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Red Thread Will Loop You In

The great Samuel Clemens, when asked to share his thoughts on magazine editors, was quoted as saying, “How often we recall — with regret — that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor and missed him, and killed a publisher; but we remember with charity that his intentions were good.”

Hello Detroit (press play button now to hear the “Jeopardy” voiceover guy say …) this is Red Thread.

Thankfully, this new offering from Renaissance Media is not about me — it is about “us” — in the most communal sense. When publisher Arthur Horwitz asked what I thought would be good reading to people in their mid-20s to mid-40s, I laundry listed disparate topics that, in the end, shared a common theme: community.
The idea behind Red Thread was actually born from the mandate of Horwitz’s nonprofit group, Southeast Michigan Jewish Alliance, and the SEMJA pages that ran in the Detroit Jewish News last summer. Those pages tried to tap into what makes living in Metro Detroit so great (family, cost of living, culture, etc.) and what makes living in Metro Detroit so scary right now (unemployment, declining population, perceived “social suicide”).

So, in a bid to further the SEMJA ideals of community, economy and tradition, my colleagues and I conceptualized what a magazine showcasing how tremendous a place Southeast Michigan is to call home — and what economic opportunities exist here — would look like.

Yet, we had to create a magazine that was more than a mouthpiece for a nonprofit, or worse, a collection of collateral materials trying to sell people on something. The fact is, there are so many great things happening here — and so many interesting people who live here — that the community truly sells itself; Red Thread and its sister publication, the JN, are just the dissemination vehicles.

We’ve done our best to offer you content we believe is interesting, salient, provocative and maybe even controversial. We have taken the aforementioned elements and stuffed really useful information for career seekers into the middle — like a delicious Oreo cookie for the mind!

My partner on the digital side, Karen Schwartz, is everything I’m not: an early adopter of technology, not tethered to the house because of kids (I have three despite what you may have read somewhere), and plugged into how we extend our reach beyond traditional “bricks and mortar” (and paper, as the case is).

Collaboratively, we developed our version of the Colonel’s secret recipe. Each department, photo essay and topic chosen had to answer the threshold question: “Will this resonate with readers?”

Know that Red Thread is not dogmatic in its offerings. Some things will hit while others may miss the mark. If you like what you read, please let us know; if you think we’ve come up short, I’m confident someone will clue us in. Either way, your feedback is the best way to gauge our success.

Oh, and the name. I’ve been asked what “Red Thread” means and why we chose it. While it was one of the first suggestions thrown into the mix (and there were many —the lamest possibly being “Mitt”), we kept returning to a noun that spoke of being Jewish without being “in your face.”

Beyond the actual thread itself, Red Thread is symbolic of what its eponym hopes to execute: warding off an evil eye casting its gaze on our community through high unemployment and the departure of young talent.

My colleagues and I are passionate about our community; my interest in revitalization is vested like yours — we all should have skin in this game. If, in the course of offering interesting content, we “shake it up a bit,” perhaps that is what we 25-to-45 year olds need to do in order to make something happen.

Ending on a high note, Red Thread proverbially weaves the community together, strengthening the ties that bind us to the other — and Madonna, Brittney, Demi and Ashton wear it on their wrists!

Happy Thanksgiving … See you in December.



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