I know it’s only a coincidence that on the evening before the announcement of the Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism, a new partnership between The Forward and Zeek: A Journal of Jewish Thought and Culture was publicized. Coincidence because the deal was set a while back and it just so happened last Wednesday was release day.

This new partnership will enable Zeek, an award-winning journal that has retained both its independence and its expansive definition of Jewish cultural and spiritual life, to attract a broader audience for its in-depth coverage of Jewish politics, spirituality and culture. Zeek‘s contributors range from well-known rabbis and professors to emerging artists, musicians and poets.

But the real story is the transformation of The Jewish Daily Forward, the popular progressive Yiddish newspaper established in 1897, to the forefront of today’s Jewish journalism. The Forward received 10 (six first place awards and four second) of the Rockower Awards including for editorial writing, investigative reporting, arts criticism and Website design.

With Zeek being featured on The Forward, the latter has successfully created a vehicle to expand its audience and reach the younger and edgier readers of Zeek.

In announcing the agreement, Forward Associate Publisher David Drimer said, “Zeek will be a great addition to our site which will bring a younger, sophisticated demographic that appreciates an independent voice and intelligently-written articles.”

And according to Bob Goldfarb, Zeek Media’s vice president, “Zeek has been a pioneer in online serious intellectual content for young Jewish adults since 2002. The Forward has been the premier brand in national Jewish print journalism for a century.

With shared vision and common goals for the future, this is going to be a great partnership.”

As an aside, take a look at all the various winners of the Rockower Awards and pay particular interest to category 14, Outstanding Website.