HaMagid - המגיד
About this newspaper
A Hebrew-language weekly published first in Ełk (Lyck, Prussia) and afterward in Berlin, Kraków , and Vienna from 1856 to 1903. In 1893 it was renamed HaMaggid LeIsrael.
Although its intended audience was the Jewish world in general, the majority of its readers came from the Russian Empire. Its goal was to report both general news and news specifically from the Jewish world, but it also included poetry, scientific articles, and opinion columns. It published work by some of the foremost Jewish writers and intellectuals of the 19th century. Its first editors, from 1856-1880, were Eliezer Lipman Silberman and David Gordon; David and Dov Gordon edited it from 1886-1880; after the death of his father, Dov Gordon continued to edit the paper until 1890; and Jacob Samuel Fuchs served as editor from 1890 to 1903. Beginning in 1893, Russian censorship prohibited distribution of the newspaper in Russia, which severely damaged its status and funding and eventually caused the paper to shut down.
At its peak the paper had a circulation of only 1,800 copies, but these copies were in turn passed around from reader to reader and the exact extent of its readership is unclear. In order to reach as wide an audience as possible, the newspaper attempted to refrain from involvement in the various controversies that roused the Jewish community in Russia, and as a result tended to advocate moderate positions. It objected to proposals for reform in Judaism, but at the same time attacked the most extreme opponents of reform as well as the helplessness displayed by the rabbis against the various problems faced by Russia's Jews. The newspaper supported aliyah to Palestine and the Hibbat Zion and Zionist movements, and published many reports on Jewish settlement in Palestine. In this way it helped to further relief efforts for Jews in Russia and Palestine, such as the establishment of a society for victims of famine in Russia and Poland in 1867 and fundraising for settlements in Palestine. It also published many articles about organizations from which the editors sought support, such as the Alliance Israélite Universelle.