New Voices‘ Hasdai Westbrook writes on the trials of selling one’s soul in the Jewish communal world:
Jews don’t run the media, at least not all of it. And young Jews run none of it. Except here… But that freedom comes at a price, literally. Paper and ink cost money. A few months into the job, I realized that our mission rested on something of a contradiction: providing something very expensive free of charge. Then again, I thought at the time, who wouldn’t want to fund our efforts—who wouldn’t be eager to give young Jews the chance to express their ideas and opinions?
It was when I first heard the words “continuity” and “engagement” coming from my mouth that I realized something was up. I would never have used those words if it was just me speaking. Granted, I was sitting across the table from a potential funder and it had become clear by then that these were the terms potential funders wanted to hear—sound bytes of jargon repeated so often in Jewish fundraising circles they’d become like shibboleths. But they weren’t what I wanted to say.