Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jewish Observer {JO} Revivication Redux

I've blogged several times in the past regarding reviving the Jewish Observer.

I was gratified to see page 22 of this week's Yated (December 23 - Mikeitz) where Rabbi Avrohom Birnbaum dedicated a full page to this noble endeavor. It seems like this topic has resurfaced during one of the sessions at the recent Agudah convention. Perhaps now the movement to bring back the JO will gain some steam. See excerpts from the article below:

That is why the closing of the JO has been such a tragic mistake, both for Klal Yisroel and Agudas Yisroel. For lack of a better moshol, I am reminded of a story that is told about a person on a boat in a stormy sea…the captain determines that the first thing that must be done is to lighten the load. He asks passengers to throw overboard anything expendable. One Jew rises, takes his tefillin and throws it over. A pious Jew observes him and says, “How can you throw over your tefillin?! Your tefillin is perhaps the only thing that can save you now!”… How then can it [Agudah] throw overboard its “tefillin,” its ideological tool, the entire zechus kiyum of Agudas Yisroel? Even if it means that the JO will never be financially successful, is it not warranted to take funds from other programs that are not critical to what they are and redirect them to ideology? After all, today’s young people are starving to find meaning, to find ideology, and be shown that there is something more important than the bottom line.


  1. Does anyone know what is holding up the republication of the JO? I like the idea that the blog owner suggested that it be published electronically, removing the cost of printing and distribution. Rabbi Birnbaum is spot on in describing the importance of the JO. In today's trying times, I think it is imperative for organizations to have a house organ.

  2. i thought that in the era of blogs and Mishpacha/Binah as weeklys, there is no need for what JO did

  3. The JO is important in that it was a publication that was proofread hashkafically prior to publication. Weekly magazines are a money making proposition, hence they write what sells. There are very few blogs which promote the Agudah perspective.


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