BY CLIFF WEISS / PUBLISHER //

A little more than one year has passed since I acquired the Atlanta Jewish Times.  Clearly, there have been a few minor setbacks, but overall, the AJT is much better than when I started. Now, I am pleased to announce some additional changes which will broaden the appeal and distribution of the paper and also help us cut expenses.

AJT Publisher and Editor Cliff Weiss

AJT Publisher and Editor Cliff Weiss

It is satisfying to know that the community is supporting us with stories, pictures, ideas, subscriptions and advertising. So far, we have focused on community events and Israel news, based in large part on the activities of the people who are involved with one of the synagogues or Jewish organizations. We have not had as much success in reaching the Jewish people in Atlanta who are unaffiliated, but that is changing.

Since estimates are that 60 to 75 percent of the Jews in the metro area not associated with any Jewish organization, it is our responsibility to bring them in to our community. Our slogan is “Uniting the Jewish Community for Over 85 Years,” and in my second year of the AJT, I want that to be a reality, not just a slogan.

To this end, we have some new columnists who work with many unaffiliated Jews and the younger community. You will soon see regular columns from Rabbi Patrick Aleph of Punk Torah, Chaim Neiditch of Jewish Student Union and musician/teacher/entrepreneur Bram Bessoff. This is a very exciting development that will add diversity to the AJT. Of course, we will keep all of our current columnists as well, but it is important to hear other views in our community.

Also, we have hired a professional distribution company that will deliver free copies of the AJT to 370 locations. We will have our paper displayed prominently in businesses, organizations and community hot-spots in and around Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Duluth, Norcross, Decatur, Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Toco Hills, Morningside, Little Five Points, Virginia Highlands, Ansley, Midtown, Downtown, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, East Cobb and West Cobb. We will be distributed in top restaurants, clubs, retail shops, banks, hospitals, grocery stores, libraries, drug stores, etc. – including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Whole Foods, to name a few. We have increased our circulation to 12,500 papers per week, and plan to add new locations and distribute more papers in the months ahead,

Likewise, our website, atlantajewishtimes.com, is much improved. There you can find breaking news and updates as well as numerous photos, stories and articles that were not included in the printed pages of the AJT. What’s more, we have a digital version of our printed paper, and our weekly e-blasts to the community keep everyone informed of the top stories. Keep an eye out, as in the near future, our website will be even better and our use of social media will increase.

If there are particular topics that you believe would interest our readers, please contact me with those suggestions (cmweiss@atljewishtimes.com). As always, we want to have a little something for everyone – for 87 years this has been our community newspaper, and we intend to keep it that way!