Welcome back!


Fran Ostendorf, EditorWhat a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, we were planning an issue filled with news from Israel: Operation Protective Edge was underway. Despite the international nature of the story, our coverage was personal and local. There was news from our new shaliach (emissary),  Gilor Meshulam, who was serving with the IDF, news about our community rally, news from those among us who were either in Israel or who had connections to Israel, news about what each and every community member could do to support our Israeli counterparts. World events really hit home.

The first issue after our publishing break is traditionally our back-to-school issue, but the new school year took a back seat to the conflict in the Middle East.

This year, it isn’t war, but news from Israel is still front and center. The Middle East is in turmoil, with Turkey joining the fight against ISIS and civil war affecting a half-dozen Arab countries. Here in the U.S., we wait for Congress to formally debate and vote on the recently negotiated deal with Iran. Yes, it has an impact on Israel. And yes, there is tremendous controversy. And every advocacy group is formulating its own opinion and gearing up to make its voice heard.

Some Jewish organizations have taken a stand on the deal. Many have not. As I’m sure you can predict, when you do see coverage in The Voice, you’ll see both sides of the story. Like most things involving the Middle East, the issues swirling around the Iran treaty are complicated and your perspective depends on many factors. As an informed, educated community, we hope you will listen, learn and debate with civility, as always.

Within our own office, several things occurred while we were on our break.

We moved. Same address, different part of the Dwares JCC. We’re upstairs now; it hasn’t been very long so we’re still settling into our new space. Moving can be frustrating. We’ve suffered computer problems, and we’re dealing with a smaller space. With all the packing and unpacking, we lost a lot of time we typically use to get ahead on the next few issues. But moving can be cathartic too; it helps with the housekeeping. We learned that we keep way too many back issues and too many pieces of paper. And perhaps we don’t need the publisher’s first drafts of books from several years ago.

Our reporter, Irina Missiuro, went to Israel with a group of 10 area women and the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. It was an eye-opening trip, and she writes about her experience in this issue.

Our advertising staff and our intern, Israel Finegold, were hard at work this summer on the Guide to Jewish Living, our annual listing of all things Jewish in our area. Look for it in the Sept. 18 Voice. It will also be a new resource available on our website year-round.

And we’ve been brainstorming new ideas. You’ll see one of them this week, when we ask a member of our community to answer 10 questions to give you, our readers, new insight into a person you might know but don’t really know. First to answer the questions? Jeffrey Savit, president and CEO of the Alliance.

Our summer break is over, and we’re back in the office. Are you still on vacation? Let us know what you’re doing. We love to hear from you, and we always love seeing your vacation photos with The Voice.