Thursday, September 15, 2005
You call that coverage?
(photo: Zaka USA)
In recent history no newspaper has tried so hard to please so many as the "English language HaModia". They have tried to acquire the readers who up until now have not read any English newspaper, The Yated Ne'eman readership, as well those who have, but and want a more "Torah-minded" paper. The Jewish Press just doesn't cut it.
One of the, might we say, side-effects of this endeavor is that when they try to please some, others are offended. By this I mean that they offend and ignore Chabad just about to the max. Now before you jump out of you seat and scream "Tzig, what do you want, Chabad has their "own" paper, and besides, they don't read it anyway!", listen to this.
In this weeks coverage of Hurricane Katrina they had a feature on the Jews affected by the Hurricane and on the Jewish response. They speak of a certain Rabbi Yisroel Schiff of Congregation Beth Israel. From what I've heard from people who've visited New Orleans on many occassions the Shul is not what you'd call a very vibrant one. It's what you'd call a local Shul that very much keeps to itself and serves the current membership. From what I understand it's also a "dying" Shul, much like the city is. I would imagine also that most Jews in The Big Easy have never heard of Congregation Beth Israel and of its esteemed Rabbi.
According to Rabbi Zelig Rivkin of Chabad New Orleans, and the skeptics among you can be skeptical, there are 10,000 Jews in greater New Orleans, of which 5,000 are in his Data bases, 400 families are cosely affiliated with Chabad, and 40 are what you'd call "full-fledged" Chabad families, namely Baalei Tshuvah. I would say that would make him somewhat of an authority on the situation there, especially concerning Jews.
Why then give Rabbi Rivkin a short paragraph and the others a page and a half? Why is it important for us to know about every Yungerman from this Kolel in Dallas or that Kolel in Houston who went to the relocation centers in Texas to visit the refugees and to completely ignore Rabbi Rivkin's extensive activities with refugees and his loss of Shul and property? Why report on everybody's losses and needs but his? Is he not deserving?
Why does very event, even the tragic ones, have to be covered only from a political standpoint?
If they purport to be a Newspaper for Torah Jewry and not the Aguda Yisroel then cover the stories like they should be and like they happened! Please don't tell me about Chabd newspaper doing the same thing because that's what they are, PARTY NEWSPAPERS AND WEBSITES! they report what "they" have done.
Am I being too "simplistic"?
(to their credit they do mention the Chabad Hurricane relief fund as one of the relief funds to donate to)