Phillip Ritzenberg, publisher and editor of the New York Jewish Week, has announced that he will leave the paper early in 1993 to launch a consulting firm specializing in weekly newspapers.
Ritzenberg, 61, a veteran of more than 35 years in journalism, has headed the Jewish Week since July 1982. Before then, he was assistant managing editor of the New York Daily News, where he served for 15 years.
Eugene Grant, president of the Jewish Week, said that Ritzenberg “has made a major contribution to Jewish journalism and to the Jewish community.”
“The paper has made tremendous strides during these 10 years of Phil’s leadership,” Grant said. “His professionalism has helped shape the paper into an important and respected institution of Jewish life in New York.”
Grant said that Conrad Berke will remain as general manager and advertising director, a post he has held since 1982. A search committee headed by Morton Kornreich, chairman of the board, will begin to seek a new editor immediately. He added that Ritzenberg had agreed to continue until a new editor is able to assume his duties.
Grant was one of a group of Jewish leaders who acquired The Jewish Week from its founder, Philip Hochstein, in 1982. They brought in Ritzenberg and Berke as a new management team and converted the paper into an independent non-profit corporation with close ties to UJA-Federation of Greater New York.
Under Ritzenberg’s editorship, the Jewish Week received numerous awards from both the New York Press Association and the American Jewish Press Association. Honors from the New York state group, of which the Jewish Week was the only Jewish newspaper member, included a citation for general excellence, the association’s top category of recognition.
“He’ll be sorely missed from Jewish journalism,” said Marc Klein, president of the American Jewish Press Association and editor and publisher of the Northern California Jewish Bulletin. “I only hope that the standards he helped establish will stay intact.”
One of the founders of the International Society of Newspaper Design and its only two-term president, Ritzenberg has been a consultant for both daily and weekly newspapers and has written and lectured on typography and design.
“I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish,” said Ritzenberg, “both in rebuilding this newspaper and in helping to raise the standards of Jewish journalism in America.”