The Detroit Jewish News Foundation is the publisher of the Detroit Jewish News, and home to the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History.
The Foundation was initially created for a singular purpose: the digitization of the historic pages of the Detroit Jewish News, which was established in 1942. A devastating fire at the JN offices in 2002 nearly wiped out all of the back issues stored there. Afterward, troubled by this near tragedy, JN Publisher and executive editor, Arthur Horwitz (now Publisher Emeritus), decided to act. After years of planning, the Detroit Jewish News Foundation was established in 2011 as an independent 501-c-3 non-profit organization to digitize the Jewish News.
The digital online Detroit Jewish News database debuted in November 2013. With generous, critical support from the William Davidson Foundation, it was then decided that the JN online database would be named the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History. In October 2015, the complete run of the Detroit Jewish Chronicle (1916-1951) was added to the online database.
The William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History now comprises over 330,000 images of newspapers pages from the JN and Chronicle. Every year, pages of recent issues of the JN are added to the Archive. It is open-source, free to all users, word-searchable, and downloadable. The Davidson Digital Archive is the primary online resource for the history of Detroit’s Jewish Community, and it is one of the leading English Language Jewish Newspaper databases in America. The Archive is accessed by local community members, as well by researchers from across America, from Israel, and other places around the world.
In recognition of its importance as a historical resource, in December 2017, the Davidson Digital Archive also became an archival collection at the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. There, it will be preserved in perpetuity for scholars, students, and the public.
On October 1, 2020, the Foundation assumed ownership of the DJN. It is now responsible for publishing the weekly, which has served the greater Detroit Jewish Community since 1942. In this regard, the Foundation adopted new mission and vision statements for the Detroit Jewish News.
The Foundation is also committed to maintaining the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History as a premier online historical resource. The archive will preserve and provide access to all past issues of the Jewish News and the Detroit Jewish Chronicle.