05212019

Goodbye, Auf Wiedersehen, Lehitraot

Thank You to our readers, advertisers, friends, advisory board and supporters. Since 2012, you have encouraged us with your energy, interest and advice. That made it possible for us to provide you with an informative and independent newspaper, and advocate for vibrant German-Jewish-Israeli cooperation. But we have decided to stop publishing the Jewish Voice

JVG

JVG

Goodbye, Auf Wiedersehen!, Le-hitraot. Thank you to our readers, advertisers, friends, advisory board and supporters. Since 2012, you have encouraged us with your energy, interest and advice. That made it possible for us to provide you with an informative and independent newspaper, and advocate for vibrant German-Jewish-Israeli cooperation and community.
This work could only be accomplished with a highly motivated team of editors. We are a colorful crew who count among them Jews, Christians and Muslims of a variety of personal and political persuasions. My wife Elisabeth transformed our ideas into practical, journalistic action.
Our readers and advertisers helped bring us unexpected success. We began with a print run of 30,000 copies in English. About a year later, we added a German edition, issued as a supplement to DIE WELT. This allowed us to distribute nearly 200,000 copies of each edition. This collaboration was made possible by the Axel Springer publishing house, which has long been a strong supporter of fruitful German-Jewish dialogue.
But we have decided to stop publishing the Jewish Voice. Our independence has had its price. I was permanently forced to raise funds. Over time, this took its toll on my health. But the true cause lies deeper. We have yet to achieve our goal of a vibrant and evolving German-Jewish dialogue and spirit of community. History is indispensable – especially the Shoah. Nonetheless, we must not allow this to obscure our view of the present day or its development.
From the very start, our newspaper received support from the German Foreign Office. We engaged in ongoing and constructive dialogue with foreign ministers and top diplomats, among them Stephan Steinlein and Michelle Müntefering. This dialogue was marked with respect for our occasional differences of opinion – for example, with regard to policies on Iran. Other ministries provided occasional support. Thus, the pressure to raise funds was unceasing and became an increasing burden.
We have many qualified staff who would be able to revive a German-Jewish newspaper – either this one or a new one – in the future. Our budget is little more than a “flyspeck”, as a state secretary once told me. One would think that a German-Jewish publication that has been warmly received both in Germany and abroad would be worth such an investment.
You have all allowed me to carry out a wonderful task – even if this task remains incomplete. I hope that others will take up this mantle and resume our work. This was just the beginning.

 

My warmest thanks and shalom

Your
Rafael Seligmann

Photo Credit: JVG

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