I Love JTA

JTA president Elisa Spungen Bildner, who I am sure earns many times what I do, emails me for money:

It is how we hand down our culture to the generations. Next week we will gather with family and friends to tell the seminal story of Jewish existence-the powerful exodus of our people.

And, storytelling is what JTA does every day. Mumbai … Gaza…Durban.   Obama …Madoff … Netanyahu.    Whoever it is, wherever it is – JTA tells the story, so that our community stays informed.

At this moment, JTA’s ability to tell these stories is threatened by the realities of the economic downturn. And, in the chaos of the information age in which we live, it is even harder to find the trusted voices on which we rely for independence and accuracy.

Without a strong JTA, the storytelling will be left to bloggers, twitterers, and non-professionals.  Is this the best way for our future Jewish stories to be told and recorded?

I am asking you to join JTA by becoming a member of our online community. For just $50 a year-less than $1 a day-you will signal that you value the service we are providing and take responsibility for supporting it.

During the seder, one of the four children asks, "What does this service mean to you?" I am asking you to ponder that same question and join us by becoming a member.

This year IS different from all other years. Please come forward today. Allow us to know by Seder Night that with your help, our story will continue to be told.

P.S.  The Internet may be free, but news has a real cost. Practically every day there is word of another beloved media outlet shrinking or shutting down. Please become a JTA member today and help keep the international Jewish stories coming. 

A few months ago, JTA sent me a threatening email over my quoting nine paragraphs in a 32 paragraph story. They said I should never quote more than two paragraphs of their work. The other day, I found JTA quoting six paragraphs from TMZ in a 12-paragraph story. Here they send me a letter from a comparatively rich woman asking for money from me, a penniless blogger. And it’s an insulting letter about bloggers, no less. I’m starting to hate JTA and I’m not a hater.

Why are bloggers automatically non-professionals? Why would Jewish storytelling be left to non-professionals if JTA shut down? Obviously you are not very professional if your work can’t support you. A professional writer is someone who makes his living from his writing. That means someone like me, not someone who relies on charity. JTA workers aren’t so much Jewish professionals so much as Jewish shnorrers.

And why is JTA asking for my money when they are too proud to use Adsense? Why can’t they earn their own money like I do? Do you think I like giving lap dances to female rabbis? I don’t. I wouldn’t put up with such shame if it didn’t keep me in matzah.

I’d love to email and ask her a few questions about her obnoxious fundraising letter but she’s taken great pains to keep her email address off the internet. I guess she doesn’t want to hear from the serfs, only to preach to them.

About Luke Ford

I’ve written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).

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