Jewish Journal


July 17, 2009

Forgive me Godbeat: A brief farewell to journalism



The beginning of Shabbat will bring to a close my two years of wandering in the Jewish community. But this has been no desert.

Since joining The Jewish Journal in May 2007, I’ve had some amazing experiences—grilling the Israeli prime minister, interviewing my journalistic hero, going to Yom Kippur services, sitting down with Hollywood CEOs, walking the Holy Land, digging into the history of Jewish hoops.

Really, it’s been a blast. I’ve also learned a lot more about what it means to be a Christian named Greenberg and saw many of my notions of Jewish life in L.A. smashed. I’ll be reflecting on the latter in a first-person piece for The Journal next week.

A few of my stories really mattered, many more just entertained. And in the process I received some recognition that I can’t imagine having earned if I hadn’t left the comfort (gulp) of daily newspapers for the uncertain world of Jewish journalism. Flashback four weeks:

Thank God for the religion beat. At the Press Club dinner; won Journalist of the Year in under 100k category. Amen.

Thank you, LA Press Club.

Next up, UCLA School of Law. And no, I don’t know what type of law I want to practice. How about the kind that pays enough that I will be able to afford to keep writing?

This is a sad moment for me, indeed, and there will be many more during the next month, and probably even more when finals approach in December. I love—truly love—being a journalist. And while I anticipate enjoying law, I wouldn’t even be considering the career change if the future of newpapers and magazines was a bit more stable.

But I’m young enough to be able pull the trigger now, when I can figure my way out of this prisoners dilemma. And hopefully after a decade or so of really hard work I’ll be able to transition back to being a part-time journalist and author.

Even now I’m not making a clean break with journalism. I’m going to continue writing this here God Blog and will also be contributing at GetReligion. I hope you’ll keep reading.

Links to my favorite stories are after the jump:

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