Moment, named after the Yiddish-language Der Moment, was founded in 1975 by Elie Wiesel and writer Leonard Fein. (Der Moment began in 1910, and was a massive circulation newspaper, and, as Wiesel said, “lived until it was murdered together with Polish Jewry.” (Der Moment can be found on microfilm at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York.)
The mission of the new Moment: to be a place for diverse opinions “of no single ideological position, save of course, for a commitment to Jewish life.” Now in its 46th year, Moment remains as independent as ever. (The most read stories from 2020 are here.)
A professor, political activist and author of 57 books, Elie Wiesel is best known for his acclaimed memoir, Night, a searing autobiographical account of the horrors he witnessed and endured as a teenager in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. For decades after, he spoke out against atrocities and genocides around the world. The Nobel committee recognized his work in 1986 by awarding Wiesel the Nobel Peace Prize. He passed away in 2016. MomentBooks, a new imprint with Vilar Mandel, has just published Elie Wiesel: An Extraordinary Life and Legacy.
Leonard Fein was Moment’s founding editor for 11 years. His editor’s column came alive with his passions – social justice and ending racism and poverty, Judaism, Israel and the American Jewish community. He also founded Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy. He died in 2014. Moment published a collection of his writings in “Leonard Fein: Vision and Passion” in 2016.