Algemeiner Journal

The Algemeiner Journal
Type Weekly newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Gershon Jacobson Jewish Continuity Foundation
Founder(s) Gershon Jacobson
Publisher Simon Jacobson
Editor Dovid Efune
Founded 1972
Headquarters Brooklyn, NY

The Algemeiner Journal is a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news. CNBC called it "the fastest growing Jewish newspaper in the United States"[1] and former Senator Joseph Lieberman described the paper as an "independent truth telling advocate for the Jewish people and Israel".[2] The Algemeiner's Advisory Board was chaired by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

Its website,, is updated throughout the day, and has been referred to as "the Jewish Huffington Post," due to its similar democratized content model, with a combination of original reporting, blogs, and aggregation.[3]


In 1972, Gershon Jacobson founded Der Algemeiner Journal, after consultation with the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.[4] He served as editor and publisher from its inception until his death in 2005.[5]

The inaugural issue was published by Der Algemeiner Journal Corporation on February 23, 1972. The ten-page paper was priced at 25 cents. Twenty thousand issues were printed.[6] Der Algemeiner Journal aimed to fill the gap created by the 1971 closing of the daily Yiddish paper Der Tog Morgen Zhurnal,[7] for whom Jacobson had written and served as its city editor.[8] The largest circulation Yiddish weekly in the United States,[8] Der Algemeiner Journal emphasized Jewish community news, with a politically independent viewpoint, and did not hesitate to report on tensions between rival Hasidic sects, most notably Lubavitch and Satmar. Although Jacobson himself was an Lubavitcher Chasid, [9] according to the New York Times, he "defied easy categorization."[5] At its peak, The Algemeiner’s circulation neared 100,000 copies.

In 1989, in response to the increasing marginalization of the Yiddish language, Der Algemeiner Journal began printing a four-page English supplement in the middle of the paper, bringing in a wider and more diverse Jewish audience.[10] In May 2005, after Gershon Jacobson's passing, his elder son, Simon Jacobson, became the Publisher of The Algemeiner. He then founded the Gershon Jacobson Jewish Continuity Foundation (GJCF), a Jewish media organization with the mission to serve as a voice for Jews and Israel.[11] In 2008, The Algemeiner Journal was reconceived as an English publication, dropping the Yiddish "Der" in its title for "The".[3] That year, Dovid Efune became the Editor-In-Chief of The Algemeiner and Director of the GJCF.

In 2011, the GJCF launched the website The site has grown rapidly since, and now boasts a roster of over 600 bloggers.

Content and circulation

The Algemeiner's print edition is published weekly every Friday, except for the weeks of Passover and Sukkot. The paper's circulation is between 18,000 and 23,000. It is sold at newsstands internationally and is available for subscription. It can also be viewed as an ePaper on The vast majority of The Algemeiner readership and content is online.

Contributors and bloggers include Alon Ben-Meir, Elie Wiesel, Dore Gold, David Brog, Jonathan Sacks, Shmuley Boteach, Daniel Pipes, Abraham Foxman, Alan Dershowitz, Shlomo Shamir, Don Seeman, Morton Klein, Oleksandr Feldman, Danny Danon, Robert S. Wistrich, Irwin Cotler, Ronn Torossian, Danny Ben-Moshe, John Bolton, Arik Elman, Gabriel Martindale, Moshe Averick, Jeremy Rosen, Sam Westrop, Gabriel Latner, Bernard Starr, Simcha Weinstein, Vanessa Van Petten, Robert Singer, Ben Cohen and Oliver Karp among hundreds of others.[3][12]

The Algemeiner is often referenced by various other news media outlets, including The Guardian, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, Arab News,[13] The New Yorker,[14] The Daily Mail, The New York Post, USA Today, Politico, The New York Daily News, Fox News and others. The Philadelphia Inquirer has called the Algemeiner "a major Jewish newspaper"[15] and The Huffington Post has referred to the paper as "a leading Jewish newspaper."[16] Editor Dovid Efune makes frequent TV appearances on channels including CNBC,[17] Fox News,[18] CBS,[19] Real News[20] and others to address topics relating to Israel and the Jewish community.

Publisher Simon Jacobson has said the paper attempts to provide a Jewish perspective on current events to people of all backgrounds, including secular readers.[3]

Notable stories and controversies

Giuliani's advertisement

In 1989, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, while a Republican mayoral candidate, created a stir when his campaign took out a full-page ad in Der Algemeiner Journal showing Giuliani chatting with President George Bush, and his Democratic competitor in the mayoral race, David Dinkins, shaking hands with Jesse Jackson. This was seen as an attempt to gain the Jewish vote by grouping Dinkins with the controversial Rev. Jackson, who had referred to New York City as "Hymietown" (later apologizing).[21]

Kushner's honorary degree

In 2011, City University of New York rescinded an offer of an honorary degree to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, after he was accused of being overly critical of Israel by CUNY trustee and pro-Israel activist Jeffrey Wiesenfeld. Kushner strongly denied the allegations, declaring himself "proud to be Jewish" and calling Wiesenfeld's portrayal of him a "grotesque caricature."[22][23] Wiesenfeld responded with an op-ed on, defending his stance and calling Kushner an extremist.[24] Past CUNY honorees Barbara Ehrenreich and Michael Cunningham asked to return their honorary degrees in protest of CUNY's treatment of Kushner.[22] Ronn Torossian defended Wiesenfeld in The Algemeiner, writing that Wiesenfeld "should be commended for speaking truth to power," while former New York mayor Ed Koch and the CUNY faculty union called for Wiesenfeld's resignation.[25]

The CUNY board ultimately reversed its decision, awarding Kushner the honorary degree.[26]

Annual events and lists

Since 2006, in conjunction with the Gershon Jacobson Foundation, The Algemeiner hosts an annual lecture series featuring a politician, Jewish leader or scholar. In 2011, Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman spoke on politics and religion.

