Community journalism is more important than ever


By receiving and reading Jewish Rhode Island, you are helping support one slice of community journalism. And that’s important.

It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with what’s on the pages of this small newspaper. The fact that you are interested enough to get beyond the cover each month makes a difference. You read us, we hope, because we are a reflection of what’s happening in the Jewish community of greater Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. You read us to see what your friends are doing on the other side of the state. Your kids grab the paper to see if that photo from the day school or Hebrew school made it into the paper.

Across the United States, many communities have lost their local newspaper, especially in rural areas. There are now hundreds of “news deserts” where people don’t know nearly as much as previously about what is happening in their community. Who’s getting married? Who passed away? What are the details of the upcoming bond referendum? What new business just opened down the road?

Studies show that communities without a local newspaper suffer lower voter turnout and slower economic growth. And people are just less connected. Many of the issues both large and small newspapers face have to do more with consolidation led by venture capital firms who slash content and staffing to maximize short-term profit.

The news isn’t all grim. Many locally owned community newspapers are thriving, and new ones are being launched.

Jewish Rhode Island holds a unique niche in the community newspaper landscape. We are part of a shrinking network of Jewish community newspapers. And we intend not to become a casualty.

Our community faces a lot of change and many challenges, and we believe those challenges require the unique information that only we can provide. So we are building on our print base and expanding to other media to keep our community connected: podcasts, videos, newsletters and our website.

All our products are free to the community, so we rely on our advertisers and our annual Patron Campaign to support the work we do to keep our Jewish community connected. And we are fortunate to have the backing of the Jewish Federation Foundation that gives us a grant each year.

It’s more important than ever to support your piece of our community by making a gift to the annual Patron Campaign. Every donation counts. Every gift helps us continue to do the work that you have told us is important.

And so does each time that you pick up the paper, listen to the podcast, watch the video and engage in our community. When you support one of our advertisers, please tell them you saw their ad in Jewish Rhode Island and you are glad they are supporting the community newspaper, too.


Jewish Rhode Island won a number of awards in the 2022 Rhode Island Press Association contest. The results were announced at the recent RIPA awards banquet. Our e-newsletter, Inside Jewish Rhode Island, won first place in a new category for email newsletters. Robert Isenberg, whose writing and videos appear regularly in the paper, took third place in the Community Journalism category for a story on Mitzvah Matzos that appeared in April 2022. Glenn Osmundson, whose photographs appear in our paper and elsewhere, was named Rhode Island Photographer of the Year. He also received second place in the Feature Photography category for a portrait of Temple Habonim’s David Perolman blowing the shofar. That photograph appeared on the September 2022 cover of JRI.

We are proud of all the work done by Jewish Rhode Island and Jewish Rhody Media and thank you for your support.

Fran Ostendorf,