Foundation assumes ownership of Phoenix Jewish newspaper

(JTA) – The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix (JCF) has taken over ownership of the metropolitan area’s Jewish News.

Under an agreement signed last Friday, the newspaper, which has been an independently owned for-profit for most of its existence since its founding in 1948, will become a nonprofit, according to an article published Sunday on the publication’s website.

Former owner Jaime Stern initiated the move, submitting a proposal to the foundation in January, according to the article.

No layoffs of staff have been announced, and the paper will continue operating from its current office in uptown Phoenix.

Richard Kasper, the JCF president and CEO, said he believes this marks the first time that an independent Jewish community foundation has owned a Jewish newspaper. Many other papers – including the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – are or have been owned by the local Jewish federation.

“By placing ownership in the community, we hope it will encourage more community engagement in all aspects of the operation,” he said.

Although the JCF has taken control of the operations, Kasper said the foundation does not “intend to involve ourselves on the editorial side of the paper.”

“In other words, readers should be assured that the paper will not become a JCF newsletter. The JCF exists to serve the entire Jewish community, and our intention is that the Jewish News should do the same.”

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