Beginning in 2010, The Algemeiner has put out an annual list of the top non-Jews having a positive influence in shaping the Jewish future. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was named first in 2010,[27] Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2011,[28] Mitt Romney in 2012,[29] and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in 2013.[30]

As a prelude to the 2012 Republican primaries, The Algemeiner ranked the party's eight candidates in order of how good they would be for Israel. Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich were viewed as the three best candidates for Israel, while Ron Paul was viewed as the least beneficial for Israel's needs.[31]

The Algemeiner holds an annual ‘Jewish 100’ list celebrating the "top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life"[32] at its 40th anniversary gala in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The event has featured celebrities and politicians, including Yuli Edelstein, Donald Trump, Elie Wiesel, Harvey Weinstein, Ronald Lauder, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, William Kristol, Alan Dershowitz, Tony Orlando, and others.[33][34]


  1. CNBC
  2. "Religion and Politics: Senator Joseph Lieberman,"
  3. 1 2 3 4 "The Jewish Answer to Huffington Post,", February 21, 2011.
  4. Tzivia Jacobson, "The Rebbe’s Advice on Opening a Yiddish Newspaper,", December2014, January 2015.
  5. 1 2 Margalit Fox, "Gershon Jacobson, 70, Founder and Editor of Yiddish Journal, Is Dead," The New York Times, June 2, 2005.
  6. "New Yiddish Weekly Launched," Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 24, 1972.
  7. "A New Yiddish Weekly Makes Its Appearance," The New York Times, February 24, 1972.
  8. 1 2 "Yiddish Journalist Gershon Jacobson, 71," The Forward, June 3, 2005.
  9. Chaim Miller, "Turning Judaism Outward: A biography of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, page 208" Turning Judaism Outward: A biography of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, page 208, copyright 2014.
  10. Elli Wohlgelernter, "Head of Yiddish paper comes ‘from a different school,’" Jweekly, May 18, 2001.
  11. GJCF mission statement
  12. "Featured Writers,"
  13. P.K. Abdul Ghafour, "OIC raps Canadian PM’s anti-Islam tirade," Arab News, September 13, 2011.
  14. David Remnick, "The Jewish conversation: New Yorker's discuss Yitzhak Rabin's assassination and the lethal power of words," The New Yorker, November 20, 1995.
  15. Faye Flam, "Yellow Cat Offers Rebuttal to Creationist Rabbi," Philadelphia Inquirer, January 5, 2012.
  16. Naughty But Nice Rob, "Madonna's MDNA Tour May Face Harshest Criticism In U.S." The Huffington Post, July 31, 2012.
  17. CNBC
  18. Fox News
  19. CBS
  20. Real News
  21. Sam Roberts, "Mayoral Rivals in New York Juggling the Jackson Factor," The New York Times, September 29, 1989.
  22. 1 2 Paul Harris, "Tony Kushner row deepens as supporters renounce honorary degrees," The Guardian, May 6, 2011.
  23. Peter Catapano, "A Matter of Degrees," The New York Times, May 6, 2011.
  24. Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, "Tony Kushner, an Extremist, Can’t Represent CUNY," Algemeiner Journal, May 5, 2011.
  25. Jordana Horn, "CUNY trustee asked to resign over anti-Palestinian comments," The Jerusalem Post, May 13, 2011.
  26. Winnie Hu, "After Reversal, Honor Is Likely for Kushner," The New York Times, May 6, 2011.
  27. Dovid Efune, "6 Most Influential Non-Jews Positively Influencing Jewish Future," Algemeiner Journal, May 26, 2010.
  28. Dovid Efune, "Top 10 Non-Jews Positively Influencing the Jewish Future," Algemeiner Journal, August 29, 2011.
  29. Dovid Efune, "Top 10 Non-Jews Positively Influencing the Jewish Future," Algemeiner Journal, August 9, 2012.
  30. Dovid Efune, "Top 10 Non-Jews Positively Influencing the Jewish Future," Algemeiner Journal, October 17, 2013.
  31. Dovid Efune, "Republican Presidential Candidates on Israel: Separate and Unequal," Algemeiner Journal, November 25, 2011.
  32. "Algemeiner Jewish 100: The Full List"
  33. "Algemeiner Unveils ‘JEWISH 100′ List at Star Studded Gala"
  34. Algemeiner Journal Jewish 100 Gala Honors Donald Trump, Joan Rivers and Yuli Edelstein The Jewish Voice, WEDNESDAY, 11 February 2015 07:13 BY TZVI ALLEN FISHMAN

External links

See also

Yiddish Journalism ייִדיש לעבט

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