Bintel Blog

In the Beginning…

By Daniel Treiman and Ami Eden

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In the beginning, there was the Bintel Brief, the Forward’s legendary advice column. Launched in 1906 by Forward editor Abraham Cahan, the Bintel Brief — literally a “Bundle of Letters” — helped waves of Yiddish-speaking immigrants find their footing in 20th-century American life.

But the Bintel Brief was more than just an advice column. It was a two-way conduit that fostered interaction between Forward readers and staff, one of the many editorial features that helped make the Jewish Daily Forward more than just a newspaper — that built a real community of readers.

That’s why we chose the name the Bintel Blog for the Forward’s new signature Web log. Covering religion, culture, current affairs and Jewish life, this 21st-century bundle of blog posts will be a cyberspace conduit fostering a dynamic engagement between the Forward and its readers. In coming weeks, we will activate the Bintel Blog’s commenting feature, inviting our readers to join the conversation.

We are also bringing back two classic Forward features that will be housed on the Bintel Blog — both reader-generated:

THE BINTEL BRIEF

On Mondays, we will post new online installments of the Forward’s beloved advice column. Each month, a different guest advice columnist will answer readers’ questions on life, love, family, work, Judaism and other topics. We are privileged to have famed psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer helping us kick off the rebirth of this legendary Forward feature.

Send your letter to the Bintel Brief at bintelblog@forward.com or mail it to: Forward, Attn: Bintel Brief, 45 E. 33rd St., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10016. Letters selected for the Bintel Brief will be published anonymously.

THE ROTO

In 1923, the Forward launched a weekly photography supplement known as the Rotogravure. The feature took its name from a process for engraving images onto metal plates for printing. While other newspapers of the era had their own Rotogravure pages, the Forward’s “Roto” stands out as a visual record of the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience. The Roto tackled themes ranging from a “Beauty and Charm Contest” to “Interesting Jewish Types from Africa and Palestine.” Readers from all corners of the globe mailed in their photos for publication. The new Roto will create an online photographic record of the richness and diversity of today’s Jewish world. We invite our readers to send us their photos.

E-mail your photo to the Roto at bintelblog@forward.com along with a brief explanation of the image and its meaning.


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