The Jewish Advocate is a weekly Jewish newspaper serving Greater Boston and the New England area. It was established in 1902, and is the oldest continuously-circulated English-language Jewish newspaper in the United States. Before May 28, 1909, it was briefly known as The Jewish Home Journal and then as The Boston Advocate.
Based in downtown Boston, in the former Boston Post daily newspaper building (which, in its cellars four stories underground, still contains the century-old pulleys-and-lifts system equipment for the publishing presses of those days) overlooking what was known in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as "newspaper row", The Jewish Advocate has published weekly every week since its founding over one hundred ten years ago. The paper is the primary Jewish newspaper for the Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts metropolitan area, and for much of New England, with subscribers in all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. It is available both in paper form and online.
The Advocate was founded by Jacob deHaas, executive secretary to the Austrian journalist and founder of modern political Zionism, Theodor Herzl. Having founded the Vienna newspaper Die Welt and the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, Herzl sent deHaas to Boston several years later to start a newspaper which would inculcate Judaism into the community and progress the cause of the re-establishment of the Jewish faith and a Jewish state. The paper has been owned by only two families since that time.
In 1917 deHaas became national executive director of the newly organized Zionist Organization of America at the invitation of Louis D. Brandeis, who had just become president of the ZOA, and ownership of The Jewish Advocate passed to Alexander Brin, who, as a national reporter for the former Boston Traveler daily newspaper, had become well-known through his coverage of the Leo Frank case in Atlanta, Georgia. A year later The Advocate played a leading role in supporting the appointment of Brandeis as the first Jewish justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, and nearly thirty years later in the establishment of Brandeis University.
Through the next years Jewish population in Boston boomed and The Advocate became a household companion in virtually every Jewish home. In the years before the Holocaust "The Jewish Advocate", virtually alone among the media, warned of the coming of Hitler and the great danger which that would pose for the Jewish people.
Subsequently the paper played an important leading role in uniting the nascent Jewish organizations that helped to rebuild the lives of Jewish refugees and establish the new State of Israel. This was the defining role of The Jewish Advocate throughout the decades of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s when the paper was at the forefront of every aspect of the Jewish community's social and religious issues and movements.
In the years following the 1960s and until today The Jewish Advocate continues to serve as a primary source of news and information as well as a forum for discussion and debate, providing lines of communication uniting the community and supporting the efforts aimed at reinvigorating and broadening Jewish religious and cultural life.
Publishers of THE JEWISH ADVOCATE
- Jacob deHass 1902–1917;
- Alexander Brin 1917–1980;
- Joseph G. Brin, Co-Publisher 1917–1952;
- Joseph G. Weisberg 1980–1984;
- Bernard J. Hyatt 1984–1990;
- Grand Rabbi Y. A. Korff 1990–.