Jewish Journal


November 25, 2007

On my employment at The Jewish Journal *


There have been a flurry of comments here lately attacking The “Jewish” Journal for employing a Christian to write about Judaism. The comments, which are coming from a few people, don’t bother me. I have no delusions regarding my insider-outsider role in the LA Jewish community. But they warrant some clarification.

1. I was not hired to educate Jewish people about Judaism. Amy Klein, our religion editor, reports on that. I cover stories that affect the Jewish community, but often are more about Jewishness than Judaism. Think Commentary incarnate.

2. Secondly, Judaism is not a monolith. Particularly in the United States. And while I don’t stake a claim to being a religious Jew, the ethnic history of the Jewish people is as much my family’s story as it is for most other Jews.

3. I am not at The Jewish Journal to fulfill a Christian mission.

Because many of these comments have come from anonymous users, I have adjusted the settings to only allow comments from registered users. (Sorry, Siamang. I always appreciate your insights and hope you’ll register.)

Additionally, I’d like to ask that comments remain germane to the post they are augmenting. If the business ethics of Thomas Kinkade spur you to write a nasty letter about how out of touch the JJ is with the Jewish community, please send it to letters@jewishjournal.com.

* Update: LAObserved linked to this post this morning, and when I read it I felt like I had left something out. So I sent Kevin Roderick this addendum:

One thing I probably should have added is that most people in the Jewish community are not concerned with my religious affiliation. It strikes many as a bit odd—indeed, The Forward interviewed me about it for a Q&A this summer—but, as a journalist would expect, most of the people I interact with are more concerned with the relevancy and accuracy of my reporting than with where I pray. For a few others, my employment has been an itchy scab.

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