J.J. Goldberg

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Jonathan Jeremy Goldberg
Born November 6, 1949
Occupation Journalist, Author, Lecturer
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg American
Genres American Jewry, Middle East, U.S. Politics


J. J. Goldberg (Jonathan Jeremy Goldberg) is Editor-at-Large of the newspaper The Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007). He served in the past as U.S. bureau chief of the Israeli newsmagazine Jerusalem Report, managing editor of The Jewish Week of New York, as a nationally syndicated columnist in Jewish weeklies, as editor in chief of the Labor Zionist monthly Jewish Frontier, as world/national news editor of the daily Home News (now the Home News Tribune) of New Brunswick, N.J., and as a metro/police-beat reporter for Hamevaker, a short-lived Hebrew-language newsweekly published for the Israeli émigré community in Los Angeles.

Goldberg is the author of Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment, published in 1996 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. of Reading, Mass., which was named by The Philadelphia Inquirer as one of the “100 Most Important Books of 1996” and was described by The New York Times as a book that “can teach even the initiated a thing or two about American Jewish life in the postwar period.” His previous books include Builders and Dreamers (Cornwall Books, 1993) and The Jewish Americans (Bantam-Doubleday-Dell, 1992).

He has written numerous articles for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The New Republic, Columbia Journalism Review, Salon, Beliefnet and other journals. He has appeared frequently as a guest on NPR, BBC radio and television, CNN and numerous European radio and television outlets. He briefly hosted his own interview program, “Inside the Issues with J.J. Goldberg,” on The Jewish Channel. He developed and taught a course in Jewish political studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and he lectures regularly at colleges, synagogues and community centers across the country.

Goldberg was born in New York City and raised in Massapequa, Long Island, until age 13, when he moved with his family to Washington, D.C. After graduating Woodrow Wilson High School he moved to New York City in the winter of 1967, working in a picture-frame factory. He enrolled in McGill University in 1968, after spending a year on the Habonim Workshop at Kibbutz Urim in the Negev. At McGill he was active in the Student Zionist Organization, and was an editor of its weekly campus newspaper, otherstand. He became active in left-wing student Jewish causes nationally in the U.S. and Canada, including the Radical Zionist Alliance and the North American Jewish Students Network, where he was elected to the steering committee in 1970.

Before entering journalism, Goldberg lived and worked in Israel through much of the 1970s. He served as an education specialist at the World Zionist Organization and was a member of the founding Gar'in (settlement group) of Kibbutz Gezer, near Tel Aviv, where he served a term as the kibbutz secretary-general. He has worked in the past as a taxi driver in New York City, a Jewish communal worker in Los Angeles and a construction laborer in Israel.

Goldberg’s writing has been honored numerous times by the Simon Rockower Award of the American Jewish Press Association, the Better Newspaper Awards of the New York Press Association and the Ippy Awards of the Independent Press Association. In 2009 he was a finalist, along with Nathaniel Popper, in the Deadline Awards, public service category, of the Society of Professional Journalists-New York chapter, honoring the Forward’s coverage of the kosher food industry. In 1987 he won the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award and the Ohio State Award for his radio documentary on Jewish popular music, “One People, Many Voices,” which was first broadcast nationally on National Public Radio in 1986. He earned a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University in 1985 and a B.A. in Jewish studies and Islamic studies at McGill University in 1972, along with certificates in film animation from the School of Visual Arts and in kibbutz supply purchasing from the Ruppin Institute (now the Ruppin Academic Center) near Hadera.

Goldberg has participated in numerous international colloquia on Israel-Diaspora relations and Jewish communal policy convened by the Jewish People Policy Institute, the Office of the President of Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and other agencies. He has served as a member of the central committees of the Ihud HaKvutzot VeHaKibbutzim Federation, the Israel Labor Party Young Guard and Habonim (now Habonim-Dror), and was a sharpshooter in the Israel Border Police civil guard. He has been a member of the Pulitzer Prize jury and a board member of the Foundation for Jewish Journalism.


  • Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment. Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1996.
  • Builders and Dreamers: Habonim Labor Zionist Youth in North America. Cornwall Books, 1993. (editor)
  • The Jewish Americans. Bantam-Doubleday-Dell, 1992.

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