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Foundation to take over Sh’ma magazine

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NEW YORK (JTA) — The Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation said it will form a nonprofit organization to take over the magazine Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility.

The new Sh’ma Institute will co-opt Sh’ma from Jewish Family and Life, the publisher of several niche Jewish magazines that is about to close because of financial difficulties.

Josh Rolnick, a member of the Ohio-based Lippman Kanfer foundation and the Sh’ma advisory board, will become the magazine’s publisher. Sh’ma will retain Susan Berrin as its editor in chief.

Sh’ma has about 5,000 readers, but Rolnick told JTA’s philanthropy blog The Fundermentalist that the foundation has plans to try to vastly expand its reach. Rolnick, a past editor of Moment Magazine who has written for several mainstream publications, said Lippman Kanfer will significantly increase its current investment in the magazine, about $10,000 per year.

The foundation plans to invest money in marketing the magazine for the first time, bringing it to readers beyond just the academics that mainly pick it up now. It also has plans to start a blog that invites Jewish thinkers to contribute. And Sh’ma will focus on using digital media such as Kindle to reach a broader audience.

The Sh’ma Institute also is expected to bring back the salon discussions that once accompanied the publication of the magazine. The first salon will take place in Washington in November at the General Assembly of the UJC-Jewish Federations of North America and will focus on health care, Rolnick said.
 

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