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A message from the publisher | The Jewish Standard

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A message from the publisher

By Jamie Janoff March 19, 2020, 10:00 am 0 Edit
Cedar Lane, Teaneck this past Tuesday at 5:30 pm.

Notice posted at Congregation Arzei Darom, Teaneck

I’m on the phone with a dear friend who I often turn to for a bit of levity. A real lovely street-smart guy, but most important, he gets me laughing.

And boy, do we all need levity these days.

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“Jamie, like so many other businesses, I was forced to shut down my restaurant under the new government mandate, my stocks are tanking, and I’m not a happy camper. Thought I’d catch minyan at my synagogue, but even that’s closed,” he said.

Sound familiar? Certainly this is an interesting time to be a citizen of Planet Earth.

No one could have imagined what we are living with. To witness an entire country like Italy shut down as our own officials try desperately to plan our course so we don’t mirror their mistakes. And to read what seems like an endless stream of dire headlines.

Dam, tzfardeiya, kinim … yes, soon we all will be sitting at a Passover table, taking droplets of wine from the glass onto a plate and recalling the ten plagues. Like we needed a reminder.

The “new normal.” Passover is still scheduled this year, I know, but what about our seders? As much as I love family, I just can’t imagine Uncle Henry and Aunt Irma sitting along with other guests wearing masks.

“What was that, Irma? Can’t hear a damn word you’re saying with that mask on.”

And in between what seems like never-ending jokes and emails about toilet paper and Lysol, we know that the subject matter at hand, Coronavirus, is a serious one. To help flatten the curve and not overrun our health system, we do our best to follow CDC protocols. 

Because ultimately we want this pandemic to be curtailed. We want to go back to a normal existence, waiting on a long line for Sunday bagels or fighting for a pre-Shabbat parking space at Cedar Market. Well, maybe these are not the best examples, but hopefully we all remember what the old normal looked like.

When we can all hug each other again.

Jamie Janoff

Dear Jewish Standard family, I’ve been the captain of this ship through 9/11, Sandy, and more. And through it all, we’ve never missed an issue. I’m here to report that the paper you hold in your hands was produced under the most chaotic conditions … but, you are holding it in your hands!

If you find some typos (they make us crazy too!), know that we tried our best. And our devoted staff is up for the challenge again next week knowing full well that like you, we have no idea when this “new normal” will come to an end.

Let’s make sure we support the retailers in our neighborhoods, who still are providing the services and products that we all need.

And when we’re all given the green light, please rush back to the stores that were forced to close temporarily so they and their proprietors and their employees get to be whole again. Like so many businesses, many of whom are our advertisers, they did nothing wrong and shouldn’t have to suffer.

Love to you and your family. Be extra kind to each other. And let’s all yearn for a time when giving and receiving a hug once again is the accepted norm.

And where “social distancing” is, well, a distant memory. 

P.S. Please check our community updates/alerts at

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