The Forward


The Forward

"The Forward" ( _yi. פֿאָרווערטס; "Forverts") is a Jewish-American weekly newspaper published in New York City.

As of 2008, the "Forward" is published as a weekly news magazine in separate Yiddish and English editions. Each is effectively an independent publication with its own contents. Jane Eisner became Editor in June, 2008. [Eisner Breaks Glass Stelya at Jewish Forward, 07/01/08, By Besa Luci, WeNews correspondent http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm?aid=3655] The Editorial Director is J.J. Goldberg, who has served in that role since 2000. [ [http://www.forward.com/about/masthead/jj-goldberg/ J.J. Goldberg - Forward.com ] ] The paper maintains a left of center editorial stance. [Eisner Breaks Glass Stelya at Jewish Forward, 07/01/08, By Besa Luci, WeNews correspondent http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm?aid=3655]

History

It was founded in 1897 as a daily newspaper in Yiddish by Abraham Cahan. The paper's name, as well as its political orientation, was borrowed from the German Social Democratic Party and its organ Vorwärts.

The circulation of the paper grew quickly, paralleling the rapid growth of the Yiddish speaking population of the United States. By 1912 its circulation was 120,000,Gray, Christopher. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9904E7DA1131F93AA25754C0A96E958260 "Streetscapes/The Jewish Daily Forward Building, 175 East Broadway; A Capitalist Venture With a Socialist Base"] , "The New York Times', April 2, 2007.] and by the late 1920s/early 1930s, the "Forward" was a leading U.S. metropolitan daily with considerable influence and a nationwide circulation of more than 275,000 [http://www.forward.com/about/history/ "Our history"] , "Forward" website. Accessed April 2, 2007.] though this had dropped to 170,000 by 1939 as a result of changes in U.S. immigration policy that restricted the immigration of Jews to a trickle. By 1962 circulation was down to 56,126 daily and 59,636 Sunday, [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,827975,00.html "The Victim of Success"] , "Time", December 28, 1962.] and by 1983 the newspaper was published only once a week, with an English supplement. In 1990 the English supplement became an independent weekly which by 2000 had a circulation of 26,183, while the Yiddish weekly had a circulation of 7,000 and falling.Alterman, Eric. [http://www.thenation.com/doc/20000522/alterman "Back to the "Forward"] , "The Nation", May 22, 2000.]

Early on, the "Forward" defended trade unionism and moderate, democratic socialism. The paper was a significant participant in the activities of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union; Benjamin Schlesinger, a former president of the ILGWU, became the General Manager of the paper in 1923, then returned to the Presidency of the union in 1928. The paper was also an early supporter of David Dubinsky, Schlesinger's eventual successor.


thumb|left|220px|This issue of the Yiddish socialist daily, the Forward, endorsed Roosevelt for reelection as “Labor’sChoice” on the cover of its November 1, 1936, rotogravure section. The most well-known writer in the "Yiddish Forward" was Isaac Bashevis Singer, who received the Nobel Prize in literature although other well known Socialist literary and political figures, such as Leon Trotsky and Morris Winchevsky have also written for it.

Modern times

As the influence of the Socialist Party in both American politics and in the Jewish community waned, the paper joined the American liberal mainstream though it maintained a social democratic orientation. The English version has some standing in the Jewish community as an outlet of liberal policy analysis.

The Yiddish edition has recently enjoyed a modest increase in circulation as courses in the language have become more popular among university students; circulation has leveled out at about 5,500. The current editor of the Yiddish Forward is Boris Sandler, a Moldovan who is also one of the most significant contemporary secular writers in Yiddish.

For a few years, there was also a Russian edition. This eventually became an entirely separate entity, owned by RAJI (Russian American Jews for Israel). In contrast to its English counterpart, the Russian edition and its readership were more sympathetic to right-wing voices. In March 2007, it was renamed the "Forum".

The website of the Forward describes the formation of its Russian edition: "In the fall of 1995 a Russian-language edition of the Forward was launched, under the editorship of Vladimir "Velvl" Yedidowich. The decision to launch a Russian Forward in the crowded market of Russian-language journalism in New York followed approaches to the Forward Association by a number of intellectual leaders in the fast-growing émigré community who expressed an interest in adding a voice that was strongly Jewish, yet with a secular, social-democratic orientation and an appreciation for the cultural dimension of Jewish life."

The Russian edition was sold in 2004, although it kept the name.Murphy, Jarrett. [http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0502,murphy,59942,6.html "Forward" Backlash] , "The Village Voice", January 11, 2005.] Around the same time, the Forward Association also sold off its interest in WEVD to the Disney Company's sports division ESPN.

For a period in the 1990s, conservatives came to the fore of the English edition of the paper, but the break from tradition didn't last. A number of conservatives dismissed from "The Forward" later helped to found the modern "New York Sun".

Jewish Daily Forward Building

At the peak of its popularity, the Forward erected a ten-story office building at 175 East Broadway on the Lower East Side, designed by architect George Boehm and completed in 1912. It was a prime location, across the street from Seward Park. The handsome building was embellished with marble columns and panels and stained glass windows. The facade features carved bas relief portraits of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, as well as Ferdinand Lassalle, the Jewish founder of the first German socialist party, and August Bebel, the head of the German Social Democratic Party when the building went up.

In the real estate boom of the 1990s, the building was converted to condominiums. [Gray, Christopher. "Streetscapes/The Jewish Daily Forward Building, 175 East Broadway; A Capitalist Venture With a Socialist Base", The New York Times', April 2, 2007. ] [ Boroughing: Das Forvert Building, Ariel Pollock, Current, winter 2007 [http://www.columbia.edu/cu/current/articles/spring2008/boroughing-das.html] ]

ee also

* Forward 50
* Media of New York City
* Secular Jewish culture
* Yiddish theatre

Notes

References

* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,827975,00.html "The Victim of Success"] , "Time", December 28, 1962.
*Alterman, Eric. [http://www.thenation.com/doc/20000522/alterman "Back to the "Forward"] , "The Nation", May 22, 2000.
*Gray, Christopher. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9904E7DA1131F93AA25754C0A96E958260 "Streetscapes/The Jewish Daily Forward Building, 175 East Broadway; A Capitalist Venture With a Socialist Base"] , "The New York Times', April 2, 2007.
*Murphy, Jarrett. [http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0502,murphy,59942,6.html "Forward" Backlash] , "The Village Voice", January 11, 2005.

External links

* [http://www.forward.com "The Forward"]
* [http://yiddish.forward.com "Yiddish Forward"]
* [http://www.inforeklama.com/Partners/Newspapers/Forward/info.htm The transition from the "Russian Forward" to "Forum"]


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