I first learned about this marvelous newspaper 30 years ago, when I was a college student studying Jewish immigrant life on the Lower East Side of New York. As a budding journalist, I was captivated by the essential civic and cultural role played by the Forward, and by the power and creativity of its founding editor, Abraham Cahan, who brilliantly chronicled the stories, needs and aspirations of the burgeoning Jewish immigrant community.
We are no longer a community of immigrants, but that mission speaks to us with just as much relevance today. While Cahan used his newspaper to help Jews become Americans in the 20th century, today the Forward’s challenge is to help American Jews wrestle with what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century — aware of our history and knowledgeable about our world, willing to criticize and argue because criticism and argument are central to our culture, committed to the values of social justice and equality that are fundamental to our tradition, and devoted to the Jewish people here, in Israel and around the world.
To follow in Cahan’s footsteps, and in those of my illustrious predecessors at the English-language Forward, is both truly daunting and an enormous privilege. Already blessed with a talented staff and a sophisticated readership, I aim to broaden the Forward’s reach in print and online, solidifying its reputation as the source for Jewish news, culture and opinion in America.
“A good newspaper,” Arthur Miller observed back in 1961, “is a nation talking to itself.” How relevant those words are today! Technology allows us to talk to ourselves on any number of platforms; maintaining a healthy democracy demands that we do so.
The pages of the Forward should reflect the American Jewish community talking to itself, so I’d like to begin my tenure as editor with a simple request: Talk to us. Share your thoughts about this journalistic enterprise. What causes you to turn the page? What do we cover well, or too much, or not enough?
Send your comments and insights to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Letters for publication should still be sent to email@example.com.) I pledge that your feedback will be read and considered as we work together to shape the Forward of the future.
Editor, The Forward