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The Jewish Chronicle (The JC) is a London-based Jewish weekly newspaper. Founded in 1841, it is the oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world.[3]

The Jewish Chronicle
Front page, 17 January 1896, showing article by Theodor Herzl (the father of political Zionism)
TypeWeekly newspaper
Owner(s)Kessler Foundation (UK)
EditorStephen Pollard[1]
Headquarters28 St. Albans Lane
NW11 7QE
Circulation22,460 (June 2013)[2]

The newspaper is published every Friday (except on days which are Jewish holidays, when it appears earlier in the week) providing news, views, social, cultural and sports reports, as well as editorials and a spectrum of readers' opinions on the letter page. The news section of its website is updated several times a day.

It is owned by the Kessler Foundation (UK), a charitable trust in the United Kingdom which has overall control of the newspaper and its assets.



The Jewish Chronicle first appeared on 12 November 1841. Its first editors were D. Meldola and M. Angel. It was first issued as a weekly until May 1842, when it was suspended. From October 1844, it was resumed as a fortnightly, with Joseph Mitchell as its editor. In 1847, it became again a weekly newspaper. A. Benisch, who became the proprietor and editor in 1855, bequeathed the paper to the Anglo-Jewish Association in 1878, who sold it to its new editor and anti-Zionist Asher I. Myers, Sydney M. Samuel and Israel David.[4]

In 1881, the leaders of the Jewish community in London were being criticised for not campaigning against the pogroms that were taking place in the Russian Empire. Under the leadership of Francis Henry Goldsmid the pogroms were not mentioned by the newspaper and it was only after the feminist Louisa Goldsmid gave her support following calls to arms by an anonymous writer named "Juriscontalus" and Asher Myers of The Jewish Chronicle that action was taken. Public meetings were then held across the country and Jewish and Christian leaders in Britain spoke out against the atrocities.[5]

In December 1906, L. J. Greenberg, a successful advertising agent and English Zionist leader, contacted the Dutch banker Jacobus Kann with the object of buying The Jewish Chronicle to promote Zionism.[6] The same month, Greenberg, together with David Wolffsohn, Joseph Cowen, Jacobus H. Kahn, and Leopold Kessler, bought the shares. Greenberg himself became its editor.[4]

At the time, The JC gained a near monopoly in the Jewish press, taking over its principal competitors, The Hebrew Observer and The Jewish World. Only in October 1919, did The JC got a strong opposing voice by The Jewish Guardian, who counterbalanced the dominant Zionist propaganda of The JC, until it disappeared in 1931. After Greenberg's death, the same year, The JC remained moderately pro-Zionist under the leadership of Leopold Kessler.[4]

The weekly newspaper The Jewish World was taken over in 1913. It published articles by various Zionist leaders, as well as early non-Jewish pro-Zionists. In 1934, it was merged with The Jewish Chronicle.[7] After 1948, the paper maintained a pro-Israel attitude.

Editorial positionEdit

Under the ownership of Asher Myers and Israel Davis, from 1878, the paper was hostile to Zionism in line with the official positions of the religious and lay leaders of the community. After Leopold Greenberg had taken over the paper in 1906, it became strongly Zionist and it was made into "a firm and influential champion of Zionism".[8]

The JC supported the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the publication of which was postponed for a week in order to allow the Chronicle to publish its opinion in time. After the Declaration was issued, however, the paper became critical of Chaim Weizmann. Greenberg was discontented with the too vague definition of the Zionist goals and wanted him to state clearly that Palestine must be politically Jewish. He wanted to define "National Home" as a Jewish Commonwealth.[9] Although JC's support to Zionism somewhat decreased after Greenberg's death, it has consistently devoted considerable space to Israel and Zionism.[4]

Under Leopold Greenberg, The JC was hostile to the Reform and Liberal movements in Britain. Over the years, attention shifted from Orthodoxy in Anglo-Jewry to developments in Progressive Judaism, while increasingly becoming more critical of the Orthodox position on halakhic issues.[4]


The JC sponsors the Jewish Sunday league system in London, known as the Maccabi Football League.[citation needed]

