We’re starting ‘The Conversation’

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This is traditionally our biggest issue, and our sales team and local advertisers have come through this year. The robust advertising in this issue reflects just how involved our community can be.

As we approach the new year, we look forward to continuing to grow and improve our print and web publications, and to better serving our community. A new feature in this issue represents a step in that direction.

For as long as I’ve been the editor of this publication, people have asked for more diversity of opinion. Some say we’re too left; others say we’re too right. I’ve also heard people say that we are not pro-Israel enough, don’t cover enough of the controversial issues that affect our community, and don’t cover enough community events – or cover too many community events.

To a certain extent, this diversity of criticism signals that we are accomplishing our goal of covering as much of our community as we can from as many angles as we can.

But we can do more.

Today, we start a new forum in our opinion section. Called “The Conversation,” it features two perspectives on a single topic that we feel has meaning to our community. This month’s topic: To Carry or Not: Guns in the Synagogue.

We’ve asked two community members to give written opinions on this topic. We didn’t tell them what to write, and we had no idea what the outcome would be. We chose people from divergent parts of our community. We only asked that their commentary be limited to a maximum of 750 words.

We’ve already learned that you don’t always know what people think. And you never know exactly what you are going to get. That is OK with us.

We hope “The Conversation” will get you thinking. It is not intended to be a point/counterpoint feature, although it might turn out that way on some topics. We didn’t want to set up an artificial pro/con structure. Our aim is to start a conversation and offer differing views on important and timely issues.

We hope you will think enough of this feature to offer your reactions on our website or Facebook page. Next month, we will feature some of your comments on our opinion pages.

Every other month, we will offer a new topic with two perspectives, followed by reader reactions the next month.

We appreciate those who share their opinions in Jewish Rhode Island; in some cases, it takes courage to put your thoughts on paper for all to see. The point of “The Conversation” is to have a safe space to agree and disagree civilly.

If you would like to be considered for sharing your opinion, or if you have a topic that you think would interest the community, please do not hesitate to contact me at editor@jewishallianceri.org.

Let’s get the conversation going. Perhaps we will discover that we agree on more than we realize – or at least that we can express different viewpoints civilly. And wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to start the new year! Shanah Tovah!