Moment (magazine)

Last updated

Moment summer2019 low res.jpg
Summer 2019
EditorNadine Epstein
Deputy EditorSarah Breger
Former editors Leonard Fein
Hershel Shanks
Categories Religion, Politics, Culture [1]
FrequencyBi-monthly [1]
Circulation 65,000 [1]
PublisherNadine Epstein
Founder Elie Wiesel
Leonard Fein
Year foundedMay 1975 (1975-05)
First issue1975 (1975)
CompanyCenter for Creative Change
CountryUnited States
Based in Washington, D.C. [1]
ISSN 0099-0280
OCLC 610402552

Moment is an independent magazine which focuses on the life of the American Jewish community. It is not tied to any particular Jewish movement or ideology. [2] The award-winning publication [3] [4] features investigative stories [5] and cultural criticism, highlighting the thoughts and opinions of diverse scholars, writers, artists and policymakers. [6] [7] [8] Moment was founded in 1975, by Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and Jewish activist Leonard Fein, [9] who served as the magazine's first editor from 1975 to 1987. In its premier issue, Fein wrote that the magazine would include diverse opinions "of no single ideological position, save of course, for a commitment to Jewish life." [10] Hershel Shanks served as the editor from 1987 to 2004. [11] In 2004, Nadine Epstein took over as editor and executive publisher of Moment. [12] [13]

Elie Wiesel Romanian-born Jewish Holocaust survivor, writer, professor, activist, and thinker.

Eliezer Wiesel was a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He authored 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a Jewish prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

Leonard J. Fein, also known as Leibel Fein, was an American activist, writer, and teacher specializing in Jewish social themes.

Hershel Shanks is the American founder of the Biblical Archaeology Society and the Editor Emeritus of the Biblical Archaeology Review. He has written and edited numerous works on biblical archaeology including the Dead Sea Scrolls.


History and background

Moment was founded in 1975, by Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and Jewish activist Leonard Fein, [9] who served as the magazine's first editor from 1975 to 1987. In its premier issue, Fein wrote that the magazine would include diverse opinions "of no single ideological position, save of course, for a commitment to Jewish life." [10] The magazine was named in honor of an independent Yiddish-language newspaper, entitled Der Moment. [14] [15] [16] Founded in Warsaw in 1910, Der Moment remained in operation until the eve of Yom Kippur 1939, when the building housing the newspaper was destroyed by a German bomb. At the time, the publication was one of two Yiddish-language newspapers in the city. [1] [17]

Warsaw City metropolis in Masovia, Poland

Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.780 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres (2,355.39 sq mi). Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, and a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Yom Kippur Primary holy day in Judaism, tenth day of the year

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.

Hershel Shanks served as the editor from 1987 to 2004. [11] In 2004, Nadine Epstein took over as editor and publisher of Moment [12] [13] Moment magazine is an independent journal that publishes articles on Jewish culture, politics, and religion. [14] It is not affiliated with any Jewish organization or religious movement: its editorial staff, writers, and articles represent a diverse range of political views. [1] [15] Moment publishes a print magazine once every other month, maintains a website, runs literary contests, and hosts esteemed events. The magazine is a publishing project of the Washington D.C.-based Center for Creative Change. Moment contributors include Calvin Trillin, Chaim Potok, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Abba Eban, Cynthia Ozick, Wolf Blitzer, Yossi Klein Halevi, Theodore Bikel, Jerome Groopman, Ron Rosenbaum, Sherwin Nuland, Erica Jong, Dara Horn, David Margolick, and Rebecca Goldstein. [18]

Judaism The ethnic religion of the Jewish people

Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. It encompasses a wide body of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. The Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world.

Jewish religious movements, sometimes called "denominations" or "branches", include different groups which have developed among Jews from ancient times. Today, the main division is between the Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform movements, with several smaller movements alongside them. This denominational structure is mainly present in the United States, while in Israel, the fault lines are between the Orthodox and the non-religious.

Calvin Trillin American journalist

Calvin Marshall Trillin is an American journalist, humorist, food writer, poet, memoirist and novelist.

