It was once the object of ridicule. Especially by the right who did not often like the way news was reported about them. There is an old joke about the Jewish Press. Since it publishes some Divrei Torah there is a question as to whether it may be read in a bathroom. The joke was whether it was allowed to be taken out of the bathroom. It had been accused of yellow journalism and biased reporting. Not to mention the fact that finding the rest of an article in the back of the paper was often an adventure when they would occasionally tell you to turn to the wrong page.
But all that has been fixed years ago and this should be the ‘go to’ paper of record for Orthodox Jewry. I think they have the broadest and fairest coverage of news events in the entirety of the Orthodox world. And they have the widest variety of Orthodox opinion . Whether it is from Religious Zionist rabbis, Chasidic rabbis, or Agudah Rabbis. I used to once in a while have an op-ed published in their print edition myself.
Their internet edition regularly publishes my blog. Even though I happen to know that of late they have received pressure from many Satmar readers who object to their publishing my strong worded critiques about how they are dealing with sex abuse in their community.
I hope that it stays the paper of record for Orthodox Jewry. If it were to fold – the loss would be a devastating blow to moderation. Because it would surely be replaced by Ami and Mishpacha. They will become the ‘paper (magazine) of record’. The last thing Orthodoxy needs right now is for Charedi values (like eliminating pictures of women from their pages) to become the standard for all Orthodox publications.
In a world of rapid fire change… and the push to move everything to the right, the Jewish Press needs to stay strong and fight the good fight. We ought to do whatever we can to keep it that way.
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About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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