I am a student journalist who will be covering Borough Park for at least the next year. Everyone in my cohort chose a different community in New York and I am super excited to learn more about Borough Park and hopefully serve it well!
Of course, we are unfortunately still living in largely anti-semitic climates. I am fully sympathetic to the fact that people in the community may be weary of speaking to strangers randomly coming into their neighborhood. I am also aware of the touristic and journalistic fetishization of various communities that differ from the individuals own. It is something I want to make absolutely sure I can navigate respectfully and responsibly.
So, my question, broadly, is how can I best serve the community. More specifically:
(a) What are some good starting points for getting to know the community on the ground? Are there community organizations or leaders who might be most appropriate to seek out? Are random community members generally okay with being approached?
(b) In what ways do you feel contemporary journalists have failed Jewish communities?
(c) Are there any absolute “dont’s” I should be mindful of when approaching people?
(d) Anything else I should know?
I appreciate any feedback possible! 🙂