Forgive us for smiling.
The past few weeks have brought exciting awards and new purpose to the Forward, confirming the quality of our work and helping to craft the future. At a time when the economy is struggling and journalism is stumbling through a complete rewrite, our good news is very welcome.
First, in Chicago at the recent meeting of the American Jewish Press Association, the Forward won a record 10 Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism. It wasn’t just the number or the strong finish — six first-place, four second-place awards — that felt so satisfying. It was the breadth of work for which we were recognized, including investigative and news stories, features, commentary, editorials, design and special sections. Our Web site was deemed outstanding!
At the same time, we announced a new partnership with Zeek: A Journal of Jewish Thought and Culture. Founded seven years ago by a bunch of very smart, literate people — including our arts and culture editor, Dan Friedman — Zeek is published daily online and quarterly in print, aspiring to be a catalyst for conversation about the Jewish tomorrow. It covers politics, spirituality and culture in a thoughtful, edgy way, providing a perfect complement to our work and, we hope, a broader, younger audience. Soon, Zeek will have its own channel on our Web site, and its brilliant editor, Jo Ellen Green Kaiser (also a Rockower Award winner), will write monthly for our pages.
Finally, I’m pleased to announce that J.J. Goldberg, my predecessor as editor and a towering figure in Jewish journalism, will write a weekly column on this page and a regular blog on our Web site. J.J. will explore the uneasy interplay between Jewish values and Jewish interests in public life, drawing on a lifetime of experience, with the added urgency our times demand. Leonard Fein, a gem of a man who has graced our pages for nearly 20 years, will remain in the Forward family, with his weekly column appearing alternately on our opinion page and on our Web site.
Jane Eisner, a pioneer in journalism, became editor-in-chief of the Forward in 2008, the first woman to hold the position at the influential Jewish national news organization. Under her leadership, the Forward readership has grown significantly and it has won numerous regional and national awards for its original journalism, in print and online.