On April 22, 1897, The Forward published our very first issue. The one-page sheet in Yiddish costing a penny carried reports from the Middle East war front, accounts of Cuban unrest and stories of a steam-fitters’ strike in New York. The headlines held an enormous amount of news and information. “From the Class Struggle: Locked Out Steamfitters are Holding Fast,” blared one headline. “Enough Swinders!” declared another.
With that one page, our Yiddish-language daily newspaper joined New York’s immigrant presses. Through the leadership of founding editor, Abraham Cahan, by the 1930s The Forward became the voice of the Jewish immigrant with a circulation rivaling The New York Times.
In 1988, when we were only 91-years old, Marlene Booth and Linda Matchin made a documentary about us called The Forward: From Immigrants to Americans. It’s chock-full and ongepakt with delightful scenes such as legendary actor and Broadway’s “Tevye,” Zero Mostel, reading everyone’s favorite Bintl Brief advice column, hear eyewitness accounts of early New York City labor history and catch up on little known gems of Forward history like the fact that we offered readers the great works of literature, such as Flaubert, in translation.
Matchin and Booth and crew were there at our 90th birthday, and scenes of that get-together are part of this film. So sit back and join the show taking a look back at our shared history, while we keep moving forward. And here’s to many more years of fearless, independent Jewish journalism together.