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Moment is an independent magazine which focuses on the life of the American Jewish community. It is not tied to any particular Jewish movement or ideology.[2] The award-winning publication[3][4] features investigative stories[5] and cultural criticism, highlighting the thoughts and opinions of diverse scholars, writers and policymakers.[6][7][8] Moment was founded in 1975, by Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and Jewish activist Leonard Fein,[9] who served as the magazine's first editor from 1975 to 1987. In its premier issue, Fein wrote that the magazine would include diverse opinions "of no single ideological position, save of course, for a commitment to Jewish life."[10] Hershel Shanks served as the editor from 1987 to 2004.[11] In 2004, Nadine Epstein took over as editor and executive publisher of Moment.[12][13]

Moment magazine cover March-April 2016.jpg
March–April 2016 issue
EditorNadine Epstein
Deputy EditorSarah Breger
Former editorsLeonard Fein
Hershel Shanks
CategoriesReligion, Politics, Culture[1]
PublisherNadine Epstein
FounderElie Wiesel
Leonard Fein
Year foundedMay 1975 (1975-05)
First issue1975 (1975)
CompanyCenter for Creative Change
CountryUnited States
Based inWashington, D.C.[1]


History and backgroundEdit

Moment was founded in 1975, by Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and Jewish activist Leonard Fein,[9] who served as the magazine's first editor from 1975 to 1987. In its premier issue, Fein wrote that the magazine would include diverse opinions "of no single ideological position, save of course, for a commitment to Jewish life."[10] The magazine was named in honor of an independent Yiddish-language newspaper, entitled Der Moment.[14][15][16] Founded in Warsaw in 1910, Der Moment remained in operation until the eve of Yom Kippur 1939, when the building housing the newspaper was destroyed by a German bomb. At the time, the publication was one of two Yiddish-language newspapers in the city.[1][17]

Hershel Shanks served as the editor from 1987 to 2004.[11] In 2004, Nadine Epstein took over as editor and executive publisher of Moment[12][13] Moment magazine is an independent journal that publishes articles on Jewish culture, politics, and religion.[14] It is not affiliated with any Jewish organization or religious movement: its editorial staff, writers, and articles represent a diverse range of political views.[1][15] Moment publishes a print magazine once every other month, maintains a website, runs literary contests, and hosts esteemed events. The magazine is a publishing project of the Washington D.C.-based Center for Creative Change. Moment contributors include Calvin Trillin, Chaim Potok, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Abba Eban, Cynthia Ozick, Wolf Blitzer, Yossi Klein Halevi, Theodore Bikel, Jerome Groopman, Ron Rosenbaum, Sherwin Nuland, Erica Jong, Dara Horn, David Margolick, and Rebecca Goldstein.[18]

Programs and contestsEdit

Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism InitiativeEdit

In 2010, Moment launched the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative (DPIJI), which gives grants to young journalists doing stories on modern anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice. The DPIJI is in memory of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, who was murdered by terrorists while on assignment in Pakistan in 2002. The winners of this contest are mentored by prestigious journalists including: Wolf Blitzer, Linda Feldmann, Martin Fletcher, Glenn Frankel, Bill Kovach, David Lauter, Charles Lewis, Clarence Page, Robert Siegel, Paul Steiger, Lynn Sweet and David Wessel. Past articles have included Jacob Kushner's story "Birthright Denied" on the Dominican Republic's efforts to take away citizenship from tens of thousands of Haitians who were born in the country;[19] "A House Divided", by Eve Fairbanks, which tells the story of the integration and subsequent re-segregation of the dorms at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein; An Olympian Struggle, by Emily K. Alhadeff, which explores the complex story of anti-Israel campaigns in Olympia, Washington.[20]

The Karma Foundation-Moment Magazine Fiction ContestEdit

Established in 2000, the annual Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest is open to writers to submit stories related to Judaism or Jewish culture or history. Judges have included Andre Aciman, Walter Mosley, Nicole Krauss, Erica Jong, Jonathan Safran Foer, Geraldine Brooks, Dara Horn and Nicholas Delbanco.[21]

Moment Cartoon Caption ContestEdit

Moment's bi-monthly caption contest for cartoons was founded by New Yorker editor and humorist Robert Mankoff. The magazine asks its readers to suggest captions for the cartoon online and vote for your favorite submission.


