The Conspiracy

Four Decades: Jewish Students ‘Press’ on at UCSC

New Voices has been around since 1991, but the organization that publishes New Voices, the Jewish Student Press Service, has been around since 1970. In the 70s, as I wrote for last Monday’s edition of Jewniverse, there were hundreds of independent Jewish student publications on campuses all over the country. JSPS was founded as a wire service and an umbrella organization for those publications.

One of the earliest was the Leviathan at the University of California, Santa Cruz, which counted folks like Gershom Gorenberg among its earliest writers. Now called the Leviathan Jewish Journal, the students who run it today are celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Very few of the early JSPS publications survived to see the 90s — much less the 21st century — but the Leviathan is still chugging along. They’re even preparing to launch a full online version of their archive going back to 1972:

Imagine how hard it would be to publish a respected quarterly magazine with a 100 percent turnover rate every three or four years, and keep it going for four decades.

The students of UC Santa Cruz have pulled off this impressive feat with Leviathan Jewish Journal, which ranks among the longest-running Jewish themed campus publications in the country.

The venerable publication will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year at a special event at 3 p.m. April 28 that will include a panel of Leviathan editors past and present, as well as the official launch of the Leviathan’s online archive of all issues going back to 1972, when the publication started in newspaper format.

Asked to explain Leviathan’s longevity, the journal’s faculty advisor, Nathaniel Deutsch, UCSC professor of literature and history, and co-director of the Center for Jewish Studies, replied: “It is the students. They are really good at ensuring this is handed over to the next generation.

“Leviathan is the oldest institution at the university that has focused on exploring Jewish themes,” Deutsch continued. “The fact that it has continued all these years indicates the great interest in Jewish culture and history on campus, which is also reflected in the high enrollment in Jewish studies classes.”

It’s an exciting sort of occasion for us at New Voices and the JSPS to hear about — and it sounds like they’ll have a great event to celebrate it.

If you’re gonna be in the area and you’re planning on going, let us know.

And if you’re still reading this post, it’s safe to assume you’re interested enough to check out their most recent issue or some of the New Voices work of recent former Leviathan editor Shani Chabansky.


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