The Forward and the Jewish Journal of Boston Launch Partnership


Forward editor-in-chief Jane Eisner has strong ties to the Philadelphia Jewish community. Before 2008 when she became the first woman to edit The Forward, she was vice president of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, held a variety of positions at the Philadelphia Inquirer including editorial page editor, and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College. Her TV program The Salon continues to air locally on TJC.

Collaboration Will Enhance Jewish Journalism in Greater Boston

The Jewish Daily Forward and The Jewish Journal, two of the American Jewish community’s leading news sources, are working together to expand their coverage and entice more readers to connect with the Jewish community in Greater Boston, nationwide and around the world.

Beginning in August, the Journal’s print edition will include a selection of news, interviews,  features and arts coverage from the Forward’s correspondents worldwide. And the Journal will launch a new website, hosted by the Forward, to provide a rich online experience worthy of the Jewish Journal’s in-depth coverage of the metropolitan Boston Jewish community.

Forward president and publisher Samuel Norich:

This is another step on a road we have been traveling for a century, toward providing the most comprehensive and credible coverage of American Jewry and the Jewish world. Because we believe a robust Jewish press is essential to the health of our communities, the Forward is pleased to work with the Jewish Journal to better serve Boston’s Jewish community, and we look forward to extending this collaborative model to publications in other localities.

In this partnership, each organization will retain its editorial and financial independence. The Forward, by working with the Journal, will extend its exposure in the Boston area and benefit from the Journal’s thorough knowledge of its community. The Journal will gain access to the Forward’s extensive experience in national and international journalism, digital media and marketing.

Barbara Schneider, publisher of the Jewish Journal:

We’re laying the groundwork to expand beyond our traditional base on the North Shore. By partnering with the Forward, the Jewish Journal can maintain its hyper-local approach to covering communal news and provide a more valuable service to the Greater Boston community. We will also be able to offer our community a more comprehensive and up-to-the minute website.

Everyone wins. The Jewish Journal benefits, the Forward benefits, and — more importantly — our readers and web users benefit from our ability to do more for them together than we can separately.

About The Forward

The Forward is a legendary name in journalism, chronicling the American Jewish story for 116 years. As a nonprofit, user-supported media organization, it remains committed today to serving the Jewish community and society’s greater good with a national, Jewish perspective, strengthening Jewish engagement with independent reporting and diverse commentary on current issues and the arts, in English and Yiddish, that meet the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression.

Its news, analysis, features and arts coverage reach an audience of millions through the Internet at forward.com, as well as its newspapers published in both English and Yiddish. Forward journalists are regularly seen and heard on CNN, MSNBC and NPR, and its coverage is regularly cited by major outlets such as the New York Times, Israeli media and international wire services. The Forward’s excellence has been recognized with numerous professional journalism awards for reporting, editorials, design and web content.

About The Jewish Journal

The Jewish Journal is a nonprofit, independent, local paper that shines a light on all aspects of Jewish communal life in the Greater Boston area, while offering a broad spectrum of opinion on its op-ed pages.

Founded in Swampscott, Massachusetts, in 1977, the Jewish Journal is now based in Salem. Its mission is to inform, engage, educate and connect the Jewish community in the Greater Boston region. The newspaper is distributed free to families in more than 60 cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts, and mailed to subscribers in other states.  

Streit’s Matzo Raises Money for Documentary

— by Michael Levine

On Manhattan’s Lower East Side, in a series of four nondescript brick tenement buildings, sits the Streit’s Matzo factory. In 1925, when Aron Streit opened the factory’s doors, it sat at the heart of the nation’s largest Jewish immigrant community. Today, in its fifth generation of family ownership, in a rapidly gentrifying Lower East Side, it remains as the last family-owned matzo factory in America. This place is filled with history and tradition, and not only in the sense that the recipe for their product is 3,000 years old.

More after the jump.
The machinery still used here to bake and pack 40% of the nation’s matzo is as old as the factory itself. The owners still sit at their great-grandfathers’ desks, declining to clear the drawers of the contents left by their forbearers. They have, again and again, refused offers by developers for their real estate, and resisted modernizing the facility, worried of the potential effects on their fiercely loyal workforce, made of neighborhood residents and immigrants from around the world, many of whom have been working there for 30 years or more.  

And yet, while in many ways Streit’s may seem a relic from another age, they continue to thrive, consistently receiving more orders than they can fill.

In a neighborhood where the Jewish immigrants have long ago moved on, in a nation where progress and profits trump all else, where manufacturing has left the cities if not the country, where family businesses are bought out by giant corporations, and workers move from job to low-paying job, Streit’s remains a Lower East Side institution, and a glimmer of hope for the American Dream.

I’ve been working in documentary film and television (Showtime, A&E, History Channel, HGTV, and numerous independent projects) for the past nine years, and having deep family roots on the Lower East Side (my father’s side settled on Rivington Street in 1910), I am truly thrilled and honored to have a chance to make this film. It has been a dream of mine, for years, to tell this story, and seeing it come together has been nothing short of amazing. And while I’m at it, let me thank you again for your support! Your belief in this project is what promises to get me through all the sleepless nights of editing ahead — I’m so excited to get this film out into the world!

I’m also thrilled to be working on this project with the my producer, Michael Green, whose long and storied career in the world of food and drink (19 years at Gourmet Magazine, appearances on Food Network, Today Show, and much more), his experience as a producer across many forms of media, and his unwavering passion for this project, have made working on this film with him an extraordinary experience.

We are joining forces to create a film, a feature-length documentary, that will tell the story of Streit’s — of the factory, of the family, of its workers, of its place in the rich history of the Lower East Side and in America. It is a story of tradition, of resilience and resistance, of the perseverance of the Jewish people, and of immigrants of all faiths, so many of whom have found home in the Lower East Side, behind the doors of Streit’s, or in the matzo they bake.

