Anti-Semitism’s Rise From Shadows Gives Monthly New Resolve

In Anti Semitism, Violence and Hate On

“There’s something different happening now,” Jane Eisner, The Forward’s editor in chief, said in a recent interview in her office, where a photo of the publication’s founder, Abraham Cahan, peered from the wall. “And here I’m speaking not just as a journalist, but as a close observer of the American Jewish scene. I feel it’s my responsibility as a writer and editor to illuminate that for people.”

Since the summer of 2016, about a year before The Forward went from being a weekly newspaper to a monthly magazine, it has beefed up its coverage of the so-called alt-right; assigned a reporter to go to white nationalist rallies like the one in Charlottesville, Va., in August, which featured chants like “Jews will not replace us”; and pursued more investigative reporting.

The latter effort led to The Forward’s report in March that claimed that Sebastian Gorka, a national security spokesman for the Trump administration until resigning in August, was a member of Vitezi Rend, a Hungarian nationalist group with a history of Nazi collaboration. The coverage has helped give The Forward a more than 60 percent lift in both donations and web traffic over the last year, according to Rachel Fishman Feddersen, the publisher and chief executive of The Forward, and Michael Sarid, the chief development officer.

“They bring what no one else can sell, and they can bring it and bring it, day after day,” said Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst. “They delve into things that are really in the background for others.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, there was a 34 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2016 compared with the year before, and an 86 percent increase in the first quarter of 2017.

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