“Change is always hard; change that affects an institution with a history of excellence — in this case a history of editorial and lay leadership excellence — is especially difficult,” said Leslie Dannin Rosenthal, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
Such change is occurring at New Jersey Jewish News. Beginning in mid-September, NJJN will be published by the Jewish Week Media Group as part of an agreement reached July 25 with the Greater MetroWest federation.
The arrangement calls for a subsidiary of The Jewish Week to assume editorial, sales, and administrative responsibilities at NJJN for its weekly Greater MetroWest edition, its bimonthly editions for the Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ (Middlesex and Monmouth counties), and its monthly edition for the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks. All the editions will continue to highlight award-winning local reporting, supplemented by major stories from the staff of The Jewish Week in New York and Israel.
“The New Jersey Jewish News and its predecessor newspapers have been published under the leadership of our board since 1947,” said Robert Daley, president of the NJJN board of trustees. “After nearly 70 years of providing award-winning international, national, and local coverage, our paper has been facing challenges familiar to all print media, making it financially impossible to continue to provide the quality publications our community has come to expect and enjoy.
“While it saddens our board to cease publishing NJJN ‘in house,’” said Daley, “we are confident that the arrangement with Jewish Week Media Group will enable our federations to continue to provide us the same high-level coverage and content. The board and staff will be working closely with the Jewish Week Media Group in the coming weeks toward a smooth transition for the benefit of our readership.”
“We are grateful to our talented and dedicated staff for their contributions to our much-loved and much-honored community institution,” added Daley.
“We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with the communities of the federations of Greater MetroWest, the Heart of NJ, and PMB and New Jersey Jewish News — great communities, strong federations, and a highly regarded Jewish media company,” said Stuart Himmelfarb, president of the board of the Jewish Week Media Group. “Our mission is journalistic excellence and helping to strengthen the Jewish community. We hope that by combining our editorial and marketing skills with those of NJJN and its communities, we will accomplish those goals together to the benefit of all.”
The circulation/distribution of the combined NJJN editions is 34,000.
“We have been fortunate over the years to have a publication we are very proud of,” said Dannin Rosenthal. “In adapting to the changing times, one of our main concerns has been maintaining that standard. The level of editorial excellence that it will provide is precisely the reason we decided to partner with them.
“I feel confident our readers will continue to enjoy the mix of local, national, and international Jewish news that they have come to expect, and I know that is the hallmark of The Jewish Week.”
Mark Merkovitz, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks, expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of working with The Jewish Week. “We believe it will build upon and expand the Jewish content that we have come to expect,” he said.
Naomi Lasky, executive committee member and communications chair of the Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ, noted that in addition to providing news coverage, “the role of the Jewish newspaper has evolved — fostering caring and connection among readers, breathing more vitality into Jewish life, and creating access for people of every life stage, interest, and background to the experiences, resources, and insights they value.”
Partnering with The Jewish Week, said Lasky, “will create an exciting opportunity to build on this success and engage more individuals and organizations from every corner of the Jewish community to thrive together.”
“This year-long process has been guided by outstanding lay leaders and professionals from all three entities — NJJN, The Jewish Week, and the Greater MetroWest federation,” said Dannin Rosenthal. “My gratitude to all of them in pursuing a successful conclusion is profound.”
The NJJN publications will continue to operate out of their flagship office on the Aidekman campus in Whippany, and their on-line editions will be joined with the Jewish Week Media Group’s web publications: NY Blueprint, geared to socially active young singles, and FreshInkForTeens, featuring articles and essays written for and by Jewish students.
The Jewish Week was founded more than four decades ago.
Both publications have won numerous local and national awards for their design and journalism.