The publisher of the New Jersey Jewish Standard has clarified the paper’s position on its prior apology for running a same-sex engagement announcement and vow not to do so again. “We did not expect the heated response we got, and—in truth—we believe now that we may have acted too quickly in issuing the follow-up statement, responding only to one segment of the community,” wrote James Janoff. “We are now having meetings with local rabbis and community leaders.” No word from editor Rebecca Boroson, who signed the editorial that alluded to “the deep sensitivities within the traditional/Orthodox community.” One report, which we can’t substantiate, has it that she was forced to back it against her will.
Meanwhile, Internet comments—which obviously we also can’t substantiate—have blamed financial pressures or even threats for being behind this. “It is my understanding that the Jewish Standard was basically being blackmailed,” a commenter on our site said. “The RCBC, the Orthodox Rabbinate threatened to take away the hechsher, the certificate of kashrut, from any restaurant that continued to advertise in the Jewish Standard if they did not announce that they would never publish another gay wedding announcement.” Andrew Silow-Carroll found something similar elsewhere.
Other commenters have reported that the Standard’s Website is not publishing certain comments; another Tablet Magazine commenter guesses that this is due to computer glitch, not human censoring.
We’ll update you as more information arrives. The story likely won’t go away: Silow-Carroll hears that the paper of record itself is preparing something.
Publisher’s Note on the Wedding Announcement Controversy [Facebook]
NJ Jewish Paper Threatened by Orthodox Thugs [Jewish Daily Report]
Earlier: All The Happy Couples