The New York Jewish Week has been acquired by 70 Faces Media, the publisher of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, in what is being described as “a deal that brings two of Jewish journalism’s most storied brands under one sturdy roof.”
Under the deal, announced Monday, the Jewish Week will remain a dedicated digital brand with its own unique focus on Jewish New York, its people and its institutions, while benefiting from 70 Faces Media’s experience and resources as North America’s largest and most diverse Jewish media organization.
“This acquisition provides an opportunity to create a new forward-looking digital vision for the Jewish Week that will benefit our community for years to come while staying true to our editorial values and mission,” said Kai Falkenberg, president of the New York Jewish Week’s board of directors
70 Faces Media, which reaches more than 3 million unique monthly visitors through its websites and millions more through its international syndication network, hopes to leverage that reach and the Jewish Week’s reporting and signature programs to create a sustainable online model for local community journalism around the country.
Supporters: The acquisition was made possible with support by UJA-Federation of New York, which has sustained the Jewish Week through the pandemic and pledged support for projects and programs moving forward. “UJA-Federation has long-supported the need for independent, high-quality Jewish media and its vital role in informing, engaging, and strengthening our large and diverse community,” said Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York.
The long view: Brandeis historian Jonathan Sarna says the acquisition is a welcome step in the evolution of Jewish journalism. “This acquisition provides a model of best practices during these challenging times, and will be closely watched by Jewish media outlets across the world,” said Sarna, a 70 Faces Media board member.
Journalism and more: The acquisition includes the Jewish Week’s signature programs, including Write On For Israel, a high school program exploring Israel and Jewish life on campus, and Public Forums featuring top newsmakers. The Jewish Week’s Thea Wieseltier has the new title of director of strategic projects and public programs.
From the editors: Andrew Silow-Carroll, who will stay on as the Jewish Week’s editor in chief, says the “future of journalism depends on the thorough, essential local reporting and presence the Jewish Week is known for, and the forward-thinking digital experience and innovation of organizations like 70 Faces Media.”
Philissa Cramer, JTA’s editor in chief, says the acquisition “will allow JTA to deepen our coverage of America’s largest Jewish community and also to pilot a strategy for addressing the current crisis in local news, which is depriving so many Jewish readers of essential coverage of their communities.”
Las Vegas mogul and Jewish philanthropist Sheldon Adelson, known for his patronage of President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has died at the age of 87.
His wife, Miriam Adelson, issued a statement saying, in part: “It is with unbearable pain that I announce the death of my husband, Sheldon G. Adelson, of complications from a long illness.”
A Boston native and chairman of the casino company Las Vegas Sands, he was a major force in GOP politics, donating over $250 million to GOP candidates and super PACs since 2015. He also funded the pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom paper, which upended Israel’s newspaper business, and the Republican Jewish Committee.
As a benefactor of Jewish causes, he pledged tens of millions of dollars annually to Taglit-Birthright Israel, Yad Vashem, IDC Herzliya, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s World Values Network, Friends of the IDF, the Israel American Council, the Maccabee Task Force and numerous other causes here and in Israel. He and his wife funded the construction of the first Jewish high school in Las Vegas.
Background: the Jewish Week’s Gary Rosenblatt wrote about his effort to interview Adelson in 2016.
New York’s Rep. Jerry Nadler is among the four Democrats leading the charge to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time.
Two other lead co-sponsors are Jewish: David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who is the lead sponsor, and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, JTA reports. The fourth is Ted Lieu of California.
Nadler chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, which traditionally takes a lead role in impeachment proceedings.
“In the wake of this deadly attack on the Capitol, in the face of this insurrection, we must act,” Nadler said in a statement. “There must be consequences. Those consequences must be commensurate with the offense, and they must begin with the President of the United States.”
Context: “The attempted coup at the United States Capitol last Wednesday, which took place as lawmakers inside counted the electoral votes that would formalize Joe Biden’s overwhelming election by the American people, marks one of the lowest points in our country’s 245-year experiment in democracy,” Cicilline wrote Monday in a New York Times op-ed, explaining his decision to launch the proceedings.
A photo of a man wearing a shirt suggesting more Jews should have been killed in the Holocaust was NOT taken at last Wednesday’s pro-Trump riot at the Capitol.
President-elect Joe Biden was among those condemning the wearer of the shirt, reading “6MWE,” which stands for “Six Million Weren’t Enough.” But while there were plenty of anti-Semitic and white supremacist messages on display during the day, the photo wasn’t among them: It was taken at a different pro-Trump event in December, JTA reports.
Why it matters: Observers say “accuracy is important when documenting Wednesday’s insurrection, and they worry that sharing false news could provide extremists with an opening to discredit criticism of the mob.”
Israel will advance plans to build over 800 new settlement homes next week, days before Joe Biden is sworn in as president of the United States.
The move, announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, is likely to rile Biden, who like most past U.S. presidents opposes new settlement construction.
“We’re here to stay. We’re continuing to build the Land of Israel!” Netanyahu wrote on Facebook.
Around the Agencies
The 2021 Charles Bronfman Prize was awarded to Drs. Jessica Beckerman and Ari Johnson, a husband-and-wife team whose organization Muso provides community-based, proactive health care through door-to-door home visits, doorstep care, and quick and free access to public clinics in West Africa. The $100,000 prize is given by the children of the philanthropist to honor a humanitarian under 50 whose world-changing work is informed by Jewish values.
“Healthcare is at the forefront of our world today,” Ellen Bronfman Hauptman said on behalf of the founders of the prize. “Muso’s model, which is based on people taking care of one another, could not be more timely or relevant. By naming Ari and Jessica as the 16th recipients of The Prize, the judges once again have selected humanitarians whose work meets this particular moment.”
Omer Yankelevitch, Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, wants to vaccinate Holocaust survivors worldwide against Covid-19.
Yankelevitch directed Shalom Corps, a worldwide youth service organization, to help establish free inoculation centers in designated countries. In the coming days, Shalom Corps will consider several different work-plans to finance and manage the project, including obtaining permits from foreign governments and the purchase of vaccines by her Ministry.
There are approximately 190,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel and 130,000 more around the world.
New Yorker Julian Voloj, a Jewish immigrant from Germany, finds ominous parallels between the forces behind the pro-Trump insurrection and the events that made his native country “a dark, hateful place.” “I usually am not in favor of Nazi analogies because such comparisons downplay the horrors of the era,” he writes, “but so many events over the last years seemed to echo the past.”
Related: In Germany, the rise of anti-Semitism and other extremism has Jews questioning their future there, JTA reports.
Israel Policy Forum presents Ilan Goldenberg, Michael Koplow and Tamara Cofman Wittes discussing their recently published policy report, “A New U.S. Strategy for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Register here. 2:00 pm.
The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center presents Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, discussing his new book, “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age.” Gupta will offer practical strategies for keeping your mind from decline. $10. Buy tickets here. 7:00 pm.