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Boris Sandler Retires as Editor of Yiddish Forward

Forverts editor Boris Sandler, who introduced Yiddish journalism to a new generation and earned the laurels of the Jewish literary community in the U.S. and in Israel, will retire, Samuel Norich, publisher and president/CEO of the Forward Association, announced today.

Sandler, 66, took the reins of the Yiddish Forward 18 years ago, and broadened the readership of the 119-year-old publication to a younger and digitally sophisticated generation around the world. Working from the wooden desk of Abraham Cahan, the legendary founding editor of the Forverts, Sandler brought scores of new writers into the pages of the print edition, now published biweekly, and to the Forverts’s growing presence online.

Born in Bălți (Belts in Yiddish), Moldova, Sandler studied in Kishniev and wrote pieces for Sovetish Heymland, a Yiddish language Soviet-era literary publication. He moved to Israel in 1992, where he published several books in Yiddish, including “Toyren,” a 1997 collection of short stories about the experiences of Russian immigrants to Israel. In 1998, he moved to New York to become editor of the Forverts.

Known also as an indefatigable cultural activist, and the author of 14 books, Sandler also was behind the efforts to preserve 10 contemporary Yiddish writers on film, directing a series of films that aired at YIVO. His novella, “Keynemsdorf,” a post-modern Yiddish satire, was published in 2011.

“We are delighted that his writing will continue to appear in the Forverts in the coming months and years, and we will be forever grateful for the pivotal editorial contribution he has made to the annals of this venerable publication,” Norich said.

Norich also announced the appointment of Rukhl Schaechter as editor of the Forverts, succeeding Sandler. An experienced and prize-winning journalist, she has been a reporter and assistant editor at the Forverts since 1998. She holds degrees from Barnard College and the Bank Street College of Education. Schaechter is the first woman to head the Yiddish publication. She will report to Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Forward.

“We look forward to the ideas and energy Rukhl brings to her new role as we look to grow the publication’s digital audience in the years ahead,” Norich said.

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