In 2010, Moment began publishing symposiums. Some of their past symposiums have included:

  • What Does it Mean to Be a Jew Today? What do Jews Bring to the World?
  • What is Israel's Next Move in the New Middle East?
  • Can There be Judaism Without a Belief in God?
  • The Origins of Jewish Creativity
    • Symposium November/December 2011
    • Including responses by Joshua Bell, Daniel Boyarin, David Brooks, Judy Chicago, Anita Diamant, Exekiel Emanuel, Daniel Geschwind, Michael Goldfarb, Brian Greene, Judith Leiber, Liz Lerman, Bob Manikoff, Daniel Matt, Jerry Muller, Harry Ostrer, Robert Pinsky, Zvi Harry Rappaport, Neil Risch, Gerald Schroeder and David W. Weiss.
  • What Does it Mean to be Pro-Israel Today?
    • Symposium January/February 2012
    • Including responses by David K. Shipler, Judea Pearl, Hillel Halkin, Michael Lerner, Caroline Glick, George Bisharat, Peter Beinart, Benny Morris, Glenn Frankel, Morton Klein, Dan Sieradski, Jeremy Ben-Ami, John J. Mearsheimer, Kenneth Bialkin, Anat Hoffman, Ronen Shoval, Aziz Abu Sarah, Martin Peretz, Eric Alterman, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Marc Tracy, Cecilie Surasky, Robert Rifkind, and Amos Oz.
  • What Does the Concept of Messiah Mean Today?
    • Symposium March/April 2012
    • Including responses by Amos Oz, Kenneth Seeskin, Ruth Messinger, Jack Dann, David Halperin, Mayim Bialik, Shalom Auslander, Esther Jungreis, Stephen Diamond, Samuel Heilman, Shlomo Ezagui, Chaim Richman, Deb Margolin, Shmarya Rosenberg, Harris Lenowitz, Tsvi Bisk, Lucette Lagnado, Shimon Edelman, David Wolpe, Neshama Carlebach, Shmuley Boteach and Shlomo Riskin.
  • Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Fiction?
    • Symposium May/June 2012
    • Including responses by Pearl Abraham, Andre Aciman, Joyce Antler, Shalom Auslander, Jim Bloom, Geraldine Brooks, Nathan Englander, Herbert Gold, Allegra Goodman, Dara Horn, Howard Jacobson, Nadia Kalman, Etgar Keret, Walter Mosley, Howard Norman, Marge Piercy and A.B. Yehoshua.
  • Is There Such a Thing as the Jewish People?
    • Symposium July/August 2012
    • Including responses by Y-Love, Shlomo Skorecki, Moshe Tendler, Adin Steinsaltz, Stephen Oppenheimer, Shulamit Reinharz, Yehuda Kurtzer, Larry Brilliant, Kerry Olitzky, Erica Brown, Noam Pianko and Jill Jacobs.
  • Is Democracy a Jewish Idea?
    • Symposium September/October 2012
    • Including responses by Shlomo Avineri, Noah Feldman, Gidi Grinstein, Anat Hoffman, Jodi Kantor, Benny Katzover, Ed Koch, David Novak, Norman Ornstein, Fania Oz-Salzberger, Eilon Schwartz, Adam Sutcliffe, Michael Waltzer, Ruth Wisse and Beth Wenger.
  • The Intersection of Satire and Politics
    • Symposium November/December 2012
    • Including responses by Dave Barry, Andy Borowitz, David Brooks, Alison Dagnes, Barney Frank, Judy Gold, Stephen Kercher, Rob Kutner, Robert Mankoff, Walter J. Podrazik, Eddy Portnoy, Trevor Potter, Paula Poundstone, Peter Sagal, Allison Silverman, Baratunde Thurston, Rebecca Traister, Moshe Waldoks and Gene Weingarten.
  • What is the Future of Religious Freedom in the United States?
    • Symposium March/April 2013
    • Including responses by Douglas Laycock, Charles C. Haynes, John Eidsmoe, Asma Uddin, Jacques Berlinerblau, David Saperstein, Michael Broyde, Marci Hamilton, Robert Destro, Jeffrey Toobin and Marc Stern
