The Yiddish Forverts Goes Biweekly in Print

Editors Will Change Focus to Daily Web Publication

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published January 25, 2013, issue of February 01, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page


The weekly Yiddish Forward is cutting back to a biweekly print schedule amid declining circulation and growing financial pressure.

The Yiddish Forward will increase its focus on its website, which will be updated daily with news and multimedia content starting February 4.

Now the last of the Yiddish-language secular newspapers, the Yiddish Forward has published continuously since 1897. Forward officials say they hope the move online will allow the paper to reach a wider audience.

“Much of the print audience is an elderly readership that we feel obliged to keep serving,” said Samuel Norich, president of the Forward Association, which owns the Yiddish news outlet as well as the separately produced and independently staffed English-language Forward. “The growth, we expect, will be on the digital side,” said Norich, who is also publisher of both news organizations.

Known as the Forverts, the Yiddish-language newspaper was once a dominant New York City daily, read widely on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and around the country. In the 1920s, the paper had a daily circulation of 250,000 copies and a nationwide readership of more than a million.

That changed as the Yiddish-speaking secular Jewish community gradually assimilated. Today the Forward Association says the Forverts has a print circulation of 2,100 copies and 6,000 readers. The Forward Association’s Yiddish editorial division lost more than $1 million in 2011 alone, according to a publicly filed financial report.

“It was evident that our Yiddish readership in print was declining,” Norich said. “Some people felt that we were spending too much for what was, in fact, a shrinking readership.”

The Forverts will switch to its new biweekly printing schedule on February 4. The paper’s website, which now updates weekly, will post new content daily. In the transition, the Forward Association’s Yiddish editorial operation will shift from eight full time staff positions to seven, according to Norich. There will be no changes to the staff or publication schedule of the English-language Forward, whose daily website attracts a million page views a month.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.