Notable interviewsEdit

The former Jewish Chronicle offices in Furnival Street, central London

In 1981, the publication published an interview with then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher was questioned regarding the state of Israel and how Conservative policy affected the Jewish community.[10]

In September 1999, it was the first non-Israeli newspaper to conduct an interview with Ehud Barak during his term as Prime Minister of Israel.[11]

In December 2007, the newspaper published an interview with the Labour Party donor, David Abrahams.[12][13]

In July 2013, The Jewish Chronicle hosted an audience with UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Farage was interviewed by editor Stephen Pollard, and took questions from the audience.[14]

Libel lawsuits and criticismEdit

Dr Othman Moqbel, Dr Hussein Nagi and Mr Mohamad Yousef of Human Appeal International received an apology and substantial damages from The Jewish Chronicle following articles published in February 2012 in the newspaper and on its website, suggesting that Human Appeal International, a British charity, had been designated as a terrorist organisation by the US government and had diverted donations to fund terror and to support the families of suicide bombers. An apology was published in the newspaper on 31 May and on its website on 30 May.[15]

In August 2015, dozens of prominent Jewish activists signed an open letter criticising The Jewish Chronicle for what they viewed as its "character assassination" of Corbyn. They wrote: "Your assertion that your attack on Jeremy Corbyn is supported by 'the vast majority of British Jews' is without foundation. We do not accept that you speak on behalf of progressive Jews in this country. You speak only for Jews who support Israel, right or wrong." They continued, "There is something deeply unpleasant and dishonest about your McCarthyite guilt by association technique. Jeremy Corbyn's parliamentary record over 32 years has consistently opposed all racism including antisemitism." Signatories to the letter included Laurence Dreyfus, Selma James, Miriam Margolyes, Ilan Pappé, Michael Rosen and Avi Shlaim.[16]

Publication data and readership figuresEdit

The average number of copies sold per week is estimated to be in the region of 32,000 (accurate as of June 2010).[17] The newspaper's website includes paid-for searchable archives of all editions from the first issue to the present, making it valuable for Anglo-Jewish genealogists and historians. The website was launched in 2000 and has won three successive Weekly Newspaper on the Web awards. It was relaunched in 2008.[18][19]

Chief editorsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 'Fantastic timing': a baptism of fire at the Jewish Chronicle The Independent. 11 January 2009
  2. ^ "Mag ABCs: Full circulation round-up for the first half of 2013". Press Gazette. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  3. ^ The Jewish Chronicle and Anglo-Jewry, 1841–1991 Cambridge University Press
  4. ^ a b c d e Jewish Chronicle ., accessed October 2018
  5. ^ C. S. Monaco (2013). The Rise of Modern Jewish Politics: Extraordinary Movement. Routledge. pp. 148–. ISBN 978-0-415-65983-3.
  6. ^ How the JC helped shape the debate. David Cesarani, Jewish Chronicle, 16 November 2017
  7. ^ Jewish World. JVL, accessed October 2018
  8. ^ David Cesarani (3 March 1994). The Jewish Chronicle and Anglo-Jewry, 1841–1991. Cambridge University Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-521-43434-8.
  9. ^ Cesarani 1994, p. 127-128
  10. ^ Interview for Jewish Chronicle Margaret Thatcher Foundation. 19 June 1981
  11. ^ "The Jewish Chronicle". Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  12. ^ Jewish Chronicle defends its coverage of David Abrahams The Guardian. 7 December 2007
  13. ^ "The Jewish Chronicle on how they got the Abrahams interview". The Spectator. 7 December 2007.
  14. ^ "UKIP Leader Nigel Farage Supports Israel". The Algemeiner Journal. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Human Appeal International: an apology". The Jewish Chronicle. 30 May 2013.
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference thejc1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ "Jewish Chronicle bucks sales trend - Greensdale Blog". 23 August 2010.
  18. ^ Jewish Chronicle relaunches website with open source software 10 July 2008
  19. ^ Jewish Chronicle adds social networking in website revamp Brand Republic. 11 September 2008
  20. ^ Day, Julia (21 February 2006). "Jewish Chronicle appoints new editor". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  21. ^ Brook, Stephen (30 June 2008). "Condé Nast to launch Wired in the UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2015.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit