What is the Value of Newsprint?
I began writing in 1995 after suffering my second heart attack. I returned to university with the desire to write the stories in my head. I've been blessed with three books and more than twenty published short stories and a fourth book being released in March 2002. I have earned more than $15,000 in royalties since 1998. Hardly enough to sustain anyone, and yet for someone 65, it is a fortune. I'm living my dream. And although my stories reflect Jewish thoughts and Jewish lives, which I hold dear, the most important thing that I am doing is writing for New Generation for free.
In fact, all of the writers, write for free.
Why do I hold this as the most rewarding? Because I feel that it is important that Jewish voices be heard. That Jewish thoughts be read. That Jews not only appreciate their heritage, but accept the ominous responsibility of being Jewish. We live in the age of high technology that has shrunk the world, that brings Israel and Toronto together in a millisecond with words, with voice, with pictures. It also beings closer those that would destroy what we believe - freedom to be who we are. No matter where you live in this small world, your friends and your foes are but a breath away - providing you are aware of what is happening.
New Generation was never intended to replace the Canadian Jewish News, nor is it an alternative. It's another voice complimenting the words uttered by knowledgeable writers whose purpose is also to inform. The Canadian Jewish News is a national newspaper that's breaths life into us. It is knowledge that guides our thoughts. It is as essential as water is to life. Without it we become not only ignorant, but deaf and dumb.
New Generations adds to the community's needs. It extends what is being offered by adding the voices of those who ask no more than Jews be aware of what the world is doing and how it affects us. We are what the North York Mirror is to The Toronto Star. We focus on the community in hopes that whatever is reported is that much more information to enlighten those of us who are Jewish.
We are not here to replace The Tribune. We are not political unless believing in Israel, its needs, its existence is political. Without a country that is Jewish we are nomads. Without a country that is ours, we will be condemned by those who hate us, who despise our way of life, who demean our tradition.
We are a small newspaper offering another voice, articles of Jewish interest, Jewish stories and Jewish cooking. We fill no void. We are another newspaper. But without financial support from the community, without advertisement revenue, without the large Israeli and Jewish conglomerates assisting, we will die and that will be a tragedy. Strength is in numbers. There are times when we must be guided by the past. Think of what Europe was in the thirties. Our strength is in our voice. Without your help, we will be silent - and so will you.
I wrote in one of my books a story of a family fleeing the Germans from Beltz. They stopped at a cousin's home and asked for food and money. He gladly supplied them, at the same time trying to tell them that running from the Germans was foolish. Everything will be all right. The head of the family begged him to come with them. He answered, "There is nothing to fear. I am a farmer, not a politician. I deal with everyone. They won't harm me. They need farmers to grow their produce." He stayed. Later it was learned that before he could tell the Germans that he was a farmer, he was shot on his doorstep before he uttered a word.
We can't afford to do nothing. And as for the $15,000 in royalties I've earned writing, I donated it all to The Jewish National Fund, The Survivors of the Shoah, The March of the Living and National Council of Jewish Women.
How important is newsprint? Only you can answer that question.
New Generation: 2002