I’m staying — at least for now.
But I also moved to Kansas … on Wednesday.
A few months back (if even that long), my husband and I determined that the best thing for our children would be family — lots of family. I grew up with my bubbie and zayde living only a mile-and-a-half away, with Shabbos dinners that involved hours of Monopoly against my siblings and with Passover Seders and Thanksgiving dinners that brought the aunts, uncles, cousins and the rest of the extended family together.
At one point, for so many reasons, I decided to move away. I did the aliyah thing, married a man from New York, and we determined when we came back to the states that Baltimore was a nice middle ground. And something at the time told me that I would love this community. Call it women’s intuition or a nice, fat Eruv Book, but I knew right away that Jewish Baltimore was a great place to raise a family.
And it has been — in so many ways.
Baltimore is lucky because we have The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. We have more than 80 synagogues, more than a dozen day schools and Jewish preschools. We have kosher restaurants and a Seven Mile Market. There’s a Board of Rabbis and a Va’ad HaRabbonim.
There is also the Baltimore Jewish Times, which after more than 90 years is still an award-winning publication, a cherished weekly tradition for some 30,000 people, and I have the privilege of serving as its editor.
But in Baltimore, my children don’t have Bubbie, Zayde, Big Bubbie (that’s great-grandmother), Aunt Rachel, Uncle David, Uncle Josh, cousins Ethan, Gabrielle, Jake, Juliette — and the list goes on. While there may not be the Jewish infrastructure in Kansas City that we have here, the infrastructure my family provides is irreplaceable.
We’re giving up a lot to move. But we’re gaining so much, too.
Fortunately (and hopefully for me and for the community), I am getting the best of both worlds. I have been offered to and have committed to stay on as this publication’s editor-in-chief. I will be in Baltimore two weeks of the month and will work from Kansas City the other two. Today’s technology should make that seamless. And I think it will be. And because I will still be in Baltimore so much of the month, I can keep my finger on the pulse of what is happening here — and meet you all in person, attend your events, etc., as I like to do.
The JT is growing! Our subscriptions are up each month, often by more than 100 readers. And we’re still evolving. We’re trying to improve each week and to become more of a part of this special community. We appreciate your partnership — I appreciate your partnership. And I hope that partnership will continue. Some of you probably think I am crazy to take this on. Who commutes from Kansas to Baltimore? But my mother raised me to believe that I can do anything I put my mind to.
Relationships are about trust, commitment and vulnerability. I am
honored to be part of building an ever-stronger relationship between the JT and Jewish Baltimore.
Maayan Jaffe is JT editor-in-chief — firstname.lastname@example.org