Kenneth Bandler, who worked at the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council for about a decade, has been named managing editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Bandler, 38, at work in the JTA newsroom since mid-July, succeeds Rifka Rosenwein, who left the worldwide news agency in April.
As managing editor, Bandler is responsible for assisting JTA Editor Lisa Hostein in overseeing editorial operations for the 78-year-old news agency.
One of Bandler’s primary responsibilities is supervising JTA’s New York-based writers and working with them to develop fresh, timely stories on issues and events impacting the lives of Jews in North America.
He is also responsible for editing and supervising production of JTA’s weekly Community News Reporter, which chronicles Jewish communal and organizational news.
“Ken brings a wealth of experience in the Jewish organization world to this important post,” said Mark Joffee, JTA executive editor and publisher. “We’re delighted to have him on board.”
Bandler said that for a long time, he has had an interest in working in daily journalism, which is one of the reasons he seized the opportunity to work at JTA.
The new managing editor also spoke of his vision for JTA.
“One of my goals, based on working 12 years in the Jewish community – the past 10 years at the NJCRAC – is that I hope to bring to JTA increased coverage of what’s happening in communities around the country,” Bandler said, adding, “I want to enhance the community perspective in national stories.”
In 1978, Bandler, a Manhattan native, received a B.A. in international relations from Lehigh University in Bethelem, Pa. During his stint at Lehigh, he served as editor in chief of the semi-weekly student newspaper.
He went on to earn a master’s degree in Middle East studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 1979.
His professional career took off in 1980, when he served as an adviser to the New York City Commission for the United Nations and the Consular Corps (Office of the Mayor).
In 1982, Bandler headed for Israel, where he worked as a resource analyst for the Shiloah Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, now known as the Dayan Center, at Tel Aviv University in Ramat Aviv. Bandler returned to the Dayan Center in 1989 as a visiting researcher in Jewish-Arab relations.
Before returning to Israel, he served as a research analyst for the Middle East Division of the International Relations Department of the American Jewish Committee.
In 1985, he began his work at the NJCRAC, the national coordinating body for the field of Jewish community relations.
One of the group’s aims is to promote understanding of Israel and the Middle East. Until 1987, Bandler served as the NJCRAC’s Israel Task Force consultant.
Until recently, he worked as the council’s public information director.
Bandler also has authored articles on the Middle East for various publications, including numerous Jewish newspapers, Present Tense magazine and The Christian Science Monitor.
JTA, founded in The Hague in 1917, was the first news agency that not only gathered but disseminated news in every part of the world. Today, it is based in New York, with bureaus in Washington, Jerusalem and Paris, and correspondents worldwide.