NEW YORK, Nov. 29 (JTA) Michael Arnold caught the “Zionist bug” in 1983, during a teen summer trip sponsored by the American Zionist Youth Federation.
Since then, his Jewish journey has taken him to college, where he studied the Middle East, and to Israel, where he lived for five years.
The latest step in Arnold’s journey began this week, when he began working as managing editor of JTA.
Arnold, who is based at JTA headquarters in New York, succeeds Howard Lovy, who will continue to work for JTA from Detroit.
A graduate of Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Arnold most recently worked as a feature writer and night editor for the Jerusalem Post in Israel.
“JTA provides a very valuable service to the Jewish world by helping to raise Jewish consciousness,” said Arnold, 34. “I thought I could contribute a lot by moving back to the States and taking this job.”
As managing editor, Arnold is responsible for assisting JTA Editor Lisa Hostein in overseeing editorial operations for the 83-year-old news agency. This includes supervising the agency’s global network of correspondents and managing relations with JTA’s more than 100 newspaper clients.
Arnold also works with JTA’s staff of reporters and correspondents to develop fresh stories on issues and events affecting the lives of Jews around the world.
And he will be involved in expanding JTA’s Internet presence so JTA news can reach more Jewish readers globally.
“In this increasingly competitive publishing environment, where people have a wide array of choices about where to get information, Michael is an important addition to JTA’s senior editorial team,” said Mark Joffe, JTA’s executive editor and publisher.
“Michael brings to JTA a wealth of experience in mainstream journalism as well as Jewish and Israeli affairs,” Hostein said. “I look forward to the valuable contribution he will make as JTA continues to be the leading provider of Jewish news.”
While in Israel, Arnold also wrote for several Jewish newspapers, including the Forward, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the New Jersey Jewish News.
Arnold has experience in the secular press as well. He worked for several newspapers in the United States, including The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.
While an undergraduate, Arnold also completed Hebrew University’s one-year program for overseas students, during which he studied Middle Eastern politics and Jewish and Arab philosophy.
Arnold maintains a keen interest in what he calls “adventure travel.” After graduating from college, Arnold spent a few years backpacking around the world, including Europe, the Middle East and Asia. During that time, he diligently kept a journal.
“I wanted to experience other cultures. I’ve always had this drive to travel and write, and I eventually channeled those desires into journalism,” Arnold said.
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 correspondents in Washington, Jerusalem, Moscow and two dozen other locations around the globe.
In addition to its news and features service for newspapers, JTA publishes a Daily News Bulletin, Weekly News Digest and monthly Community News Reporter. A Daily Electronic Edition and a daily news briefing are available by e-mail, and the agency also maintains a full-fledged news site on the Worldwide Web, which can be found at http://jta.org.