Huberman jewish chronicle

  • Issue: August 1991
  • Designer: A. Berg
  • Stamp size: 30.8 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 135
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

First published on November 12, 1841, under the editorship of Moses Angel and David Meldola, the "Jewish Chronicle" s today the oldest and most influential Jewish newspaper in the English-speaking world. Its aim, according to a leading article in the first issue, was to provide "religious and moral instruction; local intelligence, historical information, and facts, exclusively Jewish; original articles; and textbooks."

Founded in London by Isaac Vallentine, a printer and bookseller, the "Jewish Chronicle" was issued as a weekly until May 1842, when publication was suspended. It reappeared as a fortnightly in October 1844 and as a weekly - which it has remained ever since - three years later.

The paper announced itself as "a journal which chronicles every circumstance connected with the Jewish nation, their laws, their customs, their literature, their position to the government wherever they are scattered, and particularly of those in Great Britain; and while the 'Jewish Chronicle' is devoted to the sacred causes of religion and the elevation of the mind of the working man, its columns are thrown open to all creeds for discussion on these highly interesting subjects, not being the organ of any party or sect, but striving for truth and justice".

Throughout its 150 years, this policy has been at the heart of the "Jewish Chronicle" as it has faithfully recorded the vicissitudes of Jewish life across the globe. In May 1881, for example, reports of the first Russian pogroms reached Britain and it soon became clear that they were part of a pattern of terror that would preoccupy Jewish minds - and the Jewish press - for more than a generation to come. The "Jewish Chronicle" began publication of a monthly supplement - "Darkest Russia: A Journal of Persecution" - which did much to open the world's eyes to Czarist barbarity.

The pogroms brought a flood of newcomers to the Anglo-Jewish community, and the columns of the "JC" soon reflected its transformation from staid Victorianism into a teeming immigrant society, alien in manner, appearance, language and way of life.

Some 100,000 immigrants disembarked on Britain's shores over a 20-year period. Major new communities were formed, scores of synagogues sprang up in London's East End, and cultural, charitable and social organisations were established in profusion. In less than a generation the face of Anglo-Jewry was dramatically changed; and much of the readership which the "Jewish Chronicle" serves today is descended from the immigrants of that period.

The "Darkest Russia" supplements paved the way for others aimed at highlighting the treatment of Jews elsewhere in the world, such as the Dreyfus Affair in 1898. Two years earlier, the "JC" had published Theodor Herzl's "A Solution to the Jewish Problem", four weeks before "Der Judenstaat" appeared in Vienna. Herzl's article in the "Jewish Chronicle" constituted the first systematic analysis of the ideals of political Zionism in any language.

In 1917, the British Government postponed publication of the Balfour Declaration for several days to enable the "JC" to print the news at the same time as the daily press. Week in, week out, the paper devoted several pages to news from the Holy Land, and at every crucial stage both before and after the birth of the Jewish State it has contained unparalleled coverage and comment on Zionist and Israeli affairs.

The paper was one of the first journals to inform the world of the Nazi atrocities during the Second World War. In 1941, on the occasion of its centenary, it carried a stirring message from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill: "Assuredly in the day of victory, the Jew's sufferings and his part in the struggle will not be forgotten. Once again, at the appointed time, he will see vindicated those principles of righteousness which it was the glory of his fathers to proclaim to the world. Once again it will be shown that, though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small".

Fifty years on, through the Jewish Chronicle Trust and the Kessler Foundation, the "JC" retains its pre-eminent position, having outlived every other Jewish periodical of similar rank. Today it has correspondents in more than 30 countries and in 40 communities across Britain; its literary and feature pages boast the cream of the world's Jewish writers, philosophers, politicians and theologians; and a wide range of interests is catered for in its arts, travel, youth and Judaism sections.

Opinion and letter columns provide launching-pads for debates on the crucial issues of the day, from the Arab-Israeli conflict to the resurgence of anti-Semitism, from developments in Eastern Europe, South America and Germany to assimilation, intermarriage and the search for Jewish roots. The 1990s see the "Jewish Chronicle" marching forward in confidence, with a redesigned appearance, state-of-the-art technology and a new editor. It is ready to meet the challenges of a changing world, striving for the same truth and justice that have been its hallmarks since it first appeared, as a hesitant four-page newssheet, on November 12, 1841.

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150 years of the jewish chronicle