Our previous story detailed the decision by the NJ Jewish Standard to change its policy of printing announcements of local Jewish couples by specifically excluding same-sex unions authorized by New Jersey law.
After we published the story we were inundated by readers who clicked on the article and sent it to friends.
One person sent a comment which we posted following the story.
She is obviously very familiar with the situation at the newspaper and notes that the editor, Rebecca Kaplan Boroson, who signed the editorial announcement regarding the new policy took responsibility for a statement which, in fact, was not written by her. Apparently, she was forced to sign her name to a statement which did not reflect her personal views.
Furthermore, it was noted that this is a private newspaper and the employees must do as they are told or lose their jobs. The NJ Jewish Standard is dependent on its advertisers all of whom are very vulnerable to condemnation and boycott by the local rabbinical community and their supporters within the orthodox world of New Jersey. The newspaper is located in Teaneck, New Jersey which has a very large orthodox Jewish population many of whom advertise in the newspaper and read it.
The situation, as explained in the posted comment, is that members of the local orthodox community have threatened the newspaper with a financial boycott unless it follows their views on Jewish law. This includes refusing to publicize anything which positively reflects on gays and lesbians whom they believe are violating Jewish law.
The author of the comment explained that the staff of the newspaper, which includes one gay member, is afraid that if they do not follow the demands of the orthodox Jews who threatened them, they will no longer be able to earn a living and that the newspaper will be closed.
She ends her comment by offering a way out of the situation:
“Instead of vilifying the newspaper and withdrawing support from it, those opposed to this statement should make it clear that the newspaper’s rescinding this decision means they would *support* it by advertising and/or supporting its advertisers. With the threat of financial ruin removed from the equation, see what the Standard will do – remember what they did before this, before any pressure was brought to bear.”
This last line may reflect the original policy of accepting all wedding announcements from the Jewish community regardless of whether it was a heterosexual or homosexual couple. This was in keeping with the mission of the newspaper to accurately report the news of the entire Jewish community.
Click on comments to read the full comment following this article: