Home January 2014 Beyond the Mere News

Beyond the Mere News

The year 2014 begins with more questions than answers for the Jewish people.  What will happen with the peace process in the Middle East?  What real impact will the various studies and surveys that have come out recently have on the American Jewish scene?  How will the relationship between American and Israeli Jews evolve and change?  What can we learn from each other?  What is the future of Judaism?
Throughout Jewish history, there have been challenges from the outside and debates from the inside.  Analysis and wrestling with critical questions are hallmarks of Judaism, and our ability to do so makes us stronger.  The same DNA that has produced more Nobel Laureates for the size of our population than for any other group causes us to lie awake at night wondering how to maintain our people in future generations while making life better for everyone.
As Orange County Jewish Life enters its tenth year, we look forward to seeking answers to the big questions of the day and covering the big picture of Jewish life, whether locally or globally.  Our community is unique, but it shares many of the same concerns as Jewish communities elsewhere.  We can learn a great deal from those other communities and from the key thinkers of our generation.
In our early days we focused on covering the Jewish news and spotlighting the people and institutions making that news in Orange County.  We have witnessed the growth of the Jewish community, the establishment of new congregations and new buildings, the arrival of new leaders and the creation and rejuvenation of institutions.  It has been our pleasure to report on a vital and dynamic Jewish community and, hopefully, to help in bringing the community together by doing so.  We have watched how, even in the face of an economic downturn, Jewish institutions found creative ways to keep going or join forces, and above all, to help people in need.
Additionally, we have sought to connect Orange County with Israel and Orange County Jew with Orange County Jew.  We have had many wonderful partners in doing so, and we look forward to continuing those relationships.
Now we focus on the bigger picture as well, from the perspective of newsmakers, intellectuals and the doers who make the rubber meet the road, whether in Irvine, Israel or anywhere in the world.  We hope to go beyond carrying the news.  We want to analyze as well as report.  We seek to inspire as well as to inform.
This month we will learn about Relational Judaism, Ron Wolfson’s seminal book about reshaping the Jewish community by learning how to build relationships, and see how one local congregation is using it.  We will also get the lowdown on planning simchas, find out about a simcha honoring Irving Gelman on his 90th birthday and hear about the educational opportunities afforded by the Community Scholar Program and Dinner with a Scholar.
January also marks the launch of Kiddish, our new insert publication for youth and parents.  If you want to know something about the Jewish world, read about it in Orange County Jewish Life.  If you want to know something about youth, just step inside.

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