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January 30, 2014 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-01-30

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Publisher's Notebook

The Take-Away: Healthy JAI
Is Bucking Industry Trench.


e are accustomed to receiving annual mes-

sages in January about the State of the
State or the State of the Union. Our elected
chief executives will often introduce some yardstick
to measure the performance of their administra-
tions. The take-away is often boiled down to a slogan
("Michigan is the comeback state") or question ("Are
you better off today than you were four
years ago?").
At the Jewish News, January is also the
month when we take stock of the previ-
ous year's accomplishments and begin to
implement our plans for 2014. There is no
pomp or processional, no rousing ovations
from partisans and no family members
waving from the balcony; just ongoing
passion by a dedicated and hard-working
staff to meet or exceed the community's
information needs while earning a return
on investment in a very dynamic commu-
nications marketplace.
Since its founding in March of 1942, the Jewish
News has operated as an independent, for-profit entity
relying solely on revenue from advertisers and sub-
scribers —like you. Unlike most Jewish community
media outlets in America, the Jewish News is not reli-
ant on its federation for subsidies, subventions or bulk
purchases of subscriptions for donors. As a result,
thousands of dollars annually can continue to be allo-
cated for charitable purposes.
During 2013, the Jewish News published 4,178 pages
of content. At an average of 80 pages per week, the
Jewish News was the largest weekly periodical serving
any Jewish community in America. Included in the
product mix were new offerings (Boom, Chai Israel
and Best of Michigan) as well as enhanced mainstays
like Celebrate!, Cap & Gown and Red Thread. Our cur-
rent base of subscribers — comprising print and digi-
tal editions — is providing as many pairs of eyeballs
for editorial and advertising content as at any time in
the past 40 years.
Compared to 2012, the Jewish News bucked indus-
try trends with a 4.3 percent increase in core weekly
advertising volume and is on track to be a totally debt-
free enterprise by the end of this year.
Part of the Jewish News strategy includes finding
new and/or complementary revenue streams to diver-
sify risk while providing additional opportunities for
readers and advertisers. One example is the November
2013 acquisition of the Oy What A Deal and Hip City
Deals websites and their large accompanying data-
bases. These enable advertising clients to quickly and
efficiently move merchandise, fill seats in restaurants,
entertainment venues and synagogues, and also draw
attention to new products and services.
Another example is the ongoing partnership with
the Chaldean News in the creation of the Chaldean-
Jewish Building Community Initiative. In addition
to the educational component of this endeavor and
the personal friendships and business partnerships
that have developed from it, the Jewish News and
the Chaldean News continue to benefit from new or


January 30 • 2014


enhanced relationships with generous sponsors.
Yet another example is the involvement of the
Jewish News in the creation of New Michigan Media,
representing a consortium of more than 140 ethnic
and minority media outlets from across the state. The
core leadership group of New Michigan Media, com-
prising the Arab American News, the Latino Press, the
Michigan Korean Weekly, the Jewish News
and the Michigan Chronicle, has received
a number of grants, including from the
New Economy Initiative, the Knight
Foundation, the AT&T Foundation and the
Goldman Sachs Foundation, to develop
and present editorial content and support
initiatives targeted toward minority and
ethnic populations. Additionally, the core
group has banded together to pursue and
secure new advertising clients.
In 2013, the Jewish News continued
to partner with an array of community
organizations to help further their goals
and objectives. Among them were Walk for Israel,
Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Jewish Senior Life, Jewish
Community Center Book Fair, Holocaust Memorial
Center, Kids Kicking Cancer and University Musical
In November, the independent, nonprofit Detroit
Jewish News Foundation launched the 267,000-page
Jewish News digital archive via www.djnfoundation.
org. Available free of charge at any time, the archive
generated more than 20,000 page views in its first four
weeks of operation and is bringing to life the people,
families, organizations and events that have shaped
our community for more than 70 years. If you haven't
visited it yet — you must!
As we move forward into the rest of 2014, here is
what you can expect from us:
• A redesigned and updated Jewish News website;
• New and expanded collaborations with other
media outlets;
• Credible content that reflects the diversity — and
realities — of our Jewish community;
• Additional products and services that meet the
changing needs of our readers and advertisers;
• Content that continues to link our community to
Detroit, the region and Michigan, as well as to Israel,
underscoring the Zionist foundation on which the
Jewish News was built;
• Additional sponsorships with an array of Jewish
community organizations.
We at the Jewish News are blessed to be a part of a
dynamic, knowledgeable and engaged Jewish commu-
nity that continues to welcome us into its homes every
week. We never have, and never will, take for granted
your trust and confidence.
Looking forward to a warmer February!
With appreciation,

Arthur M. Horwitz
Publisher/Executive Editor

Natural Gas Deal:
A Boost For Israel


elations between the State of Israel and the
Palestinian Authority are weak, at best. But
the Palestinians, locked in to Israel's econom-
ic savvy, seem to look the other way when it comes
to business. That's a sign – though small – that the
Palestinians haven't totally rejected their Israeli
Exhibit A: A West Bank utility that's developing an
electric power plant near Jenin has signed on as the
first customer of Israel's Leviathan natural gas field.
The Palestine Power Generation Company (PPGC)
signed a 20-year lease to buy $1.2 billion worth of
gas, 4.75 billion cubic meters, from the field. The dis-
covery came in 2010 in the Mediterranean Sea, about
80 miles west of Haifa.
PPGC plans to open a $300 million power plant in
about three years and use Leviathan gas to operate
it. Gas production at the Leviathan field is expected
to start in 2017, so the timing is perfect.
The conditional agreement between PPGC and
Leviathan demonstrates the power of finding mutual
benefits as a means of overcoming a political conflict.
Below the political radar, Palestinians also seek out
Israeli hospitals, schools and jobs.
The Palestinian Authority, which governs much of
the West Bank, accounts for 8 percent of all electric-
ity use in Israel and the West Bank.
The PPGC purchase is relatively small compared to
the contracts a host of Israeli gas consumers have
negotiated for gas from Israel's Tamar field, Haaretz
reports. But this first-ever contract gives Leviathan a
special cross-cultural credibility.
Notably, reports say prospects call for Leviathan
gas to be piped to regional customers as well, largely
to Turkey, which is surprising given Israeli-Turkish
edginess. Leviathan's Israeli partners are Avner Oil
Exploration, Delek Drilling and Ratio Oil Exploration.
The U.S. partner is Texas-based Noble Energy.
Last year, the Israeli government approved the
export of about 40 percent of the state's recently
discovered reserves of natural gas while preserving a
25-year national supply. Leviathan is one of several
large natural gas fields found in the Mediterranean
off the Israeli coast.
History has proven economic growth in both Israel
and the West Bank won't, alone, bring peace and sta-
bility to the region. But such growth certainly can
provide a pivotal way forward.

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