Letter of Hadashot newspaper editor to EAJC President
The EAJC Program Commission was created according to the decision of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, and over the second half of 2017, it has reviewed a number of projects submitted on behalf of EAJC member organizations. The Program Commission approved a number of projects to finance in 2018, and they were forwarded to the Directorate General in Israel in a timely manner. Unfortunately, none of the project applications have received an official answer, neither from the Directorate nor from the Congress President. Unofficially, Acting EAJC Director General Haim ben Yaakov has said that the Congress President has decided not to finance any of the projects. Thus, many projects that had been traditionally supported by the EAJC are now on the brink of dissolution.
We are publishing the letter of Hadashot newspaper editor-in-chief Michael Gold to EAJC President Mikhail Mirilashvili.
To EAJC President Mikhail Mirilashvili
from editor of the Hadashot newspaper, Michael Gold
Dear Mikhail Mikhailovich!
In November 2017, the EAJC Kyiv office presented a website project for the Hadashot newspaper to the Program Commission. The EAJC Program Commission univocally voted to finance the project. The project concerns an active and extremely effective website. It is enough to say that over the course of 2017, Hadashot materials were re-published over 500 (!) times by almost 60 different online and printed media from seven countries.
It is important to note that the website stimulates interest towards Jewish affairs among young and middle-aged people who are not involved in community life and who have no interest in traditional Jewish media. Today, our website boasts readers from over 30 countries, primarily from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Israel, Germany and the USA. It is hardly possible to overestimate its value for Jewish communities, as we have emphasized the publication of materials from experts and opinion leaders, including historians, political scientists, public figures and intellectuals. This includes JAFI Head Natan Scharansky, Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Hanin, Knesset MPs Ksenia Svetlova and Ze’ev Elkin; rabbis from the national-religious camp; famous scholars from Israel, the USA, Ukraine, and Russia, including Harvard PhD Anna Geifman, former Chair of Slavistics of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem Wold Moskovich, Sorbonne professor in Eastern studies Paul Fenton, historian of literature and ethnographer Dr. Velvl Chernin, historian of art Grigory Kazovsky; important military experts such as the former National Security Advisor of Israel Yaakov Amidror, former Major General of the Israel Defense Forces Yiftah Ron-Tal; Yosed Mendelevitch, who was part of the so-called “airplane hijacking” case; the writer Dina Rubina; human rights activist Alla Gerber, and many others.
Starting in November 2017, the website has also published current commentary on weekly Torah chapters. These comments are regularly reprinted by the website of Israel’s Channel 9 as well as other resources, which contributes to further dissemination of materials reflecting and developing Jewish spiritual heritage among the readership.
This project reaches geographically far beyond the countries of the CIS region and drastically improves the reputation of the EAJC, given that the website’s materials are re-published by a variety of foreign partners. Moreover, the breakneck growth of the number our non-Jewish subscribers helps create a positive view of Jews as a people and of Israel as a state among a non-Jewish audience.
Despite the positive decision of the Program Commission we have, unfortunately, still been left in the dark where financing for 2018 is concerned. Despite that, we have had a new record in January: 40000 individual website views. However, this situation threatens the very existence of our project. It would be very dissapointing were our website, which has been visited by tens of thousands of people from many countries over the course of itss existence, and which used to be one of the calling cards of the Congress, would stop its existence.
The project’s entire budget is 18000 dollars, of which we have only requested that the EAJC fund a third: 6000 dollars. The rest of the budged has been co-funded.
We truly hope that, upon having considered our problem and having taken into account the positive decision made by the Program Commission, you, the President of the Congress, will be able to find a way out of the difficult situation on hand.
With respectful hopes for an understanding,
Editor-in-chief of the “Hadashot” newspaper Michael Gold