Yiddish newspaper to expand internet presence
31 January 2013
The Yiddsh newspaper 'Forverts' will launch a new internet presence that will be updated daily. The print edition of the paper, which was launched in 1897, will now appear fortnightly instead of weekly, it was announced in New York. While the printed 'Forverts' has only 6,000 readers its English-language counterpart 'Forward' has 80,000 customers. The publishers said that world-wide interest in the Yiddish language and traditions had grown in recent years.
'Forverts' was founded by Jewish Socialists in New York 116 years ago. The name of the paper was inspired by the publication of the German Social Democratic Party SPD, 'Vorwärts', which is still in existence. At times, 'Forverts' had a run of 275,000 copies, surpassing even that of the 'New York Times'. Prestigious authors have included the Nobel Prize laureates Isaac B. Singer and Elie Wiesel.
However, since the 1930s circulation figures have been on the decline, and in 1983 it was decided to publish only a weekly edition and in 1990 an an English-language version was launched.
"The website is going for an international audience," Associate Editor Itzik Gottesman told the news agency 'Reuters', noting the ranks of native speakers, mostly from Hasidic and yeshiva backgrounds, was now booming in the United States, Israel and other countries. "Research in New York City said there are 80,000 Hasidim who speak Yiddish at home. That population is exploding," he said.