New Jewish paper for Rockland County

(JTA) – Rockland County, N.Y., will still have a Jewish newspaper, despite the closing earlier this year of its previous one. 

The NJ/Rockland Jewish Media Group, based in Teaneck, N.J., will publish its first issue of The Rockland Jewish Standard, an independent, monthly newspaper, beginning with a September issue. The circulation will be 10,000 copies, according to Jamie Janoff, publisher of the Jewish Media group. 

The Rockland Jewish Federation Reporter, which had been published since 1991 by the Jewish Federation of Rockland County, closed earlier this year during the federation’s restructuring. The last publication was the July/August 2012 issue. 

“We wanted to continue serving the Rockland community and we felt that they deserved to have a quality newspaper and the opportunity to serve a growing community,” Janoff told JTA.

Marla Cohen, editor of the Standard, said that after the federation closed the newspaper, there was a void in the community. 

“I think for readers there was a definite sadness that this paper had closed,” she told JTA. “Earlier this year, our Schechter school closed and then we announced the newspaper was going to close so people felt that it was a real loss for the Reform, Conservative and unaffiliated community. It was one more thing that we were losing and how we identify as Jews was slipping away.”

Cohen said that while the federation still offered a newsletter, the need for a full Jewish newspaper remained. The Jewish Standard will cover the Rockland Jewish community, its organizations and synagogues. Also, it will have a calendar, local briefs, and news and feature stories.

In contrast to the previous paper, the newer one will include unsigned editorials and more features, she added. 

“I think the paper is a very basic way that people can connect Jewishly,” Cohen said. “Someone who isn’t necessarily observant or affiliated with a Jewish institution might pick up a Jewish newspaper to find out what is going on in their community.”    

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