Joseph Hochstein, editor and publisher for nearly two decades of the weekly newspaper now known as the Washington Jewish Week, has died.
Hochstein died in Tel Aviv, where he lived for nearly three decades, from complications of cirrhosis of the liver. He was 77.
Hochstein and his father, Phillip, started the Washington, D.C.-based The Jewish Week, successor to the National Jewish Ledger, in 1965. Under Hochstein, the newspaper won several American Jewish Press Association awards, covering major stories of the day. He sold the paper in 1983.
On Aug. 11, 1983, just before he made aliyah to Israel, in an Op-Ed titled “Not goodbye, but l’hitraot,” he wrote: “I love newspapering, and I have a special love for this paper, since I helped start it in 1965 with my father. ... What happens each week at The Jewish Week is achieved with greater difficulty than the work done in the newsrooms of great metropolitan dailies, and it is more profoundly needed. Knowing that I played a central role in making this happen helps offset the regret of leaving, as does the joy of realizing a long-held dream of living in Israel.”
The paper’s new owner, Leonard Kapiloff, changed the name of the paper to the Washington Jewish Week.
Hochstein graduated from Princeton University in 1955 with a degree in humanities. During his service in the army from 1956 to 1958, he was assigned to the Armed Forces Press Service unit in New York City. His career in journalism spanned many years and news organizations, including the Advance News Service; several Newhouse newspapers and as an editor of the Congressional Quarterly. He also served as the information chief of a U.S. government commission on paperwork during the Carter administration.
In 1987, Hochstein and Murray S. Greenfield co-authored the book “The Jews’ Secret Fleet: The Untold Story of North American Volunteers who Smashed the British Blockade.”
While living in Israel, Hochstein worked as a freelance editor and writer, including a newsletter for the diamond industry and an Israel Defense Forces magazine. Several years ago he began writing in English about life in Israel under the blog “Israel: Like this, as if.”
Hochstein was injured in a suicide bomb attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv in 1996 that killed 13 and injured 150. A son, Marcus, whom Hochstein had followed to Israel, was killed in 1985 just shy of his 21st birthday when his army paratrooper detail was ambushed while clearing a mine from a road near Nabatiya, Lebanon.