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TEXAS JEWISH POST

TEXAS JEWISH POST. The Post, an English-language newspaper that carried some items in Hebrew, was originally a monthly publication; it subsequently evolved into a biweekly and then a weekly. The inaugural issue appeared in January 1947. Sheldon Beren, a chemist and recent Harvard graduate, wrote, edited, and readied for print the first Post with his wife, Faygel Abromson Beren, in the kitchen of their apartment on the South Side of Fort Worth. Beren's career soon took him to Wichita, Kansas, however. By 1948 ownership of the paper had passed to Jessard A. (Jimmy) Wisch. With his wife, Irene (Rene), and his brother Edward, the new publisher and editor began redefining the Post. Paper shortages and printing logistics presented early challenges. Limited allocation of newsprint in the late 1940s, a fact of life for all publishers during the postwar recovery, constrained layout and design. Early issues of 1947 and 1948 were printed in local shops until the Wisches founded their own printing and publishing firm. When conversion from hot-metal type to offset technology became desirable, the Post turned again to contracting with local printers. Total distribution of the Post was 4,720 per issue in September 1990. Special annual editions commemorated Rosh Hashanah and the Post anniversary.

In 1990 international news claimed 50 percent of the newspaper's column inches, with 30 percent devoted to local news and the remaining 20 percent to regional and national coverage. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a news service supported by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, provided wire reports. Reportage also has originated from Seven Arts Features, Worldwide News Services, and the United Nations Service. The Post's own correspondents contributed coverage from Washington, D.C., and Israel. A front-page column, "Jess Jawin," afforded the editor space for a weekly commentary, although Wisch occasionally gave the space to others. "Postorials" also reflected staff views on current issues and trends. Local columns updated readers on special events, gatherings, professional achievements, and family news in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas; a Dallas rabbi contributed a column; listings advised of births, deaths, bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies, engagements, and weddings; and secular Jewish communal events as well as synagogue services were posted. Although the Post was a confirmed Zionist newspaper, subscribers represented a broad range of Jewish congregations, organizations, agencies, and enterprises within the circulation area, and the pages carried a variety of opinions in columns and contributed articles. The paper sought to reach beyond Fort Worth in coverage and circulation, and to communicate Jewish concerns to gentiles as well as the Jewish community. Post subscribers and advertisers included non-Jews.

By late 1948 the Wisches had established a second office, in Dallas; Chester Wisch, who eventually left his position with Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation to devote full time to the project, directed the Dallas office until his death in the 1980s. Early on, the staff also appealed to Jews in West Texas communities to contribute news and photographs. The publication has remained a family business. Jimmy Wisch was serving as editor and publisher when he died on January 26, 2002, and Rene Wisch and her children continued to publish the paper in 2004.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989). Texas Jewish Post, January 12, 1948, November 8, 22, 1990. Ruthe Winegarten and Cathy Schechter, Deep in the Heart: The Lives and Legends of Texas Jews (Austin: Eakin Press, 1990).

Juliet George Dees

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Juliet George Dees, "TEXAS JEWISH POST," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eet35), accessed July 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.