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2016-04-08 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

April 8, 2016  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Happy Passover

Welcome to the ‘Jewish Press’

For 582 households in Pinellas and Pasco counties, this is likely the first time you have received a Jewish Press of Pinellas County in the mail as our regular readers do.

Instead, you likely picked one up at your synagogue, Menorah Manor, Jo-El’s, Lenny’s or one of the other locations where copies are dropped off. Or perhaps, you didn’t know of the existence of the Jewish Press.

The additions to the Jewish Press mailing list came about through the unprecedented cooperation of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties and six major congregations.

For the first time ever, these congregations all allowed the Federation – which maintains the Jewish Press mailing list – to peruse its membership rolls and add anyone who was not currently receiving the paper.

Federation leadership has long made one of its priorities to connect with Jews who are unaffiliated with either a synagogue or Jewish organization. But they began to realize there was also a surprising number of people who were already actively involved yet still uninformed about some community events.

“Our Jewish newspaper is the backbone of our shared community information and as soon as we saw that there were so many who hadn’t been receiving it, we jumped into action,” said Emilie Socash, executive director of the Pinellas/Pasco Federation.

Socash and her staff approached the Pinellas Board of Rabbis with the idea of trying to identify congregation members who were not on the Jewish Press mailing list.

Congregations that allowed the Federation access to their membership lists were: Congregation Beth Shalom and Temple B’nai Israel, both in Clearwater; Congregation B’nai Israel and Temple Beth-El, both in St. Petersburg; Temple Ahavat Shalom in Palm Harbor and Congregation B’nai Emmunah in Tarpon Springs.

From the start, the numbers were astonishing. “When I first started working with the data, I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Elana Gootson, the Federation’s director of development. “Then we started researching how information had not been free flowing in the community, this process of discovery became much more exciting.”

Added Socash, “We really think that this idea transcends benefitting one organization or one synagogue: it benefits us all.”

Jewish Press publisher and co-owner, Jim Dawkins agrees.

“It has always been our mission to deliver the Jewish Press to every identified Jew in Pinellas and Pasco Counties. We are pleased to say this brings us much closer to that goal,” Jim Dawkins said. “We know for some this is their only link to the Jewish community.”

Jim and Karen Dawkins founded The Jewish Press of Pinellas County in 1986. The Federation pays a per-paper subsidy to the Jewish Press that covers the cost of mailing the paper to now close to 5,000 households.

A sister publication, the Jewish Press of Tampa, which mails out about 7,000 papers, has a similar arrangement with the Tampa JCC & Federation. (The majority of the paper’s operating funds, including production and payroll, come from advertising)

There is no subscription charge for the Jewish Press. However, once a year, the Federation issues a Jewish Press appeal, asking for a donation to offset the paper’s subsidy. While the paper does not receive a direct benefit from the appeal, it is one indicator of the importance readers place on the continuation of the paper.

“We have always strived to be the go-to place for Jewish community news,” said Karen Dawkins, the paper’s co-owner and managing editor. “We have a vibrant, involved community. We want you to know your options – a class, a concert, a local talk by a national figure, a holiday celebration.”

Secondarily, she said, the Jewish Press seeks to offer the Jewish perspective on the news from what’s happening in Israel to trends in the Jewish world.

“For all our new readers, we hope you will find something worthwhile in the Jewish Press and look forward to its arrival,” Karen Dawkins said.

The Jewish Press and the Federation want all its readers to know they value your privacy.

“Since its inception, the Federation has managed the Jewish Press’ mailing list and has never, nor ever will, shared the community’s contact information,” Socash said. Readers can expect to receive information from time to time from the Federation, including holiday mailings and updates.

“While we hope all who are interested will become involved in our work, we will honor the requests of anyone not wishing to receive mail from us,” Socash said. Should you decide you do not wish to continue to receive the mailings from the paper or the Federation, contact the Federation office at (727) 530-3223.


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