Why Orange County Matters

This is the fourth special Orange County section that The Journal has produced this year. Despite our brief and unsuccessful entry into Orange County two years ago, we decided that the community there is too vibrant, and too important not to serve.

This time, we intend to stay in the business of serving Orange County indefinitely.

The reasons are obvious: As our set of articles about Orange County this past August showed, the region is fast becoming a center of Jewish growth and innovation. Even as Los Angeles struggles to save its Jewish Community Centers, the JCC of Orange County is thriving. As many day schools in Los Angeles fight for scarce funds, Tarbut V’Torah has grown immensely, due to the largesse of local donors and hard-working staff and lay leaders.

These are success stories that need to be recognized and shared with the larger Jewish community.

Another reason for our involvement has to do with the distance between Orange County and Los Angeles: it’s great, but not that great. A regular weekly is one way to keep in touch with what’s happening in all parts of your community: from births and deaths to trends and controversies. It’s no coincidence that the words community and communication share the same root: it’s impossible to have one without the other.

We on the staff of The Journal have family and friends in Orange County (some of our best friends…). Rabbis and other Jewish lay and professional leaders in both communities are in close contact. Families in Los Angeles might very well want to enjoy the Bowers Museum and its groundbreaking Holy Land exhibit, as my family did last month, and families in Orange County might want to drive up on a Sunday to participate in Jewish events here.

The fact is, whether we live in Conejo Valley or South Orange County, Malibu or Pasadena — all places The Journal distributes — we share many of the same opportunities, hopes and challenges.

A growing Jewish community can only benefit from an independent Jewish press. Since The Journal was founded 15 years ago, we have strived to live up to our mission of serving the entire Jewish community through the practice of independent journalism. We are excited to bring this effort to Orange County. We hope you will join us by subscribing, by advertising, by letting us know what you want out of your Jewish Journal and, most important, by reading our paper — your paper — on a regular basis.

A New Masthead

We hope you’ve noticed by now that The Jewish Journal has a new masthead outside and a new look inside. The masthead, designed by Carvin Knowles, our digitographer, is bolder, louder and bigger than our previous ones. This isn’t by accident. Through the practice of journalism, The Jewish Journal serves what we believe is one of the region’s most interesting, influential and dynamic communities, and we wanted a masthead which both proclaims and reflects that.

The paper’s new layout, which was overseen by Shelley Adler, our art director, is designed to present information in a clear, creative and orderly way, cutting through the noise that has become so much a part of news delivery these days. (The glossy cover is a holiday treat, until revenues allow for more).The redesign is part of an ongoing process of making sure The Journal remains Jewish L.A.’s most vital and interesting news source. You are always welcome to be part of our mission — by contributing your opinions, your ideas, your writing.

To that end, our Web site now has an online forum — Jewish L.A.’s only online forum — where you can comment on Jewish issues, ideas and institutions. Just go to www.jewishjournal.com and click on the word “Forum.” We look forward to reading you.Until then, our best wishes for a very happy Chanukah.