In order to make this project possible, we are raising money with Kickstarter. So far, about 300 people have chosen to support us, and we have raised close to $30,000. Please help us reach our goal of $60,000.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Vote for a leader on climate change

— by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief.

The floods and fires that swept through our city left a path of destruction that will require years of recovery and rebuilding work. And in the short term, our subway system remains partially shut down, and many city residents and businesses still have no power. In just 14 months, two hurricanes have forced us to evacuate neighborhoods — something our city government had never done before. If this is a trend, it is simply not sustainable.

Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be — given this week’s devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.

Here in New York, our comprehensive sustainability plan — PlaNYC — has helped allow us to cut our carbon footprint by 16 percent in just five years, which is the equivalent of eliminating the carbon footprint of a city twice the size of Seattle. Through the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group — a partnership among many of the world’s largest cities — local governments are taking action where national governments are not.

More after the jump.


TPM2012: “The grassroots progressive group ClimateSilence.org is bringing Sandy into the presidential campaign in two of its most important battlegrounds — Ohio and Virginia — in the final stretch toward Election Day.

The group is running a TV ad on cable in key markets in both states built around a Romney quip in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention that dismissed Obama’s talk of climate change. While Romney speaks — and the sound of laughter from his Republican audience can be heard — footage from Sandy plays.”

Leadership Needed

But we can’t do it alone. We need leadership from the White House — and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.

Mitt Romney, too, has a history of tackling climate change. As governor of Massachusetts, he signed on to a regional cap- and-trade plan designed to reduce carbon emissions 10 percent below 1990 levels. “The benefits (of that plan) will be long- lasting and enormous — benefits to our health, our economy, our quality of life, our very landscape. These are actions we can and must take now, if we are to have ‘no regrets’ when we transfer our temporary stewardship of this Earth to the next generation,” he wrote at the time.

He couldn’t have been more right. But since then, he has reversed course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported. This issue is too important. We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward.

I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and he would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office. He understands that America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results. In the past he has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts.

If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him because, like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing.

In 2008, Obama ran as a pragmatic problem-solver and consensus-builder. But as president, he devoted little time and effort to developing and sustaining a coalition of centrists, which doomed hope for any real progress on illegal guns, immigration, tax reform, job creation and deficit reduction. And rather than uniting the country around a message of shared sacrifice, he engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.

Important Victories

Nevertheless, the president has achieved some important victories on issues that will help define our future. His Race to the Top education program — much of which was opposed by the teachers’ unions, a traditional Democratic Party constituency — has helped drive badly needed reform across the country, giving local districts leverage to strengthen accountability in the classroom and expand charter schools. His health-care law — for all its flaws — will provide insurance coverage to people who need it most and save lives.

When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.

One believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision.

One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history.

One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.

Of course, neither candidate has specified what hard decisions he will make to get our economy back on track while also balancing the budget. But in the end, what matters most isn’t the shape of any particular proposal; it’s the work that must be done to bring members of Congress together to achieve bipartisan solutions.

Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both found success while their parties were out of power in Congress — and President Obama can, too. If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that’s why I will be voting for him.  

DHS Secretary Nepolitano Meets With Jewish Community Leaders

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today met with New York Jewish community leaders from the UJA-Federation at the White House, to discuss a variety of topics including information sharing and underscoring the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) partnerships with faith-based communities to prevent, prepare for and respond to terrorist threats.

More after the jump.
Secretary Napolitano said:

DHS recognizes the important role the nonprofit community has in our homeland security efforts. We work closely with nonprofit organizations throughout the country- including the faith-based community — to share information, offer training, conduct risk assessments and provide resources to give the nonprofit sector the tools to address threats and help keep communities safe.

During the meeting, Secretary Napolitano highlighted the Department’s efforts to support faith-based communities through DHS grants and information sharing, including collaboration through the Faith Based Task Force under the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

In FY 2012, DHS sustained funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program despite significant overall cuts to grants in order to support target hardening and physical security enhancements at nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack. For the first time, FEMA also made nonprofit organizations eligible for Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Activities (LETPA) funding in the FY 2012 grant guidance. Through this funding, DHS encourages states, urban areas, and regions to work closely with the nonprofit community to address terrorism prevention concerns and the needs of the nonprofit sector.

Last year, Secretary Napolitano announced the expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign to Jewish community by partnering with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Secure Community Network-a mechanism for information sharing with faith- and community-based organizations designed to quickly improve overall security awareness in a crisis situation.

The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign-originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and now licensed to DHS for a nationwide campaign-is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.

King Davids of Comedy in NYC

Tired of Chinese food and a movie on Christmas Eve? Try some of the top Jewish comics in the business as the King Davids of Comedy take the stage. Our mensches present their hilarious schtick as the great tradition of Jewish comedians continues at the brand new Laughing Devil Comedy Club. Shows are hosted by Philadelphia Jewish Voice writer Steve Hofstetter from the Late Late Show and lineup is TBA – though past guests have included Jeff Garlin, Sarah Silverman, and more.

More after the jump.

Shows:

Click on desired showtime and use Promo Code: PJVOICE

One-third of ticket price will be donated to support the Philadelphia Jewish Voice if you use the Promo Code: PJVOICE .

Sukkah vs. Sukkah



Artists in New York will display a dozen sukkot in Union Square just after Yom Kippor. You can vote on your favorite design in The New York Times. The winners will be announced in Union Square at 5:30pm on September 20 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and “a special guest”.

The sukkot will be auctioned off with proceeds going to support homeless initiatives in New York City.