The future of Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility had been up in the air because it is one of the four publications of Jewish Family & Life, which is about to close because of financial difficulties.
JFL also publishes several other niche publications, including Babaganewz, JVibe and JBooks.
On Thursday, the Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation announced it was forming a new nonprofit organization, The Sh’ma Institute, to take over Sh’ma from JFL and try to build up the 40-year-old magazine.
Josh Rolnick, a member of both the Lippman Kanfer foundation and Sh’ma’s advisory board, will become the magazine’s new publisher. Sh’ma will retain Susan Berrin as its editor in chief.
The magazine has about 5,000 readers but Rolnick, a past editor of Moment Magazine, told the Fundermentalist that the foundation will try to vastly expand its reach. Rolnick said Lippman Kanfer will significantly boost its investment in the magazine, which is now about $10,000 annually.
The magazine plans to start a blog written by Jewish thinkers, leverage digital media like Amazon’s Kindle to reach a broader audience and bring back the salon discussions that once accompanied the magazine’s publication. The first salon will take place in Washington in November at the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities and will focus on health care, Rolnick said.