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``J.'' The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California Debuts; Contemporary Magazine Format Replaces Jewish Bulletin to Reach More Bay Area Jews.

News Editors/Business Editors


After 107 years, the weekly Jewish Bulletin will be no more.

On September 19, 2003, it will be replaced by a new weekly publication. Instead of a tabloid newspaper, the new magazine-style format will attempt to attract new and younger readers with a catchy name -- "J. the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California."

"Most Jewish newspapers are named Jewish Week, Jewish News or Jewish Journal," said Editor and Publisher Marc S. Klein. "Instead, we wanted something fresh, different and younger. With the new, clipped, street-style name, comes edgier stories and columns that should attract younger readers who know the Jewish Bulletin as their parents' newspaper."

Associate Publisher Nora Contini, who directed the design of the magazine, said that a decision was made in 2001 to address declining readership and to appeal to the growing numbers of unaffiliated, intermarried and disaffected Bay Area Jews. Surveys were conducted and focus groups were held to establish the foundation of what a revamped editorial product might look like. Contini credited her in-house graphic designer, Cathleen Maclearie, for capturing that "look."

"J. will be provocative and vibrant," said Contini. "It will be marked by new graphics and color, features on spirituality, first-person columns, Internet coverage, profiles of unique individuals, more humor, cooking columns by local chefs, more letters to the editor and additional opinion pieces. But, we will absolutely continue to provide no-nonsense coverage of the tough issues facing the community, whether it's about interfaith marriage, gays, Israel, local anti-Semitism, or clergy who have strayed, for that matter."

J.'s original predecessor, "Emanu-El," was launched in 1895 to bring cohesion to Jews spread throughout the Pacific Coast. Today the publication serves a Northern California Jewish community of more than 250,000 Jews living in 90,000 households, 20,000 of them subscribers, and can boast to being the longest running Jewish newspaper in the West. In 1995, the Bulletin became the first Jewish weekly in the country to post its entire contents on the World Wide Web each week (

"Providing a voice for the Jewish community is no easy challenge," said Klein. "Jews, especially in Northern California, are all over the map in terms of their political stance, economic means, social philosophy, spirituality and religious beliefs...and passionately at that.

"Our mandate is to enhance and expand our service to the larger Jewish community. We must engage younger readers as well as provide the news current subscribers look forward to reading. Jews have never spoken with just one voice. We want to hear all those voices in `J.'"

Editors please note: Any member of the community may receive a six-week free trial subscription by calling (415) 263-7200, x24.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 18, 2003
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