Let’s talk about gratitude


Each Thanksgiving, my family uses our time around the dinner table to say a few words about gratitude. There are only a couple of times each year that the extended family comes together so it’s a perfect opportunity to remind each other about how important everyone is to each other.

And it’s one of the times that I think about how much I have to be thankful for: a family that’s happy, healthy and in touch with one another; a job in my chosen career; friends I can count on and who can count on me.

Yes, that’s right. Despite general and political turmoil in the United States and worldwide, when I reflect on my life in general, I’m pretty thankful for where it’s taken me.

I’m grateful that I live in a country where I could choose to train as a journalist. Where I could go to school and learn about both sides of all the issues and where there’s a vibrant dialogue surrounding those issues.

Do I wish that dialogue was more civil? Absolutely. But because we are a diverse country, we will always have diverse viewpoints. The key is respecting all viewpoints. I believe it falls to all of us to work on that no matter our passion.

Before you make accusations of your neighbor, remember that it could be different. You could live in a place where freedom of speech is not a right or valued. And accusing your neighbor of this thing or that would land you in jail.

Remember to treasure your words. And measure them a bit, too.

This is an exciting and challenging time to be in the news business. We all bristle at the mention of fake news and bias. Are the accusations true? What’s fake and what’s reality? We are blessed to be able to even consider these questions. And consider them we do, sometimes without even realizing it. No matter who you are, the news – and how it is reported – affects you every day.

To that end, The Voice is involved in an exciting new project in collaboration with The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, our publisher. Called Tribe Talk, we hope to hold public forums to discuss issues of the day through a Jewish lens. We’ll have some expert guests and a moderator present their views and insights into news coverage. And the audience will have a chance to ask questions. Join us Dec. 10 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, as Alan Rosenberg, executive editor of the Providence Journal, and Elisabeth Harrison, news director of Rhode Island’s Public Radio station WRNI, discuss freedom of speech and news coverage of anti-Semitism, Charlottesville and racism.

We hope you’ll support this project, and that you’ll learn a little more about how the news media works hard to offer fair and balanced coverage of the events of the day.

I’m thankful that we live in a place where it is possible to offer this kind of forum and where we can discuss how we accomplish news coverage.

In my nearly four years as editor of The Voice, I’ve thanked my colleagues a number of times but not nearly enough. It takes a village to produce a small newspaper and The Jewish Voice is no different. To everyone who helps produce a newspaper for the Jewish community, I say, “Thank You!” From advertising salespeople to designers to readers who contribute words and funds, you are all responsible for producing this paper. And let’s not forget the businesses that buy the ads in the paper. Keep reading, keep writing and remember to mention The Jewish Voice to our advertisers.