Programs and contests

Anti-Semitism Monitor

In 2018, Moment launched an Anti-Semitism Monitor to select, catalog and report credible anti-Semitic incidents around the world on a weekly basis. [19] Developed and curated by Ira Forman, a Moment Institute Fellow and the former U.S. Special Envoy of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, [20] Moment’s Anti-Semitism Monitor is a way for experts and others to track anti-Semitic incidents by date and country as well as the reactions to those incidents. [21]

Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative

In 2010, Moment launched the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative (DPIJI), which gives grants to young journalists doing stories on modern anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice. The DPIJI is in memory of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, who was murdered by terrorists while on assignment in Pakistan in 2002. The winners of this contest are mentored by prestigious journalists including: Wolf Blitzer, Linda Feldmann, Martin Fletcher, Glenn Frankel, Bill Kovach, David Lauter, Charles Lewis, Clarence Page, Robert Siegel, Paul Steiger and Lynn Sweet. Fellows have included: Jacob Kushner whose story "Birthright Denied" explored the Dominican Republic's efforts to take away citizenship from tens of thousands of Haitians who were born in the country; [22] Eve Fairbanks, whose story "A House Divided" tells the story of the integration and subsequent re-segregation of the dorms at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein; Emily K. Alhadeff, whose story "An Olympian Struggle," explores the complex story of anti-Israel campaigns in Olympia, Washington; [23] Cameron Conaway, whose story "Shadows in the Golden Land" tells the story of the failure of the newly-democratic Myanmar to end the persecution of the country's Muslim minority; [24] May Jeong, whose story "Strangers in Their Own Land" covered the Buddhist Nationalist attacks on Muslim neighbors in Sri Lanka; [25] Taha Anis, whose article "Persecuted in Pakistan" explored the discrimination and arrests of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam in Pakistan. [26]

Daniel Pearl American journalist

Daniel Pearl was an American journalist for The Wall Street Journal. He was kidnapped and later beheaded by terrorists in Pakistan.

<i>The Wall Street Journal</i> American business-focused daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The Wall Street Journal is a U.S. business-focused, English-language international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal, along with its Asian and European editions, is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp. The newspaper is published in the broadsheet format and online. The Journal has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889, by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser.

Wolf Blitzer American journalist and television news anchor

Wolf Isaac Blitzer is a German-American journalist, television news anchor and author who has been a CNN reporter since 1990. He is the host of The Situation Room. Blitzer also serves as the network's lead political anchor.

The Karma Foundation-Moment Magazine Fiction Contest

Established in 2000, the annual Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest is open to writers to submit stories related to Judaism or Jewish culture or history. Judges have included Andre Aciman, Walter Mosley, Nicole Krauss, Erica Jong, Jonathan Safran Foer, Geraldine Brooks, Dara Horn and Nicholas Delbanco. [27]

Jewish culture Culture of Jews and Judaism

Jewish culture is the culture of the Jewish people from the formation of the Jewish nation in ancient Israel through life in the diaspora and the modern state of Israel. Judaism guides its adherents in both practice and belief, so that it has been called not only a religion, but an orthopraxy. Not all individuals or all cultural phenomena can be classified as either "secular" or "religious", a distinction native to Enlightenment thinking.

Jewish history is the history of the Jews, and their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Although Judaism as a religion first appears in Greek records during the Hellenistic period and the earliest mention of Israel is inscribed on the Merneptah Stele dated 1213–1203 BCE, religious literature tells the story of Israelites going back at least as far as c. 1500 BCE. The Jewish diaspora began with the Assyrian captivity and continued on a much larger scale with the Babylonian captivity. Jews were also widespread throughout the Roman Empire, and this carried on to a lesser extent in the period of Byzantine rule in the central and eastern Mediterranean. In 638 CE the Byzantine Empire lost control of the Levant. The Arab Islamic Empire under Caliph Omar conquered Jerusalem and the lands of Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. The Golden Age of Jewish culture in Spain coincided with the Middle Ages in Europe, a period of Muslim rule throughout much of the Iberian Peninsula. During that time, Jews were generally accepted in society and Jewish religious, cultural, and economic life blossomed.

