The Jewish Monitor

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The Jewish Monitor

George G. Fox, rabbi of the Fort Worth congregation Beth-el, started the Fort Worth Jewish Monitor in 1914. It was a regional weekly paper designed to connect local rabbis and congregations. Rabbi Fox became the editor, while the board of directors at Beth-el helped finance the project and find investors for the Monitor Publishing Company, which printed the paper.

The Monitor was a sixteen-page paper that circulated in forty cities across Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Published on Fridays, it sold for five cents per issue or one dollar for a year’s subscription. Content included foreign and domestic news, local news from Fort Worth and Dallas, social notes, poetry, and advertisements. It also published service times for local congregations, the hiring or retirement of local rabbis, the Jewish calendar, and legal notes regarding local Jewish citizens, such as marriage or divorce notices and court summons.

During World War I, letters and photos from Jewish soldiers on the front lines were featured each week. After the war ended, there was a section that reported on “conditions affecting Jews in former war zones.” Reports were also given on such issues as protests in Paris against the treatment of Jewish citizens and the efforts of British Zionists to raise money for relocation. Editorials written by local rabbis, most frequently by Austin rabbi David Rosenbaum in a column called “Chips From a Rabbinical Workshop,” were also featured.

The front page of the Monitor clearly identified it as a Jewish paper. The nameplate was adorned with a picture of the Torah, a menorah, a Star of David, and Rabbi Fox’s name. In order to emphasize the paper’s concern with American interests, the editorial page displayed a picture of the Stars and Stripes. In its editorials, the Monitor condemned the formation of Jewish veteran groups, proclaiming the American Legion was open to all people, and the separation of veterans by religion would lead to “prejudice and malice.”

Despite the Monitor’s discouragement of Jewish separation in society, Fox quickly pointed out incidents of anti-Semitism in Texas and around the world. In one case, a local business accused of such an incident sent an apology to the Monitor. The paper’s reputation continued to grow, increasing its advertising dollars. Ads presented in the weekly ranged from kosher delis to Martha Washington Wine to Correct English magazine.

In 1921, the newspaper became the Jewish Monitor and Jewish Weekly [LCCN: sn97065908] after merging with the Yiddische Wochenblatt [LCCN: unknown]. Editor Fox retired and A.E. Abramowitz was appointed the new editor. The new version of the paper included much of the same content, with the notable addition of a Yiddish section complete with Yiddish advertisements.