SALEM – Steven A. Rosenberg, an acclaimed journalist who worked for the last 15 years as a staff writer and columnist for The Boston Globe, has been named the new publisher and editor of the Jewish Journal.
As a journalist, photographer, and documentary filmmaker, Rosenberg’s work has been featured on many media outlets, including PBS, CBS, Fox News, and several Israeli television networks. His articles and columns have been published in the International Herald Tribune, Ha’aretz, and The Jerusalem Post. Prior to joining the Globe, Rosenberg served as editor of the Jewish Advocate in Boston, and also managed two TV stations.
At the Globe, Rosenberg covered a wide array of subjects, from politics to education, homelessness and the fishing industry. His articles often focused on life in cities and towns north of Boston. His most recent column profiled a group of retirees who formed a bond over their daily walks along Revere Beach.
The Swampscott resident also is the author of three books, including the recently released, “Middle Class Heroes: Voices from the Boston Suburbs.”
“In addition to his long record of excellent journalism in the Boston area, he brings to us an extensive knowledge of our Jewish heritage,” said Bob Rose, president of the Journal Board of Overseers. “We are at the threshold of another historic period in which we must unite to define and defend our beliefs and our people. On a very local basis, this is our job, and Steve’s job. Let us support him in that vital task.”
Other Journal board members also endorsed the appointment. “He brings an exceptionally broad and well-honed skill set to the Jewish Journal,” said Neil Donnenfeld. “His love for Israel, roots in the community, and Yiddishkeit make him a unique asset.”
Added Johanna L. Matloff, “I think he will do a great job reaching out to the grass roots of our community and invite people into our newspaper.”
Rosenberg’s appointment is a good choice, according to philanthropist Robert Lappin, president of the Lappin Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Jewish and Israeli programming on the North Shore. Lappin, who has known Rosenberg for decades, praised him as a professional with high standards.
“In every level, he has a very high Jewish identity and has a great love for Israel,” said Lappin, acknowledging that he is an avid reader of the Journal, a 40-year-old nonprofit publication that reaches 17,000 homes twice a month.
Rosenberg has had a long association with the Journal. He wrote his first article for the paper in 1979, a story about Israel that he coauthored with a friend.
“The Journal is essential to this Jewish community,” said Rosenberg. “The paper plays an important role in helping to link the community, and also serves as a reflection of how Jews continue to evolve and change in the Greater Boston area.”
His own passion for Israel was sparked during his first visit to the country, when he enrolled at Tel Aviv University for a college semester abroad. Years later, he worked in Jerusalem as a journalist and filmmaker, spending weeks in places such as Ramallah, Jenin, and Bethlehem, covering the Palestinian conflict.
Rosenberg has worked as a journalist since graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1981. He later earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in writing and literature from Bennington College.
“It’s my passion,” he said about his lifelong professional calling. “The goal of the journalist is to present an accurate portrait of what you are reporting on. And it’s needed now more than ever, as journalism is under attack throughout the world and even in our country – with the new president regularly dismissing strong reporting as fake news.
“Above all, we are storytellers, but we play an essential role as a watchdog in our society and we’re the first historians on the scene. That’s what I love about it. We are very committed to serving the community,” Rosenberg said.
Jews on the North Shore have a strong interest in their neighbors and are eager to learn more about their community, he observed.
Beginning with this issue, he will kick off a new feature section on pages 2 and 3, modeled after the New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town.” He plans to infuse the Journal’s pages with stories of everyday people who play major roles in the Jewish community.
Rosenberg’s keen ear for storytelling is among his notable strengths, according to Marcia Dick, editor of the Boston Globe’s North of Boston section and a longtime colleague.
“He has a unique knack for showing the big picture through a lot of little pictures,” Dick said. “It is a talent that sometimes leaves me breathless. I feel proudest of the work I’ve done at the Globe that has emanated from Steve’s stories.
“Steve’s best work comes from talking to people in their native environment: homes, neighborhoods, shops, synagogues, beaches. He has a gift for connecting with people so they open up to him. He listens, and tells their stories.”
Rosenberg plans to make the Journal a more literary read, but also will boost the paper’s news content. He intends to continue to publish the Russian-language section and will bolster the Journal’s online presence.
Rosenberg’s deep knowledge of Israel and his passion for the country will be reflected immediately on the opinion pages. He will regularly publish three writers based in Jerusalem, whose pieces will be exclusive to the Journal.
Outside of journalism, Rosenberg shares his North Shore life with his wife, Dr. Devorah Feinbloom, a chiropractor and director of Marblehead Natural Healing. Their son, Aaron, is enrolled in the MBA program at Clark University.
Rosenberg is excited to be at the helm of the local Jewish newspaper. “This is my community and my home. There’s something special about living along the North Shore,” he reflected. “It’s really a privilege to live here. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country.
“I feel this is a great opportunity to play a role in documenting this time and place in American Jewish history.”