The Jewish Chronicle
First published on November 12, 1841, the "Jewish Chronicle" (JC) - a London-based Jewish newspaper that appears every Friday - is the oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world. A leading article in the first issue stated that the newspaper's aim was to provide "religious and moral instruction; local intelligence, historical information, and facts, exclusively Jewish; original articles; and textbooks."
Founded in London by Isaac Vallentine, a printer and bookseller, the JC was issued as a weekly until May 1842, when publication was suspended. It reappeared as a fortnightly in October 1844 and as a weekly - which it has remained ever since - three years later.
The paper announced itself as "a journal which chronicles every circumstance connected with the Jewish nation, their laws, their customs, their literature, their position to the government wherever they are scattered, and particularly of those in Great Britain; and while the JC is devoted to the sacred causes of religion and the elevation of the mind of the working man, its columns are thrown open to all creeds for discussion on these highly interesting subjects, not being the organ of any party or sect, but striving for truth and justice".
Throughout its existence, this policy has been at the heart of the JC as it has faithfully recorded the vicissitudes of Jewish life across the globe. In May 1881, for example, reports of the first Russian pogroms reached Britain and it soon became clear that they were part of a pattern of terror that would preoccupy Jewish minds - and the Jewish press - for more than a generation to come. The JC began publication of a monthly supplement - "Darkest Russia: A Journal of Persecution" - which did much to open the world's eyes to Czarist barbarity.
The pogroms brought a flood of newcomers to the Anglo-Jewish community, and the columns of the JC soon reflected its transformation from staid Victorianism into a teeming immigrant society, alien in manner, appearance, language and way of life.
Some 100,000 immigrants disembarked on Britain's shores over a 20-year period. Major new communities were formed, scores of synagogues sprang up in London's East End, and cultural, charitable and social organizations were established in profusion. In less than a generation the face of Anglo-Jewry was dramatically changed; and much of the readership which the JC serves today is descended from the immigrants of that period.
The "Darkest Russia" supplements paved the way for others aimed at highlighting the treatment of Jews elsewhere in the world, such as the Dreyfus Affair in 1898. Two years earlier, the JC had published Theodor Herzl's "A Solution to the Jewish Problem", four weeks before "Der Judenstaat" appeared in Vienna. Herzl's article in the JC constituted the first systematic analysis of the ideals of political Zionism in any language.
In 1917, the British Government postponed publication of the Balfour Declaration for several days to enable the JC to print the news at the same time as the daily press. Week in, week out, the paper devoted several pages to news from the Holy Land, and at every crucial stage both before and after the birth of the Jewish State it has contained unparalleled coverage and comment on Zionist and Israeli affairs.
The paper was one of the first journals to inform the world of the Nazi atrocities during the Second World War. In 1941, on the occasion of its centenary, it carried a stirring message from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill: "Assuredly in the day of victory, the Jew's sufferings and his part in the struggle will not be forgotten. Once again, at the appointed time, he will see vindicated those principles of righteousness which it was the glory of his fathers to proclaim to the world. Once again it will be shown that, though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small".
Over the years and up to the present, through the Jewish Chronicle Trust and the Kessler Foundation, the JC has managed to retain its pre-eminent position and independence, having outlived every other Jewish periodical of similar rank.
The newspaper's own website, first launched in 2000, also includes paid-for searchable archives of all editions from the first issue to the present, making it valuable for Anglo-Jewish genealogists and historians.
The stamp was issued in 1991. It was designed by A. Berg.