Challenges and Choices in the Jewish Media Today
October 21, 2012
The Jerome Nemer Lecture Series at USC was created in 1980 to explore the contributions of Jewish thinkers to Western intellectual life.
When Ab Cahan founded the Forverts in 1897, his readers were Yiddish speaking immigrants who wanted desperately to become Americans. Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Forward, discussed this evolution and the choices it demands.
The Jewish media today serves a very different Jewish community, one that is more prosperous and powerful than at any time in American history. But it's also a community that now struggles to maintain its Jewishness. Jewish publications today face all the existential challenges faced by other journalists, with a special duty to serve a disparate, diverse public. Jane Eisner, a pioneer in journalism, became editor of the Forward in June 2008, the first woman to hold the position at the influential Jewish national weekly newspaper. Under her leadership, the Forward has won numerous regional and national awards for its original journalism, in print and online.
Dr. Sarah Benor, Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College provided commentary and reflection on this topic.