Phoenix Jewish News transfers ownership to Jewish Community Foundation
In a transfer of ownership agreement effective Friday, July 15, 2016, the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix became the owner of the Phoenix Jewish News. Jaime Stern, the current owner and publisher, will remain as interim publisher during the transition period. This change will ensure that the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix continues to have a strong Jewish newspaper that is, in every sense, a community asset.
Jaime and Jeffrey Stern purchased the Phoenix Jewish News in 2013 from Florence and Paul Eckstein, who purchased it in 1981. Flo is the daughter of Cecil and Pearl Newmark, who owned the newspaper from 1961 to 1981.
“Publishing the Phoenix Jewish News has been a labor of love for me these past few years. But the time is right to make this transition so the Jewish News remains a true community asset,” said Stern. “And after months of conversations and due diligence, it is with great pleasure that I transfer the ownership of the paper to the Jewish Community Foundation.”
According to Richard Kasper, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix, Stern approached him with the idea in January. “Knowing the importance of the paper to the Jewish community, Jaime wanted to make sure to find an owner that would be a good steward and would ensure the paper would flourish in the years to come.” Kasper formed a work group consisting of Neal Kurn, Mark Sklar, Neil Hiller, Joel Kramer, Flo Eckstein and JCF board chair, Beth Jo Zeitzer to consider Stern’s proposal and make recommendations to the Foundation’s board of directors. The work group unanimously concluded that it is in the community’s interest that the Jewish News continues publishing, and that the Jewish Community Foundation is the most logical nonprofit organization to accept and hold the Jewish News. Kasper said, “Our board then looked long and hard at the prospect of taking ownership of the paper, the financials, and its current editorial structure. We are pleased that we have been able to come to this decision and happily accept the Phoenix Jewish News into our organization.”
Neal Kurn, founder and former board chair of the Jewish Community Foundation, was instrumental in accomplishing the ownership transition. Kurn said “I have been involved with the Jewish Community Foundation and the Phoenix Jewish community for many years. I consider this a win-win, not only for the Foundation and the paper, but the larger community we serve.”
The first issue of the paper to be published under the new ownership agreement will be the July 22 edition.
The Jewish Community Foundation has created an LLC for the financial operations of the paper and has instituted a community advisory board to assist during the transition. At this time all current editorial, advertising and administrative staff will remain with the paper as well.
“The Phoenix Jewish News has been an integral part of the Jewish community in the Valley since its first issue was published on Jan. 15, 1948,” said Zeitzer. “It has told countless stories of the Jewish people in our community. It is our honor to continue this wonderful tradition that was started nearly 70 years ago.”
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