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Moment (magazine)

Moment, September/October 2011
Editor Nadine Epstein
Managing Editor Sarah Breger
Former editors Leonard Fein
Hershel Shanks
Categories Religion, Politics, Culture[1]
Frequency Bi-monthly[1]
Circulation 65,000[1]
Publisher Nadine Epstein
Founder Elie Wiesel
Leonard Fein
Year founded May 1975 (1975-05)
First issue 1975 (1975)
Company Center for Creative Change
Country United States
Based in Washington, D.C.[1]
Language English
Website .commomentmag
ISSN 0099-0280
OCLC number 610402552

Moment is an American independent, non-profit magazine. While the publication is a secular journal, material is targeted toward readership with interests related to Jewish culture. The magazine is a publishing project of the Washington D.C.-based Center for Creative Change.


  • History 1
  • Background 2
  • Programs & Contests 3
    • Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative 3.1
    • The Karma Foundation-Moment Magazine Fiction Contest 3.2
    • Moment Cartoon Caption Contest 3.3
    • Publish-A-Kid 3.4
  • Symposiums 4
  • Series 5
    • Democracy in Retreat 5.1
    • Israel's Arab Citizens 5.2
  • Events 6
    • A Great Civil Rights Partnership 6.1
    • Jews and Science Symposium 6.2
  • Honors and awards 7
  • References 8


Moment magazine was founded in 1975, by Elie Wiesel and Leonard Fein,[2] who served as the magazine's first editor from 1975 to 1987. Hershel Shanks served as the editor from 1987 to 2004.[3] The magazine was named in honor of an independent Yiddish-language newspaper, entitled Der Moment.[4][5][6] Founded in Warsaw in 1910, Der Moment remained in operation until the eve of Yom Kippur 1939, when the building housing the newspaper was destroyed by a German bomb. At the time, the publication was one of two Yiddish-language newspapers in the city.[1][7]


Moment magazine is a secular, independent journal that publishes articles on religious movement: its editorial staff, writers, and articles represent a diverse range of political views.[1][5] As of 2004, Nadine Epstein is the editor and executive publisher.[8][9] Moment publishes a print magazine once every other month, maintains an online blog, runs literary contests, and hosts esteemed events.

The sections of the print magazine include: From the Editor, Featured Stories, Jewish Word, Ask the Rabbis, Talk of the Table, Book Reviews, and more.

Programs & Contests

Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative

In 2010, Moment launched the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative (DPIJI), which gives grants to young journalists doing stories on modern anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice. The DPIJI is in memory of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, who was murdered by terrorists while on assignment in Pakistan in 2002. The stories are published in Moment and the fellows are mentored by prestigious journalists including: Wolf Blitzer, Linda Feldmann, Martin Fletcher, Glenn Frankel, Bill Kovach, David Lauter, Charles Lewis, Clarence Page, Robert Siegel, Paul Steiger, Lynn Sweet and David Wessel.

The Karma Foundation-Moment Magazine Fiction Contest

The contest is a short-fiction competition open to writers of any faith, writing about stories related to Judaism, Jewish Culture, or Jewish History. The contest is funded by the Karma Foundation and was started in the year 2000 by Josh Rolnick and Harvey TK.

Moment Cartoon Caption Contest

Each issue of Moment includes a cartoon drawn by the New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff. The magazine asks its readers to suggest captions for the cartoon online and vote for your favorite submission.


To help promote the importance of literature and writing in the lives of children, Moment launched the "Publish-A-Kid contest. Anyone ages 9-13 is eligible to submit a book review for this contest. The winning entries are published in Moment.


In 2010, Moment began publishing symposiums. Some of their past symposiums have included:

  • The Origins of Jewish Creativity
    • Symposium November/December 2011
    • Including responses by Joshua Bell, Daniel Boyarin, David Brooks, Judy Chicago, Anita Diamant, Exekiel Emanuel, Daniel Geschwind, Michael Goldfarb, Brian Greene, Judith Leiber, Liz Lerman, Bob Manikoff, Daniel Matt, Jerry Muller, Harry Ostrer, Robert Pinsky, Zvi Harry Rappaport, Neil Risch, Gerald Schroeder and David W. Weiss.
  • What Does it Mean to be Pro-Israel Today?
    • Symposium January/February 2012
    • Including responses by David K. Shipler, Judea Pearl, Hillel Halkin, Michael Lerner, Caroline Glick, George Bisharat, Peter Beinart, Benny Morris, Glenn Frankel, Morton Klein, Dan Sieradski, Jeremy Ben-Ami, John J. Mearsheimer, Kenneth Bialkin, Anat Hoffman, Ronen Shoval, Aziz Abu Sarah, Martin Peretz, Eric Alterman, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Marc Tracy, Cecilie Surasky, Robert Rifkind, and Amos Oz.
  • What Does the Concept of Messiah Mean Today?
    • Symposium March/April 2012
    • Including responses by Amos Oz, Kenneth Seeskin, Ruth Messinger, Jack Dann, David Halperin, Mayim Bialik, Shalom Auslander, Esther Jungreis, Stephen Diamond, Samuel Heilman, Shlomo Ezagui, Chaim Richman, Deb Margolin, Shmarya Rosenberg, Harris Lenowitz, Tsvi Bisk, Lucette Lagnado, Shimon Edelman, David Wolpe, Neshama Carlebach, Shmuley Boteach and Shlomo Riskin.
  • Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Fiction?
    • Symposium May/June 2012
    • Including responses by Pearl Abraham, Andre Aciman, Joyce Antler, Shalom Auslander, Jim Bloom, Geraldine Brooks, Nathan Englander, Herbert Gold, Allegra Goodman, Dara Horn, Howard Jacobson, Nadia Kalman, Etgar Keret, Walter Mosley, Howard Norman, Marge Piercy and A.B. Yehoshua.
  • Is There Such a Thing as the Jewish People?
    • Symposium July/August 2012
    • Including responses by Y-Love, Shlomo Skorecki, Moshe Tendler, Adin Steinsaltz, Stephen Oppenheimer, Shulamit Reinharz, Yehuda Kurtzer, Larry Brilliant, Kerry Olitzky, Erica Brown, Noam Pianko and Jill Jacobs.
  • Is Democracy a Jewish Idea?
    • Symposium September/October 2012
    • Including responses by Shlomo Avineri, Noah Feldman, Gidi Grinstein, Anat Hoffman, Jodi Kantor, Benny Katzover, Ed Koch, David Novak, Norman Ornstein, Fania Oz-Salzberger, Eilon Schwartz, Adam Sutcliffe, Michael Waltzer, Ruth Wisse and Beth Wenger.
  • The Intersection of Satire and Politics
    • Symposium November/December 2012
    • Including responses by Dave Barry, Andy Borowitz, David Brooks, Alison Dagnes, Barney Frank, Judy Gold, Stephen Kercher, Rob Kutner, Robert Mankoff, Walter J. Podrazik, Eddy Portnoy, Trevor Potter, Paula Poundstone, Peter Sagal, Allison Silverman, Baratunde Thurston, Rebecca Traister, Moshe Waldoks and Gene Weingarten.
  • What is the Future of Religious Freedom in the United States?
    • Symposium March/April 2013
    • Including responses by Douglas Laycock, Charles C. Haynes, John Eidsmoe, Asma Uddin, Jacques Berlinerblau, David Saperstein, Michael Broyde, Marci Hamilton, Robert Destro, Jeffrey Toobin and Marc Stern
  • Is There a Secret Ingredient in the Jewish Relationship with Food?
    • Symposium June/July 2013
    • Including responses by Jami Attenberg, Sue Fishikoff, Ari Hart, Andy Kastner, Jonathan Klawans, David Kraemer, Timothy Lytton, Gil Marks, Allan Nadler, Joan Nathan, Yotam Ottolenghi, Ruth Reichl, Claudia Roden, Orit Rozin, Susan Starr Sered, Mimi Sheraton, Michael Stern and Shalva Weil.
  • Hate Speech Goes Viral: What Should Be Done (if Anything)?
    • Symposium November/December 2013
    • Including responses by Bob Corn-Revere, Jillian York, Charles Asher Small, Jeffrey Rosen, Leslie Harris, Christopher Wolf, Susan Benesch and Richard Warman.
  • Judaism and Science
    • Symposium January/February 2014
    • Including responses by Yehuda Bauer, Jonathan Ben-Dov, Edward Bormashenko, Jeremy Brown, Allison Coudert, Noah Efron, Shmuel Feiner, Gad Freudenthal, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Susan Greenfield, Menachem Kellner, Daniel Matt, Judea Pearl, Jonathan Sacks, Gerald Schroeder, Howard Smith, Hermona Soreq, Moshe Tendler and Yossi Vardi.
  • Anti-Semitism: Where Does it Come From & Why Does it Persist?
  • Symposium March/April 2014
    • Including responses by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Berger, Phyllis Chesler, Jeremy Cohen, Irwin Cotler, Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, Hasia Diner, Stuart Eizenstat, Avner Falk, Ira Forman, Michel Gurfinkiel, David Kertzer, Brian Klug, David Mamet, David Nirenberg, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Cynthia Ozick, Dina Porat, Alvin Rosenfeld, Ari Roth, Shlomo Sand, Maxim Shrayer, Charles Asher Small, Eli Valley, Hans-Joachim Voth and Xu Xin.
  • Can Religious Pluralism and an Official Rabbinate Coexist in Israel?
    • Symposium May/June 2014
    • Including responses by Dorit Beinisch, Ruth Calderon, Seth Farber, David Golinkin, Marc Gopin, Donniel Hartman, Nitzan Horowitz, Dov Lipman, Michael Oren, Fania Oz-Salzberger, Uri Regev, Jonathan Rosenblum, Maurice Roumani and Susan Silverman.
  • Gay Rights & Religious Freedom: Can We Find the Common Ground?
    • Symposium July/August 2014
    • Including responses by Abba Cohen, Douglas Laycock, Jay Michaelson, Jonathan Rauch, Marc D. Stern and Robin Fretwell Wilson.
  • What Makes Us Happy?
    • Symposium September/October 2014
    • Including responses by Robert Alter, Tal Ben-Shahar, Michael Broyde, Oliver Burkeman, Richard Davidson, Tirzah Firestone, Alan Morinis, David Pelcovitz, Pninit Russo-Netzer and Hava Tirosh-Samuelson.
  • Do the Religious Beliefs of Supreme Court Justices Influence Their Decisions?
    • Symposium January/February 2015
    • Including responses by Robert Barnes, Lyle Denniston, Tony Mauro, Sarah Posner, Leslie C. Griffin, Stephen Wermiel, Marshall Breger, Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick
  • Wisdom for the Next Generation
    • Symposium May/June 2015
    • Including responses by Robert Aumann, Theodore Bikel, Leon Fleisher, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Jerome Groopman, Ruth Gruber, Fanya Heller, Madeleine Kunin, Walter Laqueur, Carl Levin, Faye Moskowitz, Judea Pearl, Richard Perle, Walter Reich, Howard Sachar, Jonathan Sacks, Hedy Schleifer, Adin Steinsaltz, Judith Viorst, Henry Waxman, Elie Wiesel, Leon Wieseltier, Ruth Wisse and A.B. Yehoshua


In addition addition to its regular sections and featured articles, Moment occasionally runs series of articles on a specific topic. These articles are published in a few consecutive issues of the magazine.

Democracy in Retreat

This series explores how democracy is declining in ostensibly democratic countries. Through highlighting one country at a time, this series aims to provide insight into the ways in which elected governments do not always hold democratic values. This series has included articles on Ukraine, Hungary and Turkey.

Israel's Arab Citizens

Beginning in Moment‍ '​s September/October 2009 issue, the special series "Israel's Arab Citizens" has examined aspects of the social, economic, and cultural life of the 1.5 million Arab citizens of the State of Israel. The first installment, written by New York Times and Associated Press reporter Dina Kraft, profiled three generations of Arab Israeli women, titled "From Arab to Palestinian Israeli: One Family's Changing Identity".

The second, "Separate But Not Equal", which appeared in the September/October 2010 issue, examined the performance of Arab Israeli children in segregated public schools. "Separate But Not Equal" tied for first place in the Best Investigative News category of the Ethnic Media Awards, sponsored by the American University School of Communication and New America Media.[10][11]

Editor and executive publisher Nadine Epstein wrote of her motivation for initiating the series and the importance of focusing attention on the Arab Israelis in a letter from the editor:

Our lack of knowledge has serious consequences: I regularly meet Jews and non-Jews who view Israel's Arab citizens as, at best, suspect and at worst, terrorists. The reality is that this is a largely peaceful population—very few have been associated with terrorism—with a complex identity. They speak Hebrew, sometimes even better than Arabic, and many vote in Israeli elections. They support a Palestinian state, but their lives are in Israel and most have no intention or desire to leave. At the same time, they are often considered collaborators by some of their Arab brethren.[12]


Moment hosts multiple events every year, focused on a large array of topics related to Jewish culture, life, and politics. Past events include:

A Great Civil Rights Partnership

A celebration in honor of the struggle for racial equality, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. This event was hosted in partnership in May, 2015. It was moderated by Steven V. Roberts and featured Congressman Barney Frank and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Jews and Science Symposium

This event took place at the Oshman Family JCC of Palo Alto in April, 2015. Symposium participants included Joel R. Primack, Professor of Physics; Nancy Ellen Abrams, author and philosopher of science; Nadine Epstein, editor and publisher of Moment; Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, emeritus chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth and 2015 Moment Magazine Creativity Award Winner; event moderator Michael Krasny of KQED; Ronit Widman-Levy director of Arts & Culture, Oshman Family JCC; Marcus Feldman, Professor of Biological Sciences; and John Efron, Koret professor of Jewish History.

Honors and awards

In 2011, Moment was presented with the Be'chol Lashon Media Award for Carl Hoffman's article entitled "Letter from the Philippines", which chronicles the history of the island's Jews and his rediscovery of Judaism as a foreigner living in Manila.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Karesh, Sara E.; and Mitchell M. Hurvitz (2005). Encyclopedia of Judaism, Infobase Publishing, page 337. ISBN 978-0816069828
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Howe, Irving (2010). Politics and the Intellectual: Conversations with Irving Howe, Purdue University Press, page 27. ISBN 978-1557535511
  5. ^ a b Baskin, Judith R. (2011). The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture, Cambridge University Press, page 472. ISBN 978-0521825979
  6. ^ Shanks, Hershel (2010). Freeing the Dead Sea Scrolls: And Other Adventures of an Archaeology Outsider, Continuum, page 118. ISBN 978-1441152176
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Letter from the Editor, Nadine Epstein, September/October 2009 at the Wayback Machine (archived March 25, 2012)
  13. ^ 2010 Winners: Dr. Carl Hoffman, Tamás Wormser, Nicole Opper & Dr. Carolivia Herron at the Wayback Machine (archived March 24, 2012)
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