Sweet Sorrow

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Joshua Runyan

It’s never easy to say goodbye. It’s even harder when you know you’ll still be around from time to time.

But as difficult as it is, it is time for me to bid farewell to all of you, dear readers, who welcomed me into their homes and kept coming back week to week to the pages of the JT. You’re still doing that, of course; I know this, because a few weeks ago, when managing editor Marc Shapiro took over this column after the birth of my son on Purim, I received several phone calls concerned about my absence.


I will always treasure responses like those, as well as the letters to the editor that took issue with my positions over the last several years. I’ve always believed that a cornerstone of a healthy Jewish community is a valued Jewish community publication, and each and every one of you has proven to me — and continues to prove — just how right I am. It’s for that reason that I have risen through the ranks of the JT’s publisher, Mid-Atlantic Media, which I now serve as senior editorial director, and became treasurer of the American Jewish Press Association. In those roles, I am able to apply my philosophy of informing, engaging and inspiring readers in communities across the United States. The downside, though, is that all of these responsibilities preclude my constant involvement with the daily operations of the JT.

For that reason, I am leaving the JT in the eminently capable hands of Marc and his new editorial director, Liz Spikol. Over the coming weeks, you all will get to know Liz, an award-winning journalist who believes in this industry and this community as much as I do. You’ve already been getting to know Marc, who has been responsible for most of the JT’s award-winning content this past year. Together, they will take the JT to new heights.


Expansion and growth, while energizing, can be scary and uncertain. Such could describe the early years of the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC), which celebrates its 25th anniversary next month, and the country it was designed to strengthen. But as you’ll read in this week’s JT, success is rooted in the people who make it happen. The MIDC was blessed with the leadership of its founding executive director, Barry Bogage, and its supporters here in Baltimore, in the state capital and across Maryland.

“Anytime you start something and it’s around 25 years later prospering, what more could you ask or hope for with something a lot of people had no idea would pan out?” noted J.M. Schapiro, whose grandfather, Marvin Schapiro, was among the MIDC’s founders.

Like the MIDC, the JT is blessed with a team of dedicated professionals who give their all to each and every issue. But most of all, the JT is blessed with dedicated readers like yourselves. It pains me that I won’t be seeing as much of you, but knowing that I’ll still be around makes me smile.

jrunyan@midatlanticmedia.com

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