Ajpa to Deal with Disputes Between Jewish Federations and Jewish Papers

In a major policy decision, delegates to the recent 43rd annual meeting of the American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) overwhelmingly approved a proposal by AJPA president, Robert Cohn, editor-in-chief of the St. Louis Jewish Light, to deal with the numerous disputes between Jewish Federations and Jewish newspapers in various parts of the country.

Taking note of the AJPA’s “long-standing concern” over disputes between Federations and Jewish newspapers, the delegates “urged the parties involved in such disputes in American Jewish communities to seek to resolve them through arbitration, mediation or negotiation.”

The proposal also authorized Cohn to appoint an AJPA Task Force on Federation-Jewish Press Relations, which will include editors and publishers of both private and Federation-affiliated newspapers which will offer its “good offices” to facilitate resolution of such disputes.

The AJPA delegates, by an overwhelming majority vote, refused to involve the organization in a lawsuit in Los Angeles brought by the Heritage Southwest Jewish Press, a private Jewish newspaper, against the Greater Los Angeles Jewish Federation and its publication, the Jewish Bulletin. Both the Heritage and the Bulletin, as well as the B’nai B’rith Messenger of Los Angeles, are members of the AJPA.

Delegates also overwhelmingly approved a resolution which “calls on the leadership of the organized American Jewish community to recognize that a vital, free and responsible press is essential to a Jewish community in a democracy, and to make every effort to encourage and support the achievement of those ideals.”

During the four-day meeting, Cohn was unanimously reelected AJPA president for his seventh one-year term. He served in the post from 1972-77 and was again elected at last year’s AJPA meeting. The AJPA, founded in 1943, is a voluntary organization of over 180 Jewish newspapers, magazines and journalists in the United States and Canada with a combined readership of more than four million.

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