Sunday, February 7, 2010

VOICES MAGAZINE 13th Anniversary - Mazel Tov!

My dear readers/friends,
This month VOICES Magazine celebrates its 13th Anniversary. We put a special Anniversary Issue on the "newspaper stands". In addition to all kinds of AGE 13 BAR MITZVAH topics, it's got a Bar Mitzvah celebration photo on the cover that was selected from several sent by our readers in honor of Voices 13th anniversary. The other photos will be accessible soon in our on-line edition, Thank you to everyone who submitted those great shots!!
The Bar Mitzvah cover photo exactly portrays the joy we feel at reaching this milestone for Voices. We have been through so much together - so many pivotal and dramatic events for our country and our people. We have prayed and worried together. We have struggled and protested together. We have worked and volunteered together. And B”H, we have celebrated many great moments together.
Joy joy joy. The cover photo by Randy Zelcer depicts exactly how we feel on our 13th Year!Thirteen years ago we launched a small town newsletter to enable English-speakers to feel more a part of the Efrat community. That newsletter quickly grew to include the rest of Gush Etzion. Then it spread to Bet Shemesh and Jerusalem as well. Bli ayin hara, over time, Voices became a glossy full-color magazine from Kiryat Arba/Chevron up to Bet El and Shiloh in the north.
Folks started sharing Voices with family and friends, and people began subscribing in other areas in Israel and chutz la’aretz.
A few months ago, we entered a new frontier - the internet. And now an expanded version of the new Voices can be read on line.
Click on current or past issues: For example, read March 2009’s issue at
Our biggest change has been in the establishment of Voices Television. Last month, Voices TV and its sister channel Gush Etzion/Efrat TV posted their one-hundredth video. By the time you read this, we’ll most like be over 110, bli ayin hara. Those videos include slices of life in Israel, interviews with lovers of Israel, current events, treks to great locales nationwide. View videos at
Gush Etzion/Efrat TV features stories of special interest to residents of the GE/E region. For local interest, this is the place! Clips are both in Hebrew and in English. To keep you informed and entertained, I try to upload clips almost daily (except when I have a Voices deadline), so you’re invited to visit every morning. There’s always something interesting to read or watch. Click:
Our website is B”H bli ayin hara going terrifically well, and we’re enjoying about 100,000 hits a month with dozens of unique visitors (that means newcomers) every day. Welcome, all, and forward the links to your friends!!
Thank you to my brilliant webmaster Beth Lanin for this spectacular site, and to Avi Abelow and Shlomo Wollins of and for their guidance.
Meanwhile, if it’s difficult for you to wait all month for Voices Magazine to be delivered to your town, you can read a daily version of Voices on the web. Every day, a mini-Voices. It’s called a blog. I started blogging (that means writing articles specifically for the internet) at the end of September, and B”H the feedback has been embarrassingly terrific. I don’t know how they’ve come to the blog, but my techie says that my blog is read in Israel by people in Ramat Gan, Bat Yam, Tel Aviv, Mazkeret Batya, Nehalim, Abu Ghosh, Elyakhin, Haifa, Kfar Saba, Jerusalem and Efrat/Gush Etzion; and in the Diaspora in Mountainview, California, Chicago, Illinois, Washington DC, Nyack, Brooklyn, Pine Bush and New York City, New York, Coventry, England, Montreal, Quebec and even Yemen! As of this writing, I have posted 101 blogs to the internet! B”H, there’s a lot of good stuff to share with the world. I write about your life here. Click and read: If you’ve got something to say, you’re welcome to submit a comment. Let me hear from you.
There are three more Voices goals that I have set for myself, but have yet to totally fulfill.
1. Voices began 13 years ago to share varied and innovative positive voices among the Jewish people. In the past 13 years, I have interviewed people in all walks of life throughout the country who have contributed to our nation. People who make a difference in Israel have also written especially for Voices, as guest authors. Well, I’d like there to be contributing videographers telling a positive story on Voices TV as well.
If you’re a videographer (adult or teen) and you’ve got a story to tell - something that will benefit your community or our nation, please email me so that your story can be aired on Voices TV. Your video can be featured on Voices TV or Gush Etzion/Efrat TV. The goal of these videos, like that of Voices Magazine, is to show what’s RIGHT about living in Israel.
2. Next, my publisher and husband Israel Katz is a talented and creative photographer. From the time that I launched the Voices website, I had planned to have an entire section featuring his photographs of locations throughout Israel. I want to show our beautiful country to the world. I haven’t succeeded yet, but IY”H, perhaps I’ll be able to upload some of his wonderful on-location photos one day soon.
They will be found in a section called VOICES’ ISRAEL - bottom right of our homepage, .
Lastly, the economic downturn has hit our customers, along with businesses throughout Israel. Despite financial hardships, businesses must be given the opportunity to advertise to the public. I want to give businesses of all sizes an opportunity for exposure.
3. Voices’ switch to a compact size made advertising much more affordable. And with Voices website, IY”H, there’ll be no limit to the potential customers for an advertiser’s message. Stores, servies, businesses, advertise with us. IY”H, we’re gonna zoom!
As I adapt to the triple duty of a printed magazine, a daily blog and a TV Channel, I hope one day to achieve the three goals to further improve Voices and make an even more fulfilling experience for our readers.
Last note, I’d like to thank 13 years of Voices readers and writers. And we’d all like to thank 13 years of advertisers. YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Last but not least, I'd like to thank my publisher and husband who has allowed me to try my wings in so many different arenas. Whatta guy!
My warmest wishes for good health, peace and prosperity for all. Here’s to a blessed tomorrow, IY”H.
Let your Voices be heard.
Sharon Katz

1 comment:

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