By COLlive reporter
Gabi and Avremy Shapiro, young Shluchim in the scenic city of Flagstaff in northern Arizona, were looking for something to fill up their free time during the Covid pandemic. As students of the Nigri Jewish Online School, they only had each other to play with during breaks.
So 8 months ago, they took on a new hobby – newspaper publishing.
They created the “Shavua Newsletter,” a weekly publication that would be free, for children of all ages. It served a double benefit – it filled up their time, and provided other children with fun and educational reading.
They began with a few content ideas spread over a few pages and soon began investing time and energy into producing the publication. They searched for ideas in content and design.
“We understood that almost even more than the content, the design had to be well done to make the newsletter as pleasant and interesting to read,” they told COLlive.com.
Over time they added serials and sections to the newsletter such as a Fun Zone, an interview, a comic and even a girls teen serial called “Bullied!” written by Chaya Cohen to offer a quality serial tailored for girls.
They have a running section asking readers to respond to questions such as “If you could own one company, which would you choose and why.” (Answers to that one included “Google, because they pretty much own every company out there” and “Sweet Expressions, because then I would get free ice cream.”)
“Shavua, I love your newsletter, I and my family look forward to it every week. It is super interesting, fun, exciting, fascinating, and entertaining. I love every part of it. Thank you soo much!!” Esti S. wrote to them. Mendel P. wrote: “Your newsletter is CRAZY good! Thank you so much for something to look forward to in Corona!”
The newsletter has really turned into a family project. Gabi Shapiro serves as Editor-in-Chief and Publisher while his brother Avremy Shapiro got the title Secondary Editor. They enlisted their father Rabbi Dovie Shapiro, Director of Chabad of Flagstaff, as “Editorial Adviser.”
And they have the encouraging support of their grandfather, Rabbi Moshe Moscowitz of Chicago, known as the founder of Shazak MultiMedia which creates books, audio and video about the Parsha and Jewish holidays. Rabbi Moscowitz provides them with a weekly “Shazak Insight” on the Parsha.
After only 2 months, the newsletter hit 100 subscribers. They currently boast a 200 subscriber count and have expanded to 30 pages a week.
To subscribe, visit www.shavuanewsletter.com