For More than Five Decades

The 1963 announcement in the Jewish Light introducing Lois Caplan to readers. 

By Lois Caplan

FOR MORE THAN FIVE DECADES I have had the pleasure of writing a regular column for the Jewish Light. Because so many of you are my creative readers who provide me with interesting stories and unusual facts, it has been my honor to record these events. Life with the Light has been wonderful, working first in 1963 with Editor Geoff Fisher who was followed by the incomparable Robert Cohn and now the tremendously talented Ellen Futterman. Managing Editor Mike Sherwin also has been helpful to me each step of the way. Smiling Larry Levin, Publisher/CEO, makes working for the Light an extra pleasure.                                                                                                                                       

Every week has been a challenge to tell you about worthy fundraisers, entertaining educational events and any number of interesting happenings. The big challenge has been to capture your imagination, and to hope and pray that you will like be informed by what you read here and support these happenings.  It seems like I have succeeded since I so often hear from you about the success of your events. In reality I think that is less due to my good writing and more to your good planning.

The perks, rather than the pay, are what rivet my devotion to the column. I often receive press releases prior to news being broken in other media, so I’m in the know before most people, which is fun. For example, I learned last week that Gemma New had been appointed as the St. Louis Symphony’s resident conductor. Exciting? You bet and she is terrific. Sometimes, too, I receive media tickets to attend theater productions, opera, concerts, circuses, films and other entertainment events for purposes of preview or review stories, which not only is fun but something I had thoroughly enjoyed. But you know this if you follow my column, as I do write about them regularly.

So what is all this schmooze about? I have just become columnist emeritus. So what does this mean? Not a heck of a lot except that I will not be writing a weekly column, nor will I be retired (a dirty word). Instead, I will write periodically in an effort to continue to share your stories and news. To make sure nothing “slips through the cracks,” both Editor Ellen Futterman and I would appreciate you sending your items to both of us, and together we will make sure they find a home in the pages of the Light. Our emails: [email protected] and [email protected].

I have made the decision to cut back considerably because, well, I just feel as if it is time. But don’t go thinking for a minute that I will forget about you, or your events. I have always cherished my readers and the rapport we have. That will never change, no matter what. 

— Lois Caplan, Columnist Emeritus