Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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Jewish Telegraphic Agency
TypeNot-for-profit news agency
IndustryNews media
FoundedFebruary 6, 1917; 106 years ago (1917-02-06)
FounderJacob Landau
United States
Area served
Key people
  • Ami Eden, CEO & Executive Editor;
  • Philissa Cramer, Editor-in-Chief
ProductsWire service[1]
Parent70 Faces Media Edit this at Wikidata

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) is an international news agency and wire service, founded in 1917, serving Jewish community newspapers and media around the world as well as non-Jewish press, with about 70 syndication clients listed on its web site.[2][3]

Editorial policy[edit]

The JTA is a not-for-profit corporation governed by an independent board of directors. It claims no allegiance to any specific branch of Judaism or political viewpoint. "We respect the many Jewish and Israel advocacy organizations out there, but JTA has a different mission—to provide readers and clients with balanced and dependable reporting", wrote JTA editor-in-chief and CEO and publisher Ami Eden. He gave as an example of the JTA's coverage of the Mavi Marmara activist ship.[4]

JTA is an affiliate of 70 Faces Media, a not-for-profit American media company.[5][6] Other sites under the 70 Faces Media company include Kveller, Alma, and Nosher.[7]


The JTA was founded on February 6, 1917, by Jacob Landau (a 25 year old) as the Jewish Correspondence Bureau in The Hague, Netherlands.[8] Its mandate was to collect and disseminate news affecting the Jewish communities around the world,[9][10][11][12] especially from the European World War I fronts.[13][14] In 1919, it moved to London, under its current name.[11][15][16]

In 1922, the JTA moved its headquarters to New York City.[11] By 1925, over 400 newspapers (Jewish and general) subscribed to the JTA.[17]

In November 1937, German Third Reich secret police closed the Berlin bureau of the JTA, a U.S. news bureau, charging it with "endangering public safety and order."[18]

In 1940, the JTA spawned the Overseas News Agency (ONA).[19] Although designed to appear like a normal news agency, it was in fact secretly funded by the British intelligence service MI6.[20] ONA provided press credentials to British spies, and planted fake news stories in US newspapers.[20] Meyer Levin was a war correspondent in Europe during World War II, representing the Overseas News Agency and the JTA.[21][22]

Its cable service improved the quality and range of Jewish periodicals.[13][17] Today, it has correspondents in Washington, DC, Jerusalem, Moscow, and 30 other cities in North and South America, Israel, Europe, Africa, and Australia. The JTA is committed to covering news of interest to the Jewish community with journalistic detachment.[13]

In 2015, the news service merged with the site MyJewishLearning to create 70 Faces Media.[6]


Boris Smolar joined the JTA in 1924, and retired as its editor-in chief in 1967.[23]

Journalist Daniel Schorr began his career as an assistant news editor for the JTA, from 1934 to 1941.[24][25][26]

Haskell Cohen was the sports editor for the JTA for 17 years; he is best known for later as the NBA director of public relations creating the NBA All Star Game in 1951.[27] Harold U. Ribalow was later the sports editor of the JTA.[28] In the 1960s, novelist and lawyer Eleazar Lipsky was the JTA's president.[29][30]

Lillie Shultz, later a journalist and the chief administrative officer of the American Jewish Congress, was a staff member of the JTA in the early 1930s.[31][32]

Notable interviews[edit]


In 1933, Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein said in a speech at a dinner in his honor that the JTA was "very close to my heart", and that the JTA was keeping the public objectively informed about the lot of the Jews all countries: "in a graphic and objective manner, and in so doing it has performed an important service ..."[42]

