The Forward celebrates 120th anniversary, honors Ben Smith and Andrea Mitchell


NEW YORK (JTA) — The Forward celebrated its 120th anniversary with a gala that honored BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith and longtime television journalist Andrea Mitchell.

More than 350 people attended the Monday night gala for the Forward, formerly known as the Jewish Daily Forward, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Monday night in New York City. The event raised slightly over $1 million in ticket sales and sponsorships.

Fran Drescher, the Jewish actress best known for her nasally character on the sitcom “The Nanny,” hosted the affair.

“I first caught the bug for journalism at the Forward,” said Smith, who worked there before going on to other publications such as Politico.

In a video Mitchell, who could not attend the event, described how her maternal grandmother often read the Forward, which was originally published only in Yiddish.

“It was her window into the world,” the NBC newswoman said.

Smith and Mitchell were given Distinguished Journalism Awards.

“Our donors, and those celebrating with us, recognize that supporting the Forward’s journalistic efforts in 2017 is a critical piece of supporting American democracy,” said Rachel Fishman Feddersen, the newspaper’s CEO and publisher.

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