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January 08, 1988 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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36 FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 1988

Journalism

Continued from Page 2

While the attendees at the
Jerusalem meeting at which
the new movement arose in-
cluded journalists from
England, France, Canada and
Australia, the "Interna-
tional" in the title invites
hope for success of the ven-
ture. It is understandable
that journalists from many
lands should be available at a
gathering in Israel which
possesses the centrality of
power in Jewish life.

The absence of a major role
for Yiddish indicates a sad
change in prevailing condi-
tions. From reports of the
Jerusalem journalistic
organizational meeting there
is an indication that there is
a minor separate Yiddish
movement with the promi-
nent Yiddish author and
pioneering publisher of the
Letzte Neies, the only known
surviving Yiddish daily in
the world appearing in Tel
Aviv, Modecai Tzanin, as its
leader. It may sound as a
toleration that a measure of
credibility was granted that
minor movement and that
Tzanin should have been in-
vited to serve on the executive
board of the International
Jewish Media Association.
Meanwhile, there is history
•to be reckoned with. In one of
the tri-lingual essays in the
first issue of the Jewish Jour-
nalist, Josef Fraenkel, an
historian of the world Jewish
press, traces the background
of an earlier movement of
organized Jewish journalists.
In the English language arti-
cle "Historical Perspective,"
Fraenkel will be recalled as
our London correspondent for
some 20 years. He was also
recognized as one of the best
informed authors of books
and articles on the history of
Zionism. In the Jewish Jour-
nalist article, Fraenkel recalls
this early existing Jewish
journalists' organization,
tracing it to Dr. Theodor
Herzl and the World Zionist
Congress. In his historically
analyzed article, Fraenkel
wrote:

In some respects the
Jewish press could be com-
pared to a people's univer-
sity, where the most impor-
tant figures in Jewish life
act as teachers. Here the
best journalists and
authors are to be found
and who are these jour-
nalists if not politicians,
professors, poets and
thinkers, teachers
andeducators!
Theodor Herzl wrote: "...
as a matter of fact, jour-
nalists are the only Jews to
understand politics. I am
the best proof." During the
second Zionist Congress
(1898), at a "Journalists'

Luncheon;' he defined the
journalist as "a man who
writes today what the
world will think tomor-
row" For the Jewish State
he wanted to have the
"most reliable press of the
world:' As editor and con-
tributor to his paper, Die
Welt, he championed above
all else the liberty and
honour of the Jewish
people.
The three days of the first
Zionist Congress in Basle
(August, 1897) were the
Jewish people's own
"French Revolution." Most
of the delegates were jour-
nalists who influenced
Jewish life in every coun-
try. This opened up a new
chapter in Jewish history,
enriching Jewish
literature, philosophy, the
press, in short, all aspects
of Jewish vitality. And in
Basle, too, a plan took
shape to establish a "Syn-
dicate of Zionist Jour-
nalists and Authors:'
Dr. S. R. Landau, of Vien-
na, became head of the
syndicate, and 36 jour-
nalists, among them Jac-
ques Bahar, Ben Ami,
Duparc of the Jewish
Chronicle, David Farbs-
tein, Jacob de Haas,
Heinrich Loewe, Adolf
Stand and Nahum
Sokolow, were members.
Each member undertook
to fight for Zionism and ex-
change information with
fellow-members. They
received a monthly com-
munique and paid a year-
ly subscription of four
shillings. The syndicate
was short-lived however.
Dr. Landau resigned the
editorship of Die Welt and
the chairmanship of the
syndicate.

In his article, Fraenkel ac-
counted for the immensity of
journalistic accomplishments
in Israel. He provided these
figures attesting to the pro-
gress attained there:

The history of the Jewish
press begins in 1678 with
Gazeta de Amsterdam,
which existed for only a
short time. Decades passed
and Jewish periodicals ap-
peared here and there. It
was not until about the
middle of the 19th Century
that newspapers were
established in a number of
countries, among them the
London Jewish Chronicle
(1841) today the oldest in
existence. Isidor Singer, in
his brochure "Press and
Jewry" (Vienna, 1882)
listed a total of 103 Jewish
newspapers and
periodicals appearing in
1880, of which 30 were
published in German, 19 in

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