William Frankel, the groundbreaking editor of the London Jewish Chronicle for three decades, has died.
Frankel died April 18 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 91.
As editor from 1958 to 1977, Frankel expanded the scope of the Chronicle’s coverage, according to the Washington Post. Instead of focusing exclusively on stories about the Jewish community, the professional journalists from around the world that Frankel hired covered international stories of interest to Jewish readers, including Vietnam, the U.S. civil rights movement and the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.
One of Frankel’s first editorials criticized plans to build a large synagogue in London, the Post said. It was one of many times that Frankel opposed the Jewish establishment in London.
Frankel was born in London to poor parents who had emigrated from a small shtetl in Poland. He grew up in a sheltered religious environment, oblivious to the outside world. He attended high school outside of the Jewish community and went on to earn a law degree from the London School of Economics.
After Frankel retired in 1977, he continued to write articles for the Jewish Chronicle. In 1991 he was appointed chairman of the paper’s board of directors and worked to stem the drop-off in subscribers.
Frankel was a weekly columnist for the English-language Statesman in India. He was the author in 1981 of “Israel Observed: An Anatomy of the State” and in 2006 of “Tea With Einstein and Other Memories.”