But They Can’t DO That — Can They?

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10 Responses

  1. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Sadly, our school system often neglects to teach students the basic facts of our economy. For example, that freedom means freedom to use your own resources to do something. If you want to publish a magazine and say whatever you want, make sure it is interesting enough that people will pay enough to read it to cover expenses. If you need somebody to subsidize it, make sure it is something they want to subsidize.

    My impression, which could be wrong, is that too much of the US Jewish activity, at least Heterodox Jewish activity, is based on grants and donations. Things that are self-financing (which could include donations from their users) are a lot more stable.

  2. Bob Miller says:

    I’d like to see UJA’s original rationale for supporting this rag.

  3. Miriam says:

    I’m not sure why Ms. Sichel is being painted as naive and whiny. It seems to me that she simply calls a spade a spade, both in her comments about the funding cut and in the content she publishes in New Voices. That is a valuable quality, whether the UJA chooses to support New Voices or not.

  4. DMZ says:

    I was a regular reader of New Voices back in college. Believe me when I say that it was a piece of trash. They regularly ran articles bashing Orthodoxy and associated institutions. You were lucky if there was _one_ article in the issue that had any sort of redeeming value.

    I think they were trying to come off as edgy and hip. In reality, they came off as leftist and ignorant. Too bad.

  5. Daniel says:

    I was also a regular reader in college and I agree with DMZ’s comment. In addition, the articles were very poorly written. They tended to be incoherent and/or rambling, with numerous spelling and grammatical errors. UJA should insist on getting more for their money’s worth.

  6. Calev says:

    I think it’s a smart move for the New York Federation to maintain a significant amount of funding for this magazine while linking it to pro-Israel ads. To sever the connection immediately would simply open it to slurs of heavy-handed Zionist censorship. I’ve never seen the magazine but it sounds like so many student rags that are available on campuses across the free world: self-indulgent, full of sound and fury – a display of undergraduates’ supreme belief in their own wisdom (a little learning is a dangerous thing). The editorial team of New Voices clearly believe they have the right to dissent from the mainstream Jewish communal mindset. Surely, then, they should not be so hypocritical as to complain when a few pages of their own organ voice dissent from their views.

  7. Larry Lennhoff says:

    An alternative perspective can be found at JewSchool. I guess the issue is what the money is being given for. If it is to subsidize an approved party line, then yanking funding for failing to toe that line is completely reasonable. If it is to encourage the development of a new generation of Jewish thinkers, then I think cutting them off because you don’t like their thoughts might very well be shooting yourself in the foot.

    Additionally, the point is made that New Voices, by providing a realistic rather than an idealized view of Israel, actually empowered people on campus to be more effective advocates for the state.

  8. Ori Pomerantz says:

    College students are supposed to be:

    1. Adults, capable of directing their own lives.

    2. In a university, where they have access to thinkers of all kinds to model and to bounce ideas off of.

    Given this, is it really necessary to fund something to encourage them to develop into a new generation of thinkers, Jewish or otherwise?

  9. Bagelblogger says:

    mmmm kind of reminds you of the saying “You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”
    The Mag can publish what they like, and organsations can sponsor who they like, to think otherwise is to lack practicality


  10. Miriam says:

    Believe me when I say that it was a piece of trash.
    DMZ, why not encourage people to investigate for themselves and make their own judgments?

    If Orthodoxy and associated institutions are in the right, they will stand up to critical analysis. If they aren’t, it’s important for people to be aware of the flaws so that they can act accordingly.

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