here. -- Gene Lichtenstein