André Aciman writer, professor

André Aciman is an American writer. Born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, he is currently distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York, where he teaches the history of literary theory and the works of Marcel Proust. Aciman previously taught creative writing at New York University and French literature at Princeton and Bard College.

Moment Cartoon Caption Contest

Moment's bi-monthly caption contest for cartoons was founded by former New Yorker editor and humorist Bob Mankoff. The magazine asks its readers to suggest captions for the cartoon online and vote for their favorite submission.

Moment Magazine Awards

Over the years, Moment has presented a range of artists, journalists, and public activists with Moment Magazine Awards for excellence in their field. The awards include Creativity Awards, the Robert S. Greenberger Journalism Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Outstanding Leadership Award, etc. In 2018, Moment honored Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the Human Rights Award inaugural recipient and presented Creativity Awards to Dana Bash, CNN's chief political reporter, [28] and American abstract artist, Carol Brown Goldberg. [29] In 2017, CNN anchor Jake Tapper won the Robert S. Greenberger Journalism Award for his work as chief Washington correspondent. [30] Earlier winners include Joan Nathan, Peter Yarrow, Wolf Blitzer, and Steven Pinker. [31]


Moment had two stories out of four finalists for the 2018 Mirror Awards in the Best Single Article/Story, for "Sheldon Adelson: Playing to Win" by Nadine Epstein and Wesley G. Pippert, and "Report From Whitefish: After the Cyber Storm" by Ellen Wexler. [32] Moment won two 2018 Simon Rockower Awards from the American Jewish Press Association: Ellen Wexler's "A letter from New Haven" won for Excellence in Social Justice Reporting, [33] and "Growing Up Trump" by Marc Fisher won for Excellence in Feature Writing, Division D. [33] Moment also won a 2018 David Frank Award for Excellence in Personality Profiles, from the American Jewish Press Association, for "No Patience for Patriarchy," by Eetta Prince-Gibson. [34]

Moment has also won several non-Jewish journalism awards, such as nominations for two Livingston Awards, the award for Best “Investigative News Story” from New American Media; and the 2015 Clarion Award from the Association of Women in Communications for Best Feature Article/Current News for Eetta Prince-Gibson's An Uneasy Union . Moment also won the 2015 first place award in magazine news reporting from the Religion Newswriters Association for Prince's An Uneasy Union, along with awards for Nadine Epstein's Evolution of a Moderate on Mohammed Dajani, and for Michael Orbach's story Professor of Disbelief on James Kugel.

In 2017, Moment won in two categories of the American Jewish Press Association Simon Rockower Awards Competition for Excellence in Jewish Journalism. Curious Case of Dorothy L. Sayers & the Jew Who Wasn’t There by Amy Schwartz won the 2nd Place Award for Excellence in Arts and Criticism News and Features, and Is Sitting This One Out, Who Will be Israel’s Champion? and The True Value of Cheap Books by Shmuel Rosner won the 2nd Place Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary. [35] Nadine Epstein was also a finalist for the 2016 Food Writing Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for her story The Great Hanukkah Clanging.

In 2013, Moment won Second Place for the Religion Newswriters Association Magazine of the Year award. [36] In 2012, Moment won their Overall Excellence in Religion Coverage Award for magazines. [37]


Moment’s print symposia explore pressing and timely questions from a wide range of perspectives. Each Moment symposium includes interviews with a variety of creative thinkers and doers in order to present a spectrum of nuanced opinion on a broad range of questions important to public discourse. Notable symposia include:

Moment Books

In April 2019, Moment launched MomentBooks as a joint imprint with Mandel Vilar Press. [38] Its first title, Elie Wiesel: An Extraordinary Life and Legacy, was published on April 2, 2019, and featured a foreword by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and an afterword by Ted Koppel. [39] In 2019 it will release: Have I Got a Cartoon for You!: The Moment Magazine Book of Jewish Cartoons by Bob Mankoff, which will release on September 15, 2019, [40] and City of Light by Theodore Bikel with Aimee Ginsburg Bikel, which will release on November 4, 2019. [41]

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<i>Night</i> (book) book by Elie Wiesel

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