Jewish Review of Books Launched With Foundation Funding

from The Jewish Week:

Can New Journal Find Its Niche?

If you’re an intellectually curious reader who craves sophisticated, accessible writing on Jewish books and ideas, there’s no shortage of places for you to look. There are well-established magazines like Commentary and Tikkun, to say nothing of start-ups, like the online magazine Tablet and this paper’s monthly insert, Text/Context.

And even if those explicitly Jewish publications are too burdensome a detour from your already imposing stack of unread New York Review of Books, Harper’s and The New Republic issues, the latter journals cover plenty of Jewish issues, too.

Fair enough, but that logic has not deterred Abraham Socher, a professor of Jewish studies at Oberlin College, from publishing his own new quarterly Jewish magazine, called The Jewish Review of Books, which arrives in mailboxes this week.

… The initial press run for Jewish Review of Books is 30,000, and while the magazine hopes to make money through ad sales … the Tikvah Fund is keeping it afloat for now.

… The JRB will have no ideological agenda, the magazine’s editors said. But the Tikvah Fund’s involvement has already raised eyebrows. The $160-million charitable foundation was established by the late Zalman Bernstein, founder of the Sanford C. Bernstein & Company brokerage firm, and has a small board of directors made up of at least two prominent conservatives.

… The Tikvah Fund has given grants to major universities as well, mainly Princeton and NYU, both of which prize their intellectual independence. And Mem Bernstein, the widow of Zalman Bernstein who also sits on Tikvah’s six-person board, established Keren Keshet-The Rainbow Foundation a few years ago, which funds  publications like the Nextbook series and Tablet magazine.