NEW YORK (Mar. 15)
The Jewish News of Detroit, for which Philip Slomovitz has served as editor and publisher for more than three decades, has been purchased by a Baltimore-based group of investors.
During the past two decades, there have been many changes in ownership of Jewish news media but the Detroit-Baltimore change marked the first time a privately-owned Jewish newspaper has been purchased by another privately-owned Jewish newspaper.
BUERGER IS NEW PUBLISHER; ROSENBLATT IS NEW EDITOR
The new publisher and principal owner of the Detroit Jewish News is Charles Buerger, who is also publisher of the Baltimore Jewish Times, described as Maryland’s largest weekly publication.
Buerger, 45, named Gary Rosenblatt, 37, editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times, to be editor of the Detroit Jewish weekly. Rosenblatt continues as editor of the Baltimore weekly, commuting regularly to Detroit to supervise editing and production of the Detroit publication. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The first issue of the Detroit weekly under its new ownership and editorship appears tomorrow, dated March 16.
Slomovitz, who is 87 years old, is the acknowledged dean of American Jewish journalists. He has written a widely-read column, “Purely Commentary,” uninterruptedly for 63 years. His weekly column appears in the March 16 issue as the first by him in his new capacity as Editor Emeritus.
Slomovitz said that his son, Carmi, now 50, will continue as business manager of the Detroit weekly, a post he has held for 28 years.
Buerger said “we are proud and excited to become a part of Detroit’s vibrant Jewish community and plan to continue to build upon an already excellent and respected newspaper.” He said plans had been made to provide more in-depth local coverage, features and news stories and enhance the graphics and the image of the Detroit weekly.
SLOMOVITZ RECOGNIZED INTERNATIONALLY
Recognized internationally for his efforts on behalf of Jewry, Israel and his fellow-man, Slomovitz has received awards in the field of journalism from Jewish and non-Jewish associates and agencies. Born in Minsk, he completed the equivalent of a high school education at the age of 13 just before immigrating to the United States where his family settled in Bayonne, N.J.
His first articles in print, two years after he arrived in that city, were publicity pieces for the Jewish Relief Committee which appeared in the now defunct Bayonne Times. He subsequently entered the University of Michigan where he embarked on a life-long journalistic career, starting as a night editor of the Michigan Daily, the university student publication. He was a reporter for the Detroit News and an editor of the Detroit Jewish Chronicle which was incorporated with the Detroit Jewish News in 1951.
Slomovitz became associated with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 1920, “professionally and in friendship,” as he put it, with Jacob Landau who founded the JTA. He has served as a vice president of JTA for many years.
His services on behalf of Jewry and his fellow man have brought Slomovitz many local and national awards. These have included the first Detroit chapter of Hadassah Myrtle Award; the St. Cyprian Journalistic Award for Communal Betterment; and the first Boris Smolar Award for Excellence in North American Jewish Journalism, which is presented annually by the Council of Jewish Federations.
Slomovitz also has received the American Association for Jewish Education Award; the American Jewish Tercentenary Award; and an award from the Detroit Round Table of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
He has served as president of the American Jewish Press Association; the Zionist Organization of Detroit; the Detroit chapter of the American Jewish Congress; the Jewish National Fund Council of Detroit; and the University of Michigan Menorah Society.
He is a board member of the United Hebrew Schools of Detroit; a member of Congregation Shaarey Zedek; the Overseas Press Club; ORT, Sigma Delta Chi journalism fraternity; and the Detroit chapter of the American Society for Technion.
A special honor has conferred on him by the Technion in Haifa in 1977 with establishment of the Philip Slomovitz Chair in the Hebrew Language.
BUERGER IS ACTIVE IN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
Buerger is a publisher of Who’s Who in World Jewry and active in the Baltimore Jewish community. He is a member of the board of the Associated Jewish Charities and Welfare Fund and of its campaign cabinet. He has served on the boards of the Baltimore Jewish Council, the ZOA, and the Johns Hopkins Children’s Development Fund.
ROSENBLATT HAS WON MANY AWARDS
Rosenblatt is a five-time winner of the Smolar Award and has twice won the Rockowever Award given annually by the American Jewish Press Association.
Rosenblatt has been editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times for more than nine years and previously was assistant editor of the Jewish Week in New York and national programming sports editor of TV Guide. He also has written regularly for The New York Times and the Jewish Chronicle of London and has contributed to a number of national publications.
He said “it is an honor for me to be working with Phil Slomovitz, a mentor and an inspiration to anyone in the field of Jewish journalism.”
He and Buerger pledged to remain true to the ideas of the credo of The Jewish News, set out in 1942 when Slomovitz founded the publication. These include the pursuit of truth, service to the Jewish community and to remain a patron of principle rather than a disciple of partisanship.
Under Buerger and Rosenblatt, the Baltimore Jewish Times has more than doubled its size during the past decade to a current average of 140 pages a week, and has won many national awards for its news and feature reporting, editorials and graphic design.