Review, regroup and reassess

By Desrae Saacks, acting editor Cape Jewish Chronicle

Covid has taught us to be more flexible than many of us thought possible.

We are working and studying from home, reading the Chronicle online and finding new ways to celebrate Yom Tov — reduced or remote shul services, and fewer guests around the table.

For many, a loss or change of career, and for many businesses, organisations and individuals, a whole new way of doing things. The Chronicle has also had to adapt to the new reality. Due both to breaks in the print and post cycle, and to loss of advertising, subscription and organisational revenue, we found ourselves forced to interrupt our previously unbroken record of printing and posting The Cape Jewish Chronicle every month since the first issue in November 1984. Thanks to the foresight of our previous editor Lindy Diamond, we had a fully functional online infrastructure set up, so we were able to transition seamlessly to a full online presence.

But we know that our hard copy was missed by many — readers and contributors alike. So we’re very happy to be bringing out another print edition, only our second since March 2020. I really hope we can re-establish this side of our publication once again, as well as continuing to strengthen our digital platform, so that both mediums’ unique qualities can be put to use. Digital for more immediate delivery of news and information, paper for a more constantly present availability, and the tactile, olfactory and kinaesthetic experience of holding paper in one’s hands. Both forms have their conveniences and pleasures, and ideally we’d like to offer the best of both worlds.

Rosh Hashana is here again! Time to be with family and friends, and yet again Covid is preventing this necessary communal aspect of the festival. And so we need to think out the box, find other ways to express our connection and humanity, and rethink some of our time-honoured ways of doing things.

I haven’t made a plan yet (too busy finishing this edition of the Chronicle) but in the coming days I will have to figure out who we can see and who we can’t, and how to make this new covid-era yomtov meaningful.

And to look ahead to the new year. A chance to review, regroup and reassess my priorities. I really do hope that 5782 brings us all closer to ourselves, to the people we love and to finding our meaning in this wonderful, magical and relentless world in which we live.

As 5781 draws to a close, my wish is for a renewal, rejuvenation and re-centering in the year to come. And the energy and good health to make the most of it.

On behalf of the Chairman, Editorial Board, and my colleagues, Tessa and Lisa, I wish you all a Shana Tova uMetuka.

• Published in the PDF edition of the September 2021 issue – Get the PDF here.

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