In March 1942, in connection with its 25th anniversary the JTA received congratulatory messages from U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ("I trust through long decades to come that this medium of information will serve the world with fidelity and courage by the widest possible dissemination of the truth"), and U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson, British Ambassador Lord Halifax, Director of the U.S. Office of War Department of Facts and Figures Archibald MacLeish, Director of the U.S. Office of Government Reports Lowell Mellett, and Benjamin V. Cohen of the U.S. National Power Policy Committee.[43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joe Sterling (January 22, 2012). "Jewish paper's column catches Secret Service's eye". CNN. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  2. ^ "About Us". Jewish Telegraph Agency. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  3. ^ The New Jewish Encyclopedia. Behrman House. 1976. ISBN 9780874411201.
  4. ^ "Fledgling Jewish News Service Rocks Boat With Strident Pro-Israel Message". The Forward. June 28, 2013.
  5. ^ "About the Jewish Telegraphic Agency".
  6. ^ a b "JTA and MJL merge to create 70 Faces Media". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. January 5, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "70 Faces Media | | Connecting people to all sides of the unfolding Jewish story". Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  8. ^ Israel's Impact, 1950-51: A Personal Record. University Press of America. 1984. ISBN 9780819141262.
  9. ^ American Jewish Committee, Jewish Publication Society of America (1920). American Jewish Year Book. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  10. ^ Willard Learoyd Sperry (1971). Religion and our divided denominations. Books for Libraries Press. ISBN 9780836922011. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c YIVO Archives, Fruma Mohrer, Marek Web, Yivo Institute for Jewish Research (1998). Guide to the YIVO Archives. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 9780765601308. Retrieved June 30, 2011.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Otto Dov Kulka (1998). Deutsches Judentum unter dem Nationalsozialismus. Mohr Siebeck. ISBN 9783161472671. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c Jonathan D. Sarna. "The American Jewish Press". The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the American News Media (PDF). Oxford University Press. p. 544. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  14. ^ "Rumania Halts Landau; Efforts of New Yorker Frees Jewish Telegraph Agency Head". NYTimes. May 13, 1927.
  15. ^ Isaiah Berlin; Henry Hardy (2004). Isaiah Berlin; Letters, 1928–1946. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521833684. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  16. ^ Verena Dohrn (2009). "Diplomacy in the Diaspora: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency in Berlin (1922–1933)". Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  17. ^ a b The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the American News Media. Oup USA. September 6, 2012. ISBN 978-0-19-539506-8.
  18. ^ "REICH POLICE CLOSE A U. S. NEWS BUREAU; Charge the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Sent Reports Abroad in Violation of Agreement". The New York Times.
  19. ^ "Overseas News Agency Launched". JTA. July 14, 1940.
  20. ^ a b PJ Grisar (October 22, 2018). "Sharks Defending Britain From Nazis? How 'Fake News' Helped Foil Hitler". The Forward.
  21. ^ Fuchs, Daniel (January 3, 1982). "THE LIFE OF MEYER LEVIN". The New York Times.
  22. ^ Mitgang, Herbert (July 11, 1981). "MEYER LEVIN, WRITER, 75, DIES; BOOKS INCLUDED 'COMPULSION'". The New York Times.
  23. ^ "Boris Smolar, Retired Editor of Jewish Telegraphic Agency". The New York Times. February 14, 1986.
  24. ^ Arnold, Martin (February 27, 1976). "Controversial Reporter". The New York Times.
  25. ^ Kaplan, Peter W. (February 27, 1985). "DANIEL SCHORR WEIGHS MERITS OF CABLE TV". The New York Times.
  26. ^ Hershey, Robert D. Jr. (July 23, 2010). "Daniel Schorr, Journalist, Dies at 93". The New York Times.
  27. ^ Goldstein, Richard (July 3, 2000). "Haskell Cohen, 86, Publicist; Created N.B.A. All-Star Game". The New York Times.
  28. ^ "HAROLD U. RIBALOW, WRITER ON JEWISH THEMES". The New York Times. October 26, 1982.
  29. ^ Pace, Eric (February 15, 1993). "Eleazar Lipsky, 81, a Prosecutor, Lawyer, Novelist and Playwright". The New York Times.
  30. ^ Zolotow, Sam (August 30, 1966). "'BRIDGE OF SIGHS' DUE ON BROADWAY; Ex-District Attorney's Play Reflects His Experiences". The New York Times.
  31. ^ Himmelfarb, Milton; Singer, David (1982). American Jewish Year Book. American Jewish Committee. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-8276-0221-2.[1]
  32. ^ "Lillie Shultz Dead at 77". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. April 16, 1981. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  33. ^ Hanau, Shira (July 15, 2021). "Julia Haart has a message for 'My Unorthodox Life' critics: Watch before you judge me". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  34. ^ Hanau, Shira (July 16, 2021). "'My Unorthodox Life' Star Julia Haart Tells Us Why She's Sharing Her Story". Kveller. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  35. ^ Schleier, Curt (March 22, 2018). "The creator of Netflix's 'Jessica Jones' is becoming a feminist icon in the #MeToo era". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  36. ^ "The Creator of Netflix's 'Jessica Jones' Is Becoming a Feminist Icon". Haaretz. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  37. ^ "Disney+ documentary traces Idina Menzel's rise, from bat mitzvah circuit to Broadway | The Times of Israel". Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  38. ^ Rockart, Ella (September 1, 2021). "Ezra Furman has sung about God in her indie rock. Now she's going to rabbinical school". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  39. ^ "Ezra Furman's new song is inspired by her experience 'as a Jew and as a trans woman'". The Forward. April 5, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  40. ^ Kampeas, Ron (December 23, 2009). "Carter: Grandson's race not reason enough to apologize". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  41. ^ James, Frank (December 23, 2009). "Jimmy Carter Apologizes For Criticizing Israel". NPR. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  42. ^ "Address of Dr. Einstein at Dinner in His Honor Here". The New York Times.
  43. ^ "JEWISH NEWS AGENCY MARKS 25TH YEAR; Gets Messages From the President and Other Notables". The New York Times.

External links[edit]