Oldest Zionist Paper Closed

The Jewish Observer and Middle East Review, the world’s oldest Zionist weekly paper, closed down this week because of lack of funds. The organ of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain first appeared more than 60 years ago under the title “Zionist Review.” It was given its present name in 1952.

The demise of the paper followed the withdrawal of a direct subsidy by the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, which had kept it in business for the past three years. Previously, it had been largely financed by a block subscription by the Joint Israel Appeal. The ending of the block subscription caused the circulation to be cut from more than 12,000 copies a week to about 4000.

Some of the outstanding figures in Zionism had been associated with the Review. The paper opened in May 1917 on the instigation of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, then president of the British Zionist Federation. Sir Leon Simon, a close friend of Weizmann, was the first editor. Later editors included Paul Goodman, the Rev. Maurice Perlzweig, Moshe Pearlman and Dr. S. Levenberg.

In announcing the closing of the paper, the Zionist Federation said they hope to bring out a monthly magazine in the middle of 1978, concentrating on ideological articles rather than news analysis.

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