LONDON (Dec. 27)
Beginning Jan. I scores of Anglo-Jewish leaders and organizations will cease receiving in their daily mail the bulletin of world-wide Jewish news which has been a feature of this community for over half a century.
The Daily News Bulletin, mainly compiled from the wire services of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, is being terminated because some British Zionist leaders say that they can no longer afford the subsidy of more than 30,000 Pounds Sterling per year needed to keep it going.
It will be the sixth old-established publication to disappear here in the past 10 years, and its closure is a further sign of the wholesale decline of the Jewish press in England. The only survivors are the London Jewish Chronicle, the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Tribune, and four local newspapers in provincial cities.
REASON FOR TERMINATING BULLETIN
Sidney Shipton, one of the three directors of the JTA London Committee, said that it had only a few hundred paying subscribers and could no longer justify spending money “which would otherwise have gone indirectly to Israel,” The Bulletin is also mailed to some private subscribers and non-Jewish institutions.
Shipton the general secretary of the British Zionist Federation, said closure had been contemplated for some time but the question had come to a head in the last few months because of the stringent financial situation of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization.
The two other directors of the JTA London Committee, are both major contributors to Israeli and Jewish charities. They are Cyril Stein, chairman of Ladbroke, Britain’s giant leisure and gambling group, and Michael Sacher, vice chairman of Marks and Spencer, Britain’s top retail chain Sacher, a member of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, is also a member of the JTA’s world board.
Two senior communal officials expressed sorrow at the impending closure, although they have been loath to criticize the members of the JTA London Committee for taking the decision. Dr. Stephen Roth, director of the Institute for Jewish Affairs, called it “a great blow.” Dr. S. Levenberg, a member of the World Jewish Congress International Affairs Committee and veteran Jewish Agency officer, said it was all the more regrettable at a time when Jewish information machinery should be strengthened rather than shut down.
STATEMENT BY JTA PRESIDENT
(Martin Fox, president of the JTA, issued the following statement: “In these crucial times it is regrettable that the British Jewish community will be deprived of the only daily news service reporting on Jewish life throughout the world. While we are fully aware of the necessity to institute economies in Jewish organized life due to the world recession and inflationary trends, we believe the continuity of a source of daily Jewish news to the leaders of the British community is of vital import.
(“The JTA Board of Directors will explore all possible ways, within our means, to continue servicing the British Jewish community with the JTA world-wide news service on a daily basis. The closing of the JTA Daily News Bulletin in London does not affect our continued and complete cover age of news events in England and in Ireland.”)