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Yiddish-Language Forward Goes Biweekly

By: JTA

The left-wing Jewish Forward’s Yiddish-language publication will shift to a bi-weekly print schedule.

The Forverts, a 116-year-old publication that switched from a daily to a weekly print schedule 30 years ago, will become a bi-weekly beginning Feb. 4, the newspaper announced Friday. The publication will continue to maintain a daily online presence.

According to The Forward Association, the owner and publisher of the Forward newspapers, the Forverts has a print circulation of 2,100 copies and 6,000 readers. According to a publicly filed financial report, the association’s Yiddish editorial division lost more than $1 million in 2011.

“We see the opportunity to grow the audience in a number of directions, including Haredi readers, students of Yiddish, and children of survivors who grew up in Yiddish-speaking homes but only have a passive knowledge of the language,” Forward Publisher and CEO Samuel Norich told the Columbia Journalism Review.

The Yiddish website will offer podcasts, English-subtitled videos and articles with pop-up translations from the new Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary. Among the new editorial features will be “Yiddish with an Aleph,” a blog geared towards Haredi readers.

One of the eight full-time staff positions for the Yiddish editorial operation will be lost in the transition, according to the Forward.

Norich also told the Columbia Journalism review that the Forward Association, which has been surviving off the sale of its WEVD radio station to ABC radio for $78 million in 2002, will shift toward being a publicly-funded entity.

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