  • Is There a Secret Ingredient in the Jewish Relationship with Food?
    • Symposium June/July 2013
    • Including responses by Jami Attenberg, Sue Fishikoff, Ari Hart, Andy Kastner, Jonathan Klawans, David Kraemer, Timothy Lytton, Gil Marks, Allan Nadler, Joan Nathan, Yotam Ottolenghi, Ruth Reichl, Claudia Roden, Orit Rozin, Susan Starr Sered, Mimi Sheraton, Michael Stern and Shalva Weil.
  • Hate Speech Goes Viral: What Should Be Done (if Anything)?
    • Symposium November/December 2013
    • Including responses by Bob Corn-Revere, Jillian York, Charles Asher Small, Jeffrey Rosen, Leslie Harris, Christopher Wolf, Susan Benesch and Richard Warman.
  • Judaism and Science
    • Symposium January/February 2014
    • Including responses by Yehuda Bauer, Jonathan Ben-Dov, Edward Bormashenko, Jeremy Brown, Allison Coudert, Noah Efron, Shmuel Feiner, Gad Freudenthal, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Susan Greenfield, Menachem Kellner, Daniel Matt, Judea Pearl, Jonathan Sacks, Gerald Schroeder, Howard Smith, Hermona Soreq, Moshe Tendler and Yossi Vardi.
  • Anti-Semitism: Where Does it Come From & Why Does it Persist?
  • Symposium March/April 2014
    • Including responses by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Berger, Phyllis Chesler, Jeremy Cohen, Irwin Cotler, Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, Hasia Diner, Stuart Eizenstat, Avner Falk, Ira Forman, Michel Gurfinkiel, David Kertzer, Brian Klug, David Mamet, David Nirenberg, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Cynthia Ozick, Dina Porat, Alvin Rosenfeld, Ari Roth, Shlomo Sand, Maxim Shrayer, Charles Asher Small, Eli Valley, Hans-Joachim Voth and Xu Xin.
  • Can Religious Pluralism and an Official Rabbinate Coexist in Israel?
    • Symposium May/June 2014
    • Including responses by Dorit Beinisch, Ruth Calderon, Seth Farber, David Golinkin, Marc Gopin, Donniel Hartman, Nitzan Horowitz, Dov Lipman, Michael Oren, Fania Oz-Salzberger, Uri Regev, Jonathan Rosenblum, Maurice Roumani and Susan Silverman.
  • Gay Rights & Religious Freedom: Can We Find the Common Ground?
    • Symposium July/August 2014
    • Including responses by Abba Cohen, Douglas Laycock, Jay Michaelson, Jonathan Rauch, Marc D. Stern and Robin Fretwell Wilson.
  • What Makes Us Happy?
    • Symposium September/October 2014
    • Including responses by Robert Alter, Tal Ben-Shahar, Michael Broyde, Oliver Burkeman, Richard Davidson, Tirzah Firestone, Alan Morinis, David Pelcovitz, Pninit Russo-Netzer and Hava Tirosh-Samuelson.
  • Do the Religious Beliefs of Supreme Court Justices Influence Their Decisions?
    • Symposium January/February 2015
    • Including responses by Robert Barnes, Lyle Denniston, Tony Mauro, Sarah Posner, Leslie C. Griffin, Stephen Wermiel, Marshall Breger, Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick
  • Wisdom for the Next Generation
    • Symposium May/June 2015
    • Including responses by Robert Aumann, Theodore Bikel, Leon Fleisher, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Jerome Groopman, Ruth Gruber, Fanya Heller, Madeleine Kunin, Walter Laqueur, Carl Levin, Faye Moskowitz, Judea Pearl, Richard Perle, Walter Reich, Howard Sachar, Jonathan Sacks, Hedy Schleifer, Adin Steinsaltz, Judith Viorst, Henry Waxman, Elie Wiesel, Leon Wieseltier, Ruth Wisse and A.B. Yehoshua


