“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes.
It is very easy to say yes.” - Tony Blair
In both professional and personal life, knowing that you’re making the best choice among undesirable alternatives does not make it easier to choose. Nevertheless, the responsibility of leadership is to make necessary decisions – and when needed, to exercise the art of “saying no.” Today, we have the unenviable responsibility of concluding the efforts of our community’s Arizona Jewish Post (AJP) and beginning a new path forward. Effective March 1, the Arizona Jewish Post will cease regular publication so that our community’s communications, together with those of Federation and Foundation, can be delivered via alternative vehicles. We will, of course, transition those elements of the AJP that were most celebrated and successful into other channels.
Our Decision

The Arizona Jewish Post, originally simply the “Arizona Post,” was founded in 1946, and was sold to the Tucson Jewish Community Council, the forerunner of the Federation, in 1965. For the past 70 years, it has served our community as a source of simchas and stories, advertisements and announcements. In recent years, it has faced the same challenges to its business model that newspapers have worldwide – sharp declines in ad revenue and readership as a result of the rise of digital journalism, alternative communications preferences, and shrinking philanthropic support for news. The accumulation of deficits, coupled with the massive decline in advertising revenue, resulting from the prolonged global pandemic, put the AJP in an unsustainable position.

In parallel, as we have built a communications strategy to support our community, our team analyzed available AJP data and was surprised by what we learned. Although there are certain core elements of the AJP that have been sustained – increasingly online – the impact of the AJP appears to have evolved significantly. With three out of four online readers living outside of Southern Arizona, the AJP was more effectively reaching those far beyond our community than the community members we strive to serve. The driver of the bulk of traffic to the AJP website in recent years has been paywall-free access to national articles as opposed to our local stories.

So, with the decision clear in our minds, but nonetheless a heaviness in our hearts, we returned to the Board to come to a final decision on the AJP. The Federation Board examined our marketing strategy and agreed that sunsetting the AJP while continuing to provide the core content our community values most (e.g., local stories, lifecycle events, and obituaries) is the best use of our resources to deliver greatest community impact.
Ensuring our community members are informed, included, and welcomed remains a central priority of our marketing and communications endeavor, now and for the future.
What Comes Next

We have restructured our marketing department to maximize our ability to deliver innovative offerings moving forward. For the first time in our history, Federation and Foundation marketing will be combined to provide a more cohesive experience to our stakeholders, and we will be integrating our presence across all of our channels, from social to web to print. Moreover, as a result of our Community Planning Process, it has become a clear priority to enhance communications in support of community engagement, activism, and involvement. Building upon the success of the revamped community calendar, there will be new offerings to support this effort.

Our professionals and Board want our communications to meet you where you are, and inform the way we interact with you based on both your feedback and available data. We look forward to working with you as we continue to develop a communications presence that is suited to your expectations and needs, blending the old with the new to most responsibly utilize our resources and deliver essential, important, and meaningful content.

Your partners in a future of connection and strength as a community,