Light to hold Gala, celebrate 50 years of independent Jewish news

2013 marks the Jewish Light’s golden anniversary as an independent nonprofit offering local, national and international Jewish news.  To celebrate, we’re planning a variety of retrospective features,  including a weekly look back at some of the people, trends, milestones, culture and even advertising of the Jewish Light’s past 50 years.  Capping the year will be the paper’s Golden Light Gala on Oct. 6.

STAFF REPORT

Sixteen national and regional awards since 2009. Monthly pageviews on www.stljewishlight.com tripled since 2010. A fully integrated news organization with weekly newspapers, quarterly magazines, website, social media and digital news blasts. A professional management team with over a century of journalism, business, nonprofit, sales and marketing experience.

Sound like a cutting-edge recipe for future success in the evolving media world?

“We like to think so,” says Larry Levin, Publisher/CEO of the St. Louis Jewish Light. “There’s a great deal of work yet to be accomplished, but we’re very pleased with how far we’ve come in such a short time, and with the recognition we’ve received nationally for our efforts.”

The story of the Light’s past, present and future will be celebrated on October 6, at 5:30 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton, as the Light commemorates 50 years of providing independent Jewish news to St. Louisans. Mike Bush of KSDK is the emcee, and the event is being chaired by Myrna Meyer with a supporting committee of dozens of community members. (See ad on page 24).

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Creating a digital archive, along with ensuring modern technology and sufficient reserves and endowment funds for the future, are the fundraising goals of the 50th Gala event.

The publication, as those in the local Jewish community like to say, is “not your mother’s Light anymore.” With multiple channels to deliver news both in print and digitally, and with an exceptional news team headed by Editor Ellen Futterman, the Light delivers high-quality and timely news to connect, inform and inspire the St. Louis Jewish community.

That’s not to say mom’s newspaper wasn’t a great one. Shepherded by St. Louis Media Hall of Famer Bob Cohn and an exceptional lay board of trustees, the Light shone as the beacon of all news Jewish for decades.

The Light became an independent nonprofit in 1963, with Bernard Fischlowitz as its first president. Since that time, 24 more community leaders have stepped up to assume the board helm, including current president Gary Kodner.  

During the golden anniversary year, the Light has published regular features about its rich history, including personal lookbacks by Cohn in his Cohnipedia column, weekly shorts about key news items, and a comprehensive look at each decade.

“Our obligation to the local Jewish community is to both preserve our history, and be relevant and financially solvent now and into the future,” says Kodner. “We have remade all our publication platforms to address the changing face of news.”

“Journalism is, and will always include well-written, interesting stories about people, events and ideas,” says Futterman. “If we can provide those and make them easily available to readers of all ages and backgrounds within our community, we’ll have an audience for decades to come.”

St. Louis Jewish Light Golden Light Gala

WHERE: Ritz Carlton

WHEN: 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6

TICKETS: $150 per person; sponsorships and program ads available.

HOW: Look for your invitation in the mail; email [email protected] or call 314-743-3660.

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