In addition to its regular sections and featured articles, Moment occasionally runs series of articles on a specific topic. These articles are published in a few consecutive issues of the magazine.

Democracy in RetreatEdit

This series explores how democracy is declining in ostensibly democratic countries. Through highlighting one country at a time, this series aims to provide insight into the ways in which elected governments do not always hold democratic values. This series has included articles on Ukraine, Hungary and Turkey.

Israel's Arab CitizensEdit

Beginning in Moment's September/October 2009 issue, the special series "Israel's Arab Citizens" has examined aspects of the social, economic, and cultural life of the 1.5 million Arab citizens of the State of Israel. The first installment, written by New York Times and Associated Press reporter Dina Kraft, profiled three generations of Arab Israeli women, titled "From Arab to Palestinian Israeli: One Family's Changing Identity".[citation needed]

The second, "Separate But Not Equal", which appeared in the September/October 2010 issue, examined the performance of Arab Israeli children in segregated public schools.[citation needed] "Separate But Not Equal" tied for first place in the Best Investigative News category of the Ethnic Media Awards, sponsored by the American University School of Communication and New America Media.[22][23]

Editor and executive publisher Nadine Epstein wrote of her motivation for initiating the series and the importance of focusing attention on the Arab Israelis in a letter from the editor:

Our lack of knowledge has serious consequences: I regularly meet Jews and non-Jews who view Israel's Arab citizens as, at best, suspect and at worst, terrorists. The reality is that this is a largely peaceful population—very few have been associated with terrorism—with a complex identity. They speak Hebrew, sometimes even better than Arabic, and many vote in Israeli elections. They support a Palestinian state, but their lives are in Israel and most have no intention or desire to leave. At the same time, they are often considered collaborators by some of their Arab brethren.[24]


Moment hosts multiple events every year, focused on a large array of topics related to Jewish culture, life, and politics. Past events include:

A Great Civil Rights PartnershipEdit

A celebration in honor of the struggle for racial equality, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. This event was hosted in partnership in May, 2015. It was moderated by Steven V. Roberts and featured Congressman Barney Frank and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Jews and Science SymposiumEdit

This event took place at the Oshman Family JCC of Palo Alto in April, 2015. Symposium participants included Joel R. Primack, Professor of Physics; Nancy Ellen Abrams, author and philosopher of science; Nadine Epstein, editor and publisher of Moment; Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, emeritus chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth and 2015 Moment Magazine Creativity Award Winner; event moderator Michael Krasny of KQED; Ronit Widman-Levy director of Arts & Culture, Oshman Family JCC; Marcus Feldman, Professor of Biological Sciences; and John Efron, Koret professor of Jewish History.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Karesh, Sara E.; and Mitchell M. Hurvitz (2005). Encyclopedia of Judaism, Infobase Publishing, page 337. ISBN 978-0816069828
  2. ^ Karesh, Sara E.; Hurvitz, Mitchell M. (June 19, 2018). "Encyclopedia of Judaism". Infobase Publishing. Retrieved June 19, 2018 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Previous Contest Winners - Religion News Association & Foundation". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  4. ^ "Clarion Awards - Winners - The Association for Women in Communications". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative Archives - Moment Magazine - The Next 5,000 Years of Conversation Begin Here". Moment Magazine - The Next 5,000 Years of Conversation Begin Here. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "Religion & Violence // A Moment Symposium". October 7, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  7. ^ "APN's Lara Friedman in Moment Magazine - An All-Women Symposium: The Missing XX-Factor". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 24, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ a b Becky Tuch. "L'chaim! Lit Mags for Jewish Thought". The Review Review. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Deener-Chodirker, Liat; ricerca, Risultati di; Lavine, Eileen Lavine; Lewis, Ann F. "Leonard Fein: Vision & Passion". MomentBooks. Retrieved June 19, 2018 – via Amazon.
  11. ^ a b "Shanks, Hershel". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Staff". Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  13. ^ a b Orlins, Susan Fishman (August 25, 2005). "Living in the Moment". The Pennsylvania Gazette. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Howe, Irving (2010). Politics and the Intellectual: Conversations with Irving Howe, Purdue University Press, page 27. ISBN 978-1557535511
  15. ^ a b Baskin, Judith R. (2011). The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture, Cambridge University Press, page 472. ISBN 978-0521825979
  16. ^ Shanks, Hershel (2010). Freeing the Dead Sea Scrolls: And Other Adventures of an Archaeology Outsider, Continuum, page 118. ISBN 978-1441152176
  17. ^ "Moment, Der". Yivo. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  18. ^ "Moment Digital Archive". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  19. ^ Kushner, Jacob (September 4, 2015). "Birthright Denied". Moment Magazine. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  20. ^ "The Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative - Moment Magazine - The Next 5,000 Years of Conversation Begin Here". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  21. ^ "Moment Magazine Announces Winners of Moment-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest". Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  22. ^ Crowe, Adell (February 17, 2011). "SOC Co-Hosts Ethnic Media Awards | American University School of Communication". Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  23. ^ "Muslim Media Honored in Nation's Capital". Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  24. ^ "Letter from the Editor, Nadine Epstein, September/October 2009". Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)