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Chag Sameach! Eight Days of Giving (2)

Chag Urim Sameach! This year we are celebrating Hanukkah by introducing our readers to a new member of our incredible staff each night as we reflect on the work we’re most proud of from 2022.

We believe something amazing is happening here at Jewish Currents, but we can’t make miracles without your help. We don’t depend on venture capital to fund our work and we don’t accept paid advertising. Rather, it’s your engagement and support that makes the labor of our writers, editors, artists, and fact-checkers possible, and allows us to continue exploring the questions that are most vital to today’s Jewish communities. We’re excited to shine a light on the people behind Jewish Currents, to share with you exactly who and what you are supporting when you read, listen, donate, and subscribe to our magazine.

Cynthia Friedman, operations manager
Cynthia Friedman being held by her father as toddler smiling in front of their menorah

I’m Cynthia Friedman, and I run operations for Jewish Currents. I fell into organizational roles during my early days as an activist, when I helped coordinate the logistical components of weekend-long trainings and workshops—food, sleeping arrangements, and accessibility and accommodations. Doing this work, I was struck by how a well-run and well-communicated logistical plan was indispensable to a successful program: If I excelled at my job, then the facilitators and participants had ample capacity to focus on their roles, without needing to worry about the next meal or the next payment. I apply the same ethos of care to my work at Jewish Currents, so that editors and writers can be free to focus on wrestling with texts and sharpening arguments.

For the rest of the nights of Hanukkah, you’ll hear from our editors and reporters about parts of Jewish Currents that they’re proud of. I could easily expound on the merits of our articles, events, and podcast episodes, too, but I thought I’d give a glimpse into an accomplishment on our magazine’s operational side.

As many of you know, the last year has been a difficult one for the shipping and paper industries. In February, as Russia invaded Ukraine, we filed our Soviet Issue, a deep dive into the politics and history of Soviet and post-Soviet Jewry that had been more than a year in the making. Then we received bad news from our printer: They didn’t have the paper we needed, and they had no idea when it would come in. We were distraught.

In the week that followed, I reached out to everyone I could find at fellow small magazines. I asked which printers they used and whether they’d had any better luck—and, miraculously, we found a printer who could help. Though they usually order the paper for upcoming projects well in advance to avoid any last-minute snafus, they were able to find an equivalent paper they could source nearby. The Soviet Issue—and the other copies of Jewish Currents you received in 2022—is the result of the thoughtful practices of our new printer and our race to find them.

To keep the magazine running smoothly, we rely on our community of supporters and subscribers. Please consider sustaining our work by making a donation or subscribing to Jewish Currents today. Our subscriptions also make great gifts!

As a small token of our appreciation for our community of readers and contributors, we are also offering newsletter subscribers 36% off of anything in our online store if you use the code GELT2022. Shop Jewish Currents gifts—like our tote bags, back issues, and special editions—for your friends and family (or yourself!).

Thank you for your continued support, and we wish you a relaxing and peaceful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate.