News Briefs: The Forward Ends Print Publication and More

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The Forward to Cease as Print Publication

After 121 years, The Forward will cease as a print publication this spring and instead focus on English and Yiddish online editions, the New York Post reported on Jan. 16.

The Forward will lay off 40 percent of its editorial staff, including Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner.

The Post said The Forward is looking to attract those under 35 who read news primarily online.

“The Forward is taking the next step in making our brand more relevant to our readers and more connected to their lives,” Publisher and CEO Rachel Fishman Feddersen said.

An unnamed source in the Post article said The Forward has “been losing money for years, but lately the losses have been more than $5 million a year.”

Furloughed Workers Can Receive No-Interest Loans

The Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia announced that local federal workers who are unpaid during the government shutdown may apply for no-interest, no-fee loans of up to $1,250.

Borrowers must earn no more than $50,000 in annual federal salary and live in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania or Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties in New Jersey. The program is nonsectarian; borrowers don’t need to be Jewish to qualify for a loan.

Loans will be available until the fund is depleted. Loans must be repaid in full 90 days after the borrower returns to work. Apply at hflphilly.org/ShutdownLoans.htm or call 267-225-7822.

Prison Congregation Gifts Photo to Interfaith Center

The Jewish Congregation at Phoenix, a maximum security prison outside Philadelphia, gifted the historic 1993 photo of Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin shaking hands with Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat to the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, congregation coordinator Bob Lankin said.

The photo, where both men are posing with President Bill Clinton, originally hung in an area designated for a synagogue at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, Lankin said. That synagogue closed in 2016 after the prison was audited by the federal government regarding compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act; because the synagogue has no cameras, it was found to be in violation and closed.

There was no synagogue space in the new prison (built next to Graterford), so the old synagogue items, including the photo, were stored away until recently.

‘Hello Dolly!’ Star Carol Channing Dies at 97

Carol Channing, who won fame for her role in Hello Dolly! on Broadway, died Jan. 15, JTA reported. She was 97.

The daughter of a Jewish mother, Seattle-native Channing learned to speak fluent Yiddish from the grandfather of her first husband.

Channing first gained fame in 1949 in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as flapper Lorelei Lee, singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

She won a Tony Award in 1964 as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly! She played the role for the last time in a 1995 revival.

Channing won a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 1995, and in 1981 was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

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Andy Gotlieb is the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent. He holds 31 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too. Prior newspaper stops include the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Tampa Tribune and the Philadelphia Business Journal. The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various times, business, politics, crime and government, among other beats. The final 2.5 years in that stretch was an editor at the Philadelphia Business Journal, where my responsibilities included complete control over a weekly section and working with both staff writers and freelancers. In late 2005, I switched gears and began working in public relations for the next decade. I learned the ins and outs of public relations -- including being on the other side of the media-PR equation -- and made numerous contacts. I rejoined the ranks of journalism in March 2016, starting as the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent.

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