The new j. &mdash one Rosh Hashanah later

One year ago, a few days before Rosh Hashanah, j., our new magazine, was born.

In celebrating our year anniversary, we like to glance back but prefer to look ahead.

The best part of publishing a newspaper or magazine is that you can always do a better job next week. If you find out readers don’t like something, you can fix it, change it or remove it. Every week we’re not just doing the same thing again; we’re doing it better — hopefully.

The premise for launching j. was to improve the Jewish Bulletin for our loyal readers, and to attract new and younger readers with a fresher and more modern look. It’s worked. We get more new subscribers every week than ever before.

And we won first place in the American Jewish Press Association competition for best overall design.

We’re proud of what we accomplished, but we know we have a lot more to do.

Our launch of the redesign coincided with the downturn in the economy. We had hoped to put out a much larger weekly magazine. Fortunately, ad sales at last are showing signs of revival. Last week, for instance, we published one of the largest Rosh Hashanah issues ever — 92 pages.

More ads mean more pages with space for more news and features about Jewish communities throughout the world.

Locally, we’d like to do more stories on issues that are important to you. We’d like to profile interesting local people who are making a difference in our lives. We’d like to ferret out more news from all our local Jewish institutions.

We hope you like some of the features we’ve already added, such as “The Column,” a very personal piece that runs next to the index in the front of the paper, and “Faces,” a column that runs every other week, focusing on local people who make a difference in Jewish life here.

Then there’s the jokes column in the back of the paper, which seems to have at least as many supporters as detractors among readers.

We’ve also added a long cover story that every week focuses on an interesting or newsworthy facet of Jewish life.

As Rosh Hashanah dawns with the freshness of another year, we’d like to hear what you think of j. What you like or don’t like, and what changes, if any, you want us to make.

E-mail us at [email protected] or send a letter to the publisher of j. at 225 Bush St., Suite 1480, S.F., CA 94104.

In the meantime, we wish you a sweet and healthy new year.