In Leviathan’s 43rd year of publication, we decided to take a publishing hiatus. In light of our leadership transition this academic year, the organization decided to reevaluate Leviathan’s purpose, mission, and legacy at UCSC.
This transformative undertaking started simply, during our weekly meetings. We decided to frame each meeting around a discussion topic that pertained to relevant issues of identity and experience, but were also grounded in journalistic ethics. Opening up the space to all voices provided much insight into the diversity of opinions and backgrounds of our collaborators.
Taking the time to restructure our meetings initially led to more steps backward into Leviathan’s past than forward into its future. Our website was slowly decaying, our outreach had ended in missed connections, and members felt uprooted by the structural changes of the organization.
So, we put the Fall 2015 issue on hold and sat down together. First, as a leadership board to rewrite our mission, then as a group to ask how we could better serve Jewish and non-Jewish students in our space. And by doing so, we transformed the chain of command into active collaboration which led to a more inspired work environment.
Through a more democratic decision-making process, we were able to bring problems to the table and leave each meeting with hopeful solutions. When the website left us at dead ends, Eva took on the great task of renovating it beyond our expectations. Jason and Lior both brought thoughtful and insightful conversation points to the table. Natalie and Annie came back every week with a new piece of outstanding art to contribute. Lizzy, Daniel and Wesley wrote captivating pieces that brought new stories into the space.
And through it all, Rose, Arianna, and the two of us remained unified. In creating a more egalitarian space, we at Leviathan Jewish Journal have recommitted to responsibly representing all voices and ensuring that the publication’s legacy lives on.
Kelsey and Zach