Help us to survive and thrive

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Last week, we had a full-page advert on page 3, asking for donations to keep publishing the SA Jewish Report. I have since fielded a number of questions about this, mainly about whether our newspaper is in trouble, and whether we will survive.
by PETA KROST MAUNDER | Apr 30, 2020

People seemed shocked that this newspaper, a mainstay of the community, something our community relies on and loves, might be in trouble. I must admit I found it gratifying to know how much people love this newspaper and want it to survive.

Can I say, so do we? The team of the SA Jewish Report – and to be honest, there aren’t too many of us – and our board of directors are going to do everything in our power to keep bringing you insightful news, intelligent articles, thought leadership, and in-depth stories about and for the community for a very long time. We are 100% dedicated and committed to doing this for you.

For those who may not know it, the SA Jewish Report survives on advertising. We do get money from the annual Absa Jewish Achiever Awards, but it doesn’t sustain the newspaper.

Right now, many companies can’t afford to advertise, nor do they want to spend their dwindling finances on advertising. Others are battling to pay for adverts that they have taken out. We understand. So many of us are in the same boat. We are all just trying to survive. However, this has had a huge and extremely distressing impact on our newspaper.

How did we get to this?

It’s crazy to think that not long ago, we were concerned about South African Adam Wolov in lockdown in Wuhan. In desperation, he was selling t-shirts online with “Pray for Wuhan” printed on them to survive. He and his wife’s money had dried up, and they didn’t know how they were going to feed themselves. This was the third article we published on Wolov, and it was 40 days into lockdown in Wuhan. It appeared on 6 March, less than two months ago.

At the time, the situation in Wuhan seemed so far from us. We were certainly not contemplating financial issues to do with COVID-19.

I know I keep coming back to Wolov, but he has become a marker for me as to how our lives have changed in such a short time.

The truth is that we can get used to living in lockdown for however long it takes, however the financial pressure of not earning the money to feed one’s family is unbearable. There is no way to get used to that.

In the Kaplan Centre research we have been bringing you since last week, there was a section on the socio-economic condition our community finds itself in. The story was written by Jordan Moshe, but I realised when I went through it that the number of people battling financially was no longer correct because so many more are struggling since lockdown. Our financial well-being has changed drastically. While for some the situation will ease soon, for others it will take a long time to recover.

Flipping that reality, as you can see from our front-page story, our community leaders, those who can afford to help us and World Jewry, are making all sorts of plans to help those in dire straits. This community is astonishing! We won’t let our brethren starve or their businesses die.

What other community does this? As dire as the situation is, we can be so proud that we belong to this community.

Then, looking inside this edition, you can read about Jewish people who are finding remarkable and innovative ways to help those who are far more disadvantaged than us.

Nicola Miltz and Ilan Ossendryver also take a trip into areas where people are desperate, to see what’s being done with some of the donations made. It’s heartwarming!

Because of what South African Jews do for ourselves and for others, this community will survive and remain strong. We are a community of incredibly kind and generous people who not only help each other, but others in need.

As for the SA Jewish Report, our writing budget has been cut drastically, and we have had to have some difficult conversations that nobody ever wants to have. However, we are determined to keep our newspaper going and to make sure it’s the best possible publication. Our team is committed to bringing you what you are used to: a publication filled with independent, unbiased, in-depth, fearless, balanced reporting, and exceptionally well-written stories.

Who else is going to hold leadership to account and ensure that you know what’s going on in and around our community? It’s in everyone’s best interest to continue to have a solid Jewish publication. However, now we need your help to keep going.

Those of you who can, please support us so that we can keep bringing you the news, views, and the exceptional stories you are used to.

Over this time of COVID-19, fake news and misinformation abound. When quality journalism – like the kind we bring you – disappears, fake news thrives. This is devastating to any community. Help us to avoid this.

On page 7, there is an advert that gives you various contribution options.

Here’s hoping the easing of lockdown will ease the financial pressures on all of us.

Shabbat Shalom!


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