JEWISH DAILY FORWARD


JEWISH DAILY FORWARD (Yid. Forverts), U.S. Yiddish newspaper. Established in New York in 1897 as a more moderate offshoot of the militantly left-wing Abendblatt the Forward was in its heyday the wealthiest and most widely read Yiddish newspaper in the United States, with 11 local and regional editions reaching as far west as Chicago. Under the editorship of Abraham *Cahan, who ruled the paper for nearly half a century, from 1903 to 1951, for much of the time with the assistance of general manager Baruch Charney *Vladeck, the Forward combined conscientious journalism with a partisan commitment to democratic socialism and the Jewish labor movement. It published stories and serialized novels by such authors as Sholem *Asch, Jonah *Rosenfeld, Zalman *Shneour, Abraham *Reisin, Israel Joshua *Singer and his brother Isaac *Bashevis Singer, gave lessons in English and other subjects for old and new immigrants, and counseled and consoled several generations of readers with its famous advice column, the Bintel Brif ("Bundle of Letters"). Its Forward building, completed in 1908, was from the first a landmark on New York's Lower East Side, where it housed the headquarters of the United Hebrew Trades, the Workmen's Circle, the Jewish Socialist Federation, and other organizations, and served as a center for the Jewish labor movement in the United States. The paper's peak circulation of nearly 200,000 was reached during World War I, when the intervention of Louis *Marshall barely saved it from being shut down by the U.S. government for its pro-German sympathies; thereafter its readership declined steadily, like that of the rest of the Yiddish press, though increased advertising revenues in the 1920s and 1930s cushioned it financially and even enabled it to launch its own Yiddish radio station, WEVD. At the time of Cahan's death in 1951 the Forward's circulation had fallen to 80,000, while in 1970 it was officially put at 44,000. In 1983, it was forced to become a weekly. Editors after Cahan were Hillel *Rogoff (1951–62), Lazar Fogelman (1962–68), Morris Crystal (1968–70), Simon Weber (1970–87), and Mordechai Strigler (1988–98).

From 1990, it published the weekly Forward in English as well as the Yiddish Forverts. The English Forward was edited by Seth Lipsky, who was replaced in July 2000 by J.J. Goldberg. In 1995–2005 the Forward Association also published the Russian Forverts. In 1998, the Yiddish prose-writer Boris Sandler (born in 1950 in Soviet Moldova), was appointed as editor of the Yiddish Forverts.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

R. Sanders, in: Midstream, 4 (1962), 79–94; J. Chaikin, Yidishe Bleter in Amerike (1946), index; H. Rogoff, Der Gayst fun Forverts (1954); A. Cahan, Bleter fun Mayn Lebn, 3 (1926), 4 (1928), 5 (1931), index; J. Teller, Strangers and Natives (1968), index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J.C. Rich, The Jewish Daily Forward (1967); I. Metzker, A Bintel Brief (1981).

[Hillel Halkin /

Gennady Estraikh (2nd ed.)]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.