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«The Jewish Press» – A Gevalt from the Torah True

An Examination of the Concepts Holocaust and Israel in the American Jewish Newspaper «The Jewish Press»

Sahra L. Lindeberg

The Jewish Press’ purpose is to promote Jewish Orthodoxy. The book explores this popular American Jewish newspaper and more precisely the development of the paper’s ideology over a period of forty years offering a new understanding of the phenomenon Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy must be understood as a dynamic concept continually changing as a result of historical developments and hegemonic struggles with other ideologies about telling the Jew in modern society how he is to understand himself and the surrounding world.
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Introduction

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If one wishes to get an idea of what goes on in the Jewish world, a good place to start is in the Jewish press. The Jewish press is something of a heterogeneous phenomenon and includes everything from parish magazines and mouthpieces for specific organizations to secular and religious newspapers in Yiddish, Hebrew, and local languages.1 However, no matter how different all these papers might be, each of them is an expression of what concerns Jewish communities around the world. Likewise, many of these can tell us on a daily basis which issues are high on the agenda in the Jewish debate and which positions are taken towards these. In what I will permit myself to call “proper newspapers,” we not only read reports from various events and statements from different quarters, we also, from the paper’s priorities of material, analyses, and comments, gain an insight into where the paper positions itself in these discussions. In fact, I believe that it is not an exaggeration to assert that it is primarily in this forum that the ideological battles in the Jewish world have taken place over the last centuries.

Even though the first Jewish newspaper dates as far back as the seventeenth century, it is not until the Haskalah movement enters the scene in the eighteenth century that the Jewish press manifests as an actual phenomenon. With the newspaper as its mouthpiece, the Maskilim sought to reform Jewish society by introducing modern European culture to Jews...

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