Lets not take JTA for granted

Like many of our readers, we often take for granted the job that the Jewish Telegraphic Agency does every week in opening the window of the Jewish world to hundreds of thousands of readers.

But as the JTA celebrates its 80th anniversary next week, it is time to reflect on the accomplishments of the only worldwide Jewish news agency.

Long known warmly as the "Jewish Associated Press," JTA brings us news not only from Israel but from every corner of the Jewish globe. On our pages you'll read of Jewish happenings in the former Soviet Union, in Budapest, in Geneva, in Berlin, in London, in Johannesburg and in Paris — to name only a few of the major localities JTA covers.

And let's not forget JTA's coverage of New York, the Jewish capital of the United States, as well as the agency's watchful eye on Washington for news about Congress and the White House of concern to Jewish readers.

Where would the Jewish Bulletin be without JTA? Where would you — our readers — be without it?

The Bulletin couldn't be the well-rounded newspaper it is without the world and national news JTA provides.

Unfortunately, JTA depends heavily for funding on the Council of Jewish Federations, the umbrella organization of Jewish federations throughout the United States and Canada. Newspapers like the Bulletin that subscribe to JTA cannot pay enough to cover the huge costs of running a worldwide news service.

That means JTA is competing with all kinds of social-service agencies, educational institutions and Israel for its funding year in, year out.

When funds are being doled out, it is too easy for JTA to be taken for granted. But that's wrong. Without JTA we would all be a lot more ignorant of the events and circumstances that shape Jewish life today.

Happy birthday, JTA. And may we wish you many more.