Jodi Rudoren becomes editor-in-chief of The Forward

Comings and Goings

New York Times senior editor Jodi Rudoren will become the next editor-in-chief of the Forward, a notable move as the 122-year-old paper continues its digital transition. In a Tuesday press release announcing the hire, the Forward emphasized Rudoren’s mandate to “lead the editorial vision for the Forward, growing the Forward in new ways, for a rapidly evolving world.”

A standard in Jewish journalism, the Forward began in 1897 as a yiddish-language publication for Jewish immigrants, most of whom fled persecution in Europe. The Forward now mostly publishes in English, but remains one of the few sources to publish some Yiddish content.

In the press release, Forward publisher Rachel Fishman Feddersen lauded the hiring, saying “Jodi’s journalism is of the highest calibre, and that combined with her passion for invention and mentorship, plus her abiding interest in and knowledge of the Jewish world, make her a dream addition to our group.”

The hiring of Rudoren, a veteran reporter who previously served as the Times Jerusalem bureau chief among other postings, comes at another moment of flux for the century-old publication. In January, the Forward announced a transition to fully digital publishing. After Tuesday’s announcement, Rudoren addressed the transition, telling Jewish Insider, “I hope we can build on the amazing foundation of independent journalism that has defined The Forward for 120+ years to truly embrace the digital moment and help drive the American Jewish conversation.”

Rudoren fills a position previously held for over a decade by Jane Eisner, now the Forward’s writer-at-large, who was part of a significant organizational restructuring in January.

In preparing to lead the newsroom, Rudoren says she intends to spend the next months in “learning and listening mode.”

“With the broadest possible umbrella of what it means to be Jewish, I hope The Forward can bring people a step closer to Judaism, and be a forum for civil discourse on the most difficult issues dividing us. I see it as a community and a convener, a collector of diverse views and experiences,” she explained.

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