In 1887, just months after the Statue of Liberty extended her torch to welcome immigrants to America, the Jewish Exponent was launching what would soon become a critical lifeline for the Jewish newcomers finding their way to this region.
That's right. The Exponent turns 125 this year, marking a century and a quarter of this community-building enterprise. It served as an early bridge between the small, well-established community that already existed here and the immigrants who were pouring in and would exponentially grow the local Jewish population.
Since its first issue on April 15, 1887, the Jewish Exponent has not missed a week, making us the second-oldest continuously operating Jewish publication in the country. (Only the American Israelite in Cincinnati is older.)
It's hard to imagine exactly what we, as a community, looked like back in 1887. But one thing is certain: For better or worse, our world has changed dramatically. So, too, has the newspaper industry. Still, one constant throughout the years of wars, upheaval, growth, regeneration and turmoil is the pivotal role the Jewish Exponent has played in building and sustaining our community.
We are the record of our history — our personal and collective milestones, our triumphs and tragedies, our struggles and our successes. We've got a lot in store for you as we celebrate our 125th. In addition to hosting some public events (stay tuned for details), we will be publishing a special commemorative edition that looks back on what was — and ahead to what can be.
We are also taking concrete steps toward building that future, overhauling our website, redesigning our print publication and developing a social media strategy that will speak to our younger generations.
Our mission is to educate, inform, inspire and challenge our community. That mission has not and will not change. But we want to do it better. Like every Jewish institution that matters, we know that to remain relevant and central to our evolving Jewish world, we need to rethink what we are doing and how we are doing it.
So in the spirit of partnership, we turn to you to help make that happen. Whether you've been reading us for decades or are new to our pages, we invite you to join our journey of discovery as we look both back and ahead to the future. Here's how:
Tell us your story: Did you meet your spouse through the pages of the Exponent? Have your family's milestones been recorded through the engagement, marriage and birth announcements? Was the evolution of your business/synagogue/school recounted? Did something you read about the arts/religion/community inspire you? In 200 words or less, give us an anecdote about how the Exponent touched your life. We may publish your response in our special edition! Send to letters@ jewishexponent. com with subject line: 125 Reader Recollections.
Give Some Advice: Tell us what you'd like to see on our revamped website. What kind of blogs/columns would you like to read? Which listings do you want included on our expanded community calendar? Do you want to read more reporting on religion and spirituality? How about arts and culture? Send your ideas to [email protected] with Subject Line: Ideas for the Future.
Get Some Advice: While you're giving us some advice, we've got some to dispense as well. Be among the first to enjoy our brand new blog: Miriam's Advice Well. Blogger Miriam Steinberg-Egeth, director of the Hillel Jewish Graduate Student Network, knows a lot about navigating local life as a young Jewish adult. She's also ready to talk dating, relationships and parenting. Find her at miriamsadvicewell.com or on a link from jewishexponent.com.
Like Us: Join our growing Facebook community by liking us at facebook.com/jewishexponent and follow us on [email protected] . There you'll be able to dialogue on the latest news and happenings and follow our countdown to our anniversary celebrations.
Our anniversary slogan is "Connected to Our Past; Plugged in to Our Future." But it's more than a slogan. It's who we are. We're counting on you to be right there with us as we continue the journey.
Lisa Hostein is executive editor of the Jewish Exponent and the Jewish Publishing Group. Contact her at [email protected]