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Rachel Fishman Feddersen

The Forward is ending both its English and Yiddish print editions, laying off Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner and 40% of her staff, and will continue to do business strictly online, the NY Post reported Wednesday. The Post cited a source that said, “They’ve been losing money for years but lately the losses have been more than $5 million a year.”

The same source suggested the Forward’s target audience – liberal NY Jews with ever-diminishing ties to their tradition – is no longer big enough to pay the bills. Or he or she put it, “The revenue is not really there.”

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Apparently, the sharp turn the newspaper has taken a few short years ago, towards a radical-feminist editorial policy that also upped the ante on anti-Orthodox and anti-Israel diatribes, just didn’t attract enough readers, who can easily and cheaply find this stuff in the NY Times.

And so, a liberal Jewish newspaper that prided itself on giving a voice to Jewish pundits from across the political and religious map, has given up its benign tradition that stretched from 1897 (never mind those storied Yom Kippur dance parties in the editorial offices on East Broadway) – and was punished by its readership – at least the parts of it that haven’t been elevated to more heavenly publications.

According to the Post, laid-off staff other than Eisner include Executive Editor Dan Friedman, Digital Director David Goldiner, Design Director Kurt Hoffman and marketing, Kathleen Chambard, vice president of marketing.

Hold on a minute, why are they laying off the digital director?

The Forward’s publisher and CEO Rachel Fishman Feddersen, the Carly Fiorina of Jewish newspapers, should call Goldiner, the web guy, and tell him to take down entire paragraphs of her bio on the Forward’s online version ASAP, including this elaborate boast:

“Since her arrival in May 2016, Rachel Fishman Feddersen has been leading Jewish news organization the Forward through successful growth during an increasingly complex time for traditional journalism.

Rachel is currently spearheading a year of successful digital and print strategy as the Forward celebrates 120 years of existence. Where publications around the world are cutting down on staff and writing in favor of various reporting methods, Rachel has continued publishing a print edition of the long standing American Jewish cultural staple. Her elaborate digital growth strategy allows for the Forward to stay on top of breaking news while producing in-depth features, first-rate cultural coverage, and encouraging democratic principles.”

Also, read Fishman Feddersen immortal letter to her readers: Why The Forward Accepted An Ad From Jewish Voice for Peace

This is so much worse than doing the tango during Kol Nidrei…

 

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