On Sept. 21, the day the space shuttle Endeavour flew past local landmarks on its way to Los Angeles International Airport, every media outlet in the city had dispatched multiple reporters to look to the skies.
An Estonian weekly newspaper ran a mock ad for weight loss pills using a photo of prisoners at a Nazi concentration camp.
It wasn’t your typical college sex scandal. There were no accusations of molestation, inappropriate faculty-student relationships or date rape charges.
Former Israeli soldier Anat Kamm, who turned classified military documents over to a reporter, entered jail to begin her 4 1/2-year sentence.
The Malaysian government-backed newspaper said in an editorial that foreign Jewish groups will try to use a current push for reform to interfere in the country.
Stephen Colbert riffs on Der Zeitung.
Shalom L.A., the Hebrew-language newsweekly that catered to Los Angeles' large Israeli community, ceased production last month after 19 years. The paper had been largely subsidized by its owners, Isaac and Miri Shepher, until they transferred ownership to editor Moshe Barzilai in November.
The New York Post may be the oldest continuously operating daily publication in the United States, but The Forward, which began publication in 1897 during the waves of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe, was the first paper in this country to have a national readership. In its heyday, the Yiddish- language daily, once known as The Forverts, had a larger circulation than even The New York Times.
Happily for them, most of the old-time Los Angeles anti-Semites who used to hang out at the downtown California Club are either dead or too old to care that a Jew is on the verge of owning the L.A. Times.
One day at lunch with a group of reporters and editors, Dave Laventhol, then the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, was musing that journalists had become elitist,
separated from their communities, maybe even too educated.
The role of a Jewish newspaper is to connect the Jewish community, not to unify it," said Gene Lichtenstein, founding editor of The Journal.
During his nearly 15-year tenure, which ended in 2000, Lichtenstein's formula was to hire good, independent writers and columnists who could produce articles that raised the interest, and frequently the hackles, of both professional and peripheral Jews.
Israel's Maariv newspaper reports that authorities have collected around 400 pairs of knickers and bras from the grilles of the tomb's window and on nearby trees.
The Israeli daily Ha'aretz, a favorite of the intelligentsia in Israel and the West, and widely cited by the North American press, is frequently referred to as "Israel's New York Times." But a New York Times it is not.
The Nation and the world
Starting next year, Jewish Journal readers who received their weekly newspaper by donating to The Jewish Federation will still be able to get it, but not as part of their Federation donation.
Irv Kupcinet, the legendary Chicago Sun-Times columnist for 60 years, died Monday, Nov. 10 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
"I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it," Richard Ingrams wrote in his July 13 column.
Stanley Hirsh shared a vision of a newspaper that could serve as a kind of hub for an increasingly diverse and far-flung community.
The old joke says, "For every two Jews, you have three opinions." So is it possible that, as members of the Jewish political left complained in an ad on the back page of this newspaper on Nov. 22, "In the name of unity in a time of crisis, the great Jewish tradition of vibrant and open debate has given way to a single voice"?
One of the main organizers of that "One Community, Many Voices" statement, UCLA professor David N. Myers, said of current Jewish political discourse that "the default assumption is that you support the present policies of the Israeli government, and hold Israel free of responsibility for the situation, or you're against us."
You want media bias? I'll give you media bias. Here's one big city newspaper's account of the Israeli incursion into the Jenin refugee camp: "Jenin camp looks like the scene of a crime. Its concrete rubble and tortured metal evokes another horror half a world away in New York, smaller in scale, but every bit as repellent in its particulars."
That's from the London newspaper The Guardian. The Los Angeles Times, in contrast, ran a long, two-page investigation into what happened in Jenin. It reported the evidence of terrorism that led to Israel's decision to go in. It documented the precise and risky manner by which the Israeli army chose to carry out its operation. It recounted the fear of the soldiers and refugees, the killing of innocent Palestinians (that's part of the story) and it investigated the wildly inflated stories of Palestinian propagandists and found them lacking.
On April 1, Los Angeles County children's social worker Jules Weingart sent the Los Angeles Times a letter protesting its predilection for calling Palestinian suicide-bombers "militants." As a courtesy, Weingart attached a list of normative definitions of the terms "militant," "terrorism," "terror" and "extremist."
On April 18, Weingart received a response from Times Readers Representative Jamie Gold. "The word terrorist is not applied to combatants in Israel," Gold informed Weingart on behalf of the newspaper, "because it is considered a politically loaded word."
That this is some perverse form of political correctness, few can doubt. But as Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has asked repeatedly over the last year, "Political correctness for whom -- suicide-bombers?"
After nearly a half-century run and years of financial difficulties, the Heritage Southwest Jewish Press called it quits with its Sept. 28 issue.
Shortly before or perhaps just after World War II, actor Kirk Douglas asked Dorothy Buffum Chandler why the Los Angeles Times seemed to pander so wantonly to the anti-Semitism then still rampant among many of the city's more refined elites.
"Why, darling?" cooed the doyenne of the Chandler newspaper dynasty. "We do it because it sells papers."
Rebuilding the Temple? Could the Times be coming around? Then I read the editorial and everything fell into place.
In February 1997, the L.A. Jewish Voice, a weekly published by Selwin Gerber and a group of investors, threw down the gauntlet in the arena of Los Angeles' Jewish press.
Joseph Jonah Cummins was a complex man. A prominent Hollywood attorney, the powerful, opinionated Cummins represented Errol Flynn and Bette Davis and lived next door to Milton Berle and Jack Benny.
Every newspaper editor knows that one day he will have to step down. He may put the idea out of mind or revel in denial. But the thought is always there, loitering out of sight. Departure may come suddenly by way of death, illness or age. Or it may spring up with the changes that appear everywhere, while the editor persists in remaining unchanged and, therefore, out of step. Or there may simply, and unexpectedly, be an offer he can't refuse.
If you can read this, you can Web surf. That's the conclusion of a recent survey conducted by Mediamark Research, Inc., for the Joseph Jacobs Organization's Jewish Publications Network. The survey found that people who read Jewish newspapers (that's you, now) are more likely than not to own a computer and surf the Web. Here's the facts:By the way, you can read this same story online at our Web site: www. jewishjournal.com.
There is a sense at this moment that "time has stopped." That all political voices have become silent, in Israel no less than in the United States, while Messrs. Arafat, Barak and Clinton struggle over language, issues and principles in an effort to reach a peace agreement.
"There really has not been a dramatic shakeup here in a long time," Tom Rose said, talking about plans to streamline the financially troubled newspaper. "The issue is really grow or die -- and we choose the former."
Some of the differences between The Jewish Journal and the Los Angeles Times are obvious.
Like many a success story, it all started as a joke.
Dave Golding, a major Hollywood publicist, asked neophyte photographer Phil Stern to document the filming of "Guys and Dolls." As a favor to his father, who worked on The Forward, Golding asked Stern to photograph Marlon Brando reading a copy of the Yiddish-language paper.
Try as I will to guard against it, thepersonal always seems to intrude on my professional life.
Underneath the headline were threestories - one dealing with President Truman's announcement, one withthe opening hours of Israel's War of Independence, and the third withJewish reaction in Los Angeles ("with a spirit of solemnity," wrotethe Times reporter) to the news from the Middle East.
Stanley Hirsh, a founding member of The Jewish Journal's Board ofDirectors, was elected publisher of this newspaper by a unanimousvote of the Board last week.
Hillary and I were saddened to learn of your husband's death, andwe extend our deepest sympathy. We hope that the love and support ofyour family and friends will sustain and comfort you during thisdifficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers.