Editor’s Page

Winter 2010

Dear Readers:

How gratifying to receive so much support!

As I write this, we’re in the midst of our year-end fundraising. Many of you have sent us contributions and written us notes, saying how much you appreciate the magazine. This means so much to us. We editors work hard to bring the creativity and talent of women over sixty to a broader audience, and your enthusiasm and financial support keeps us going.

In the spirit of transparency, here’s what you are supporting when you send us financial contributions. Persimmon Tree’s yearly budget is $22,000; roughly half of that goes to our web developer, Laura Laytham, and the rest goes for editorial services, promotion, ads, events, state/legal fees, etc. Two of our contributing editors receive small stipends for the extra work they do, and everyone else is unpaid. We do not have the funds to pay our contributors.

Our major source of financial support is YOU, our readers. Perhaps in the future we’ll receive foundation money or a few large gifts from individual donors—no luck with that so far. (Let us know if you have contact with a potential source.)

We bring in about a quarter of our budget from you. Hopefully that amount will rise in the future. But in the meanwhile, the balance comes out of our not-so-deep pockets. As you can see, the magazine is a labor of love!

Persimmon Tree fills a niche in the ever-expanding internet publishing world. We’re so pleased that recognition of this is growing. Last fall, we held two events, one in New York and one in the San Francisco Bay Area—we did this to celebrate our second anniversary. Both events were attended by many people we didn’t know, readers who came to support us. We had the sense of an ever-widening circle.

The photo of the contributing editors below was taken at the Bay Area celebration. Check it out.

Our goal is to make the outstanding work of older women available to a larger audience. We now have readers in over sixty countries (among them, Zambia, Western Sahara, Afghanistan, Albania, and China), and our numbers in the U.S. are growing. As always, I ask that you spread the word about the magazine to your friends and associates. Tell them to sign up to receive our alerts—that way, they’ll learn when a new issue is online and when we offer writing opportunities. We do not share our email list with anyone, and we promise not to barrage our readers with lots of messages.

In this time of deepest winter, there are still a few persimmons hanging on the bare branches of the trees in my neighborhood. These round orange spheres are hardy—like so many of us. The wind whips around them, the rain and hail beat on them, and yet they remain. At some point they’ll be harvested or they’ll drop onto the barren ground, and their season will be over. But by that time, the trees will already be drawing sustenance from the earth and the sun to produce new leaves and new fruit. The cycle will begin again.

I wish you a good holiday season and a very happy new year.

Nan Gefen

PT Team 2009
Marcia Freedman, Sandra Butler, Nan Gefen, Sandy Boucher,
Chana Bloch, Martha Boesing, Moira Roth
(left to right)


Nan Fink Gefen was the founding publisher of Tikkun magazine in 1985 and the founding editor of Persimmon Tree magazine in 2007. She is the author of Stranger in the Midst (Basic Books, 1997) and Discovering Jewish Meditation (Jewish Lights, 2nd edition 2011), and her fiction and nonfiction pieces have appeared in literary journals and magazines. She currently is working on a novel, Woman on a Wire.