Crb Foundation Creates Fund for Jewish Investigative Journalism

A fund designed to fill a perceived gap in investigative reporting in the North American Jewish press has been announced here by The CRB Foundation of Montreal.

The Fund for Journalism on Jewish Affairs will enable established journalists and writers of promise to work on worthy projects of concern to the writer and of importance to the Jewish community, according to the foundation.

The CRB Foundation was established earlier this year by Charles R. Bronfman, a leading Canadian businessman and philanthropist. One of its goals is to strengthen the ties among the Jewish communities in North America, Israel and around the world.

In announcing the initial grant of up to $100,000 for the first year of the Fund’s operation, Stephen Cohen, president of the CRB Foundation, noted that “this represents a significant commitment to the upgrading of Jewish affairs coverage and, more generally, the goal of a high quality, independent and serious Jewish press.”

Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, and Gary Rosenblatt, editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times and Detroit Jewish News, will co-chair the independent advisory board that will review proposals and award grants. In addition, the advisory board may assign investigative, feature, or breaking news stories to individuals from a list of journalists compiled by the board.

FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS CITED

Rosenblatt said that “unfortunately, financial constraints have too often prevented the North American Jewish press from fulfilling its maximum potential.” He expressed confidence that this new fund will have “a profound and positive impact, not only on Jewish journalism but on Jewish life.”

Wieseltier noted that “American Jewish life is much more interesting, and much more complicated, than most American Jews know.” He said the objective of the fund is “to broaden the range, intensify the critical edge and heighten the literary quality of American Jewish journalism.”

Articles will be offered for publication to some 90 member publications of the American Jewish Press Association in the U.S. and Canada, and will also be published in Israel by the daily newspaper Ma’ariv.

The fund’s advisory board will comprise: Eric Breindel, editorial director of the New York Post; Robert Cohn, editor of the St. Louis Jewish Light and president of the American Jewish Press Association; Leslie Gelb, deputy editorial page editor of the New York Times; and Marvin Kalb, director of the Press and Politics Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Also: Sam Norich, director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research; William Novak, writer; Leni Reiss, managing editor of the Greater Phoenix Jewish News; Abraham Rotstein, University of Toronto; and Susan Schnur, a writer and professor of religion at Colgate University.

Journalists and other writers will be invited to submit proposals on a topic of their choosing, from hard news stories to essays. The application should include an outline for the proposal, a budget for research expenses, and some indication from a publisher or editor of interest in publishing the finished article.

Proposals are now being accepted. For further information, contact Linda Rivkind, administrator of the fund, Box 65069, Baltimore, MD 21209; (301) 484-6002.

NEXT STORY