Gonzo Jewish journalism part deux

To follow up on my post from yesterday about the AJPA conference here in Atlanta…

Lunch was great. No, seriously. It was great. Delicious chicken, nice potatoes, and one helluva chocolate dessert. It was extra nice because I got to sit next to an old friend and one of the guys that got me into journalism in the first place — Neil Rubin, the editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times. He had some funny stories to tell about the plague of cicadas currently enveloping the Maryland area.

As for the official agenda, today’s sessions were somewhat interesting. There was a good political discussion with Ralph Reed, Michael Lebovitz (Bush’s Jewish liaison) and Ira Forman (Kerry’s point man for the tribe). Unfortunately, I didn’t hear everything they had to say because I got caught outside the room talking with Howard Brown of PlanitJewish.com. He’s working on a way to bring his cool calendar system to your town — so e-mail him with ideas if you’ve got em.

The “random guy who kept meandering the conference floor with nobody to talk to” award today goes to David Baker, the senior foreign press coordinator for Ariel Sharon. For some reason, in my all too lengthy run-in with him, he kept saying that he was the P.J. [sic] Craig of Israel. He was referring to the press secretary on The West Wing, a show with characters he inexplicably kept referring to as real people.

Then, Nathaniel Popper of the Forward and I skipped out of the session “Making the Most of your Niche Publication” with Creative Loafing’s Ken Edelstein as the guest speaker. Too bad I missed it — apparently he cited Jewsweek as a prime example of a publication doing a good job reaching their target audience. Thanks for the plug, Ken.

Meanwhile I spent the hour indoctrinating Popper on the multi-faceted virtues of blogging and I think, with a little help from his new colleague Steven I. Weiss, he’s going to become a regular reader. Another blog plug: Practically everyone I met told me that their favorite part of Jewsweek is the Yada blog.

Other people I got to speak with today: Jonathan Tobin of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, Meagn Wachter of The Israel Project, Elie Rosenfeld of the Joseph Jacobs Organization, Arthur S. Berger of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Alan D. Abbey of YNET, and political cartoonist Steve Greenberg.

The group was scheduled to go to the Braves game tonight. Apparently, the sporting event wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea as I saw Lisa Hostein of the JTA trying to gather some women to go with her to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens instead.

So, until tomorrow…

3 thoughts on “Gonzo Jewish journalism part deux

  1. Benyamin:
    I wouldn’t know if the dessert was good. You ate mine, too! Jewsweek/school or whatever you call it is fun and informative. I’m a regular reader.
    -Neil Rubin
    Baltimore Jewish Times

  2. Sure, AJPA is somewhat of a close bunch, but don’t worry about us old-timers accepting young’uns. When I joined in 1993 I was 24 years old and for several years was the youngest person at the conference. And in those years the group has changed from mostly older guys to younger women, and we have more new faces every year.
    And yes, the food *was* pretty good this year… any conference w/Krispy Kremes at break is great… though no grits in Atlanta?????

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