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Brooklyn, NY - Jewish Press Co-Founder Dies At 105

Published on: June 19, 2016 12:05 PM
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Brooklyn, NY - Albert Klass, one of the founders of the Jewish Press, died in his Brooklyn home on Friday at the age of 105.

Born in Brooklyn to Moshe Feivel and Ethel Klass in 1911,  Klass and his brother Rabbi Sholom Klass began putting out a pair of newspapers, the Brooklyn Weekly and the Brooklyn Daily, in the 1940s.  In the 1960s, they were approached by a group of rabbonim to publish a weekly English-Jewish newspaper to serve those who were not fluent in Yiddish, and the Jewish Press was born.

Klass served in a variety of capacities and sold significant amounts of advertising space in the Jewish Press, working at the paper until he was in nineties.

Moshe Klass, sales manager at the Jewish Press, said that his grandfather was one of the rare few who was born in America before World War II and remained religiously observant throughout his life.

“He had a strong connection to Torah and mitzvos and was very respectful of Torah scholars,” Moshe Klass told VIN News.  “He was self educated man, who was well read and business-savvy.”

Those same Torah values guided Klass throughout his life, choosing a house in Flatbush because it backed onto a synagogue.

“He saw the shul from the backyard, the Avenue M Jewish Center, and said that was the house he wanted to buy,” said Moshe Klass.

In a study on longevity published in the Jewish Press in 2011, when asked to what he attributed his long life Klass replied simply, “The Ribono Shel Olam.”

Asked the same question at his 100th birthday party Klass, who was known for his quick sense of humor, quipped, “Keep breathing.”

Klass’s son, Rabbi Yaakov Klass, Torah editor of the Jewish Press and Mora Daasrah of Khal Bnei Matisyahu, said that his father was well known for his positive interactions with others, according the highest respect to his parents and his in laws.

“He gave unquestioning honor to his parents and unquestioning honor and love to his in-law parents, always talking about the ‘Shvigger Elter’, his wife’s parents,” said Rabbi Klass. “He loved them like an extra set of parents.”

Klass is survived by his two sons, his sister Rivi Rosenthal, seven grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren.  His funeral will be held at noon today at Kehila Chapels in Brighton Beach, followed by burial at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Queens.


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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 19, 2016 at 12:43 PM Anonymous Says:

BDE. A full and meritous life. As my mother always says, "Younger people shouldn't go."

2

 Jun 19, 2016 at 04:30 PM Yossi Says:

Its so beautiful to read how people from the old age who lived in America when Yiddishkeit was so low here and they stayed so erlich and yires shemyim.
I just hope that the last few years he did not know how his paper was loosing so many readers to the Hamodia,Yated, and numerous other jewish anglo papers.
I am sure he was not aware of the many articles that were written by many writers who did not possess a torah hashkoofeh,
May he be a mylitz yosher for his family and klal yisroel.

3

 Jun 19, 2016 at 07:24 PM Anonymous Says:

I first remember seeing The Jewish Press on the newstands in NYC, in 1959. During the 1967 Six Day War, and in the days thereafter, its circulation increased, immeasurably. When the Six Day War ended, in June, 1967, there was a large cartoon on the first page of The Jewish Press. It showed EY stretching (with the new territories which it acquired), and stating "Now, I can breathe again". Also, in 1985, The Jewish Press had the most extensive coverage of the Jewish reaction to Ronald Reagan's misguided trip to Bitburg, Germany. One article in particular (which did not appear in the secular press), showed scores of young Jews from the USA and the UK, who went to protest Reagan's visit to Bergen-Belsen. Although the West German police were content to let them stay there, the farbisen White House staff were not. They ordered the West German authorities to remove them. The Germans did it with the most reluctance. In fact, an elder West German police official, was reported to be crying, as he was forced by the White House to remove the Jews from that site. The Jewish Press would tackle many subjects, which the secular press wouldn't touch. We are very appreciative to the Klass family!

4

 Jun 19, 2016 at 09:24 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

Wow, what a remarkable life.

5

 Jun 19, 2016 at 09:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Yossi Says:

Its so beautiful to read how people from the old age who lived in America when Yiddishkeit was so low here and they stayed so erlich and yires shemyim.
I just hope that the last few years he did not know how his paper was loosing so many readers to the Hamodia,Yated, and numerous other jewish anglo papers.
I am sure he was not aware of the many articles that were written by many writers who did not possess a torah hashkoofeh,
May he be a mylitz yosher for his family and klal yisroel.

You typify what is wrong with a certain type of Yid. Instead of just keeping to your first and last sentence, you felt a NEED to sully your normal remarks with a back handed insult to the Jewis Press. Would you like YOUR relative to receive an obituary that you just gave? If so, you are Marmish clueless.

6

 Jun 19, 2016 at 09:53 PM Anonymous Says:

I know of an Avenue N Jewish Center, not an Avenue M Jewish center mentioned here.

7

 Jun 19, 2016 at 10:03 PM yaakov doe Says:

Probably the Avenue N Jewish center since there's no Avenue M Jewish center that I'm aware of.

8

 Jun 19, 2016 at 10:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Yossi Says:

Its so beautiful to read how people from the old age who lived in America when Yiddishkeit was so low here and they stayed so erlich and yires shemyim.
I just hope that the last few years he did not know how his paper was loosing so many readers to the Hamodia,Yated, and numerous other jewish anglo papers.
I am sure he was not aware of the many articles that were written by many writers who did not possess a torah hashkoofeh,
May he be a mylitz yosher for his family and klal yisroel.

Rav Klass Z'L was an ardent Religious Zionist, who was not afraid to publish women's photos and not afraid to tackle real problems. The other publications you mentioned can't hold a candle to the JP as far as I'm concerned.

9

 Jun 19, 2016 at 11:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Yossi Says:

Its so beautiful to read how people from the old age who lived in America when Yiddishkeit was so low here and they stayed so erlich and yires shemyim.
I just hope that the last few years he did not know how his paper was loosing so many readers to the Hamodia,Yated, and numerous other jewish anglo papers.
I am sure he was not aware of the many articles that were written by many writers who did not possess a torah hashkoofeh,
May he be a mylitz yosher for his family and klal yisroel.

It was only natural that when papers like Yated and Hamodia appeared on the scene, people with a more right-wing yeshivish hashkafa would gravitate to them. But yet all these years later the Jewish Press is still here, still with 100 pages or more each week, still with a larger circulation than Yated and Hamodia combined.
And it's still going strong with a SANE brand of frumkeit -- it doesn't pretend women don't exist and it recognizes the miracle of the rebirth of the first Jewish sovereign nation in 2000 years. It also features a remarkably diverse group of columnists and contributors from all groupings within Orthodoxy, from right to middle to left (though not too far left).
As a media buyer for Jewish businesses I have closely watched Orthodox media for years -- and the claim that either Al Klass or Sholom Klass would have been dissatisfied with the current Jewish Press is an extremely ignorant statement. In fact, back in the eighties and nineties, when Sholom Klass was still firmly in charge, one heard the same name calling directed at the Jewish Press that one hears today from those elements in the yeshivish velt that hate even the slightest moderation and inclusiveness.

10

 Jun 20, 2016 at 07:40 AM Yerachmiel Says:

I'd like to add to the defense of the Jewish Press expressed by some of the previous posters. It's been my experience that those who criticize the Jewish Press haven't even read the paper for years, if they ever did in the first place. They simply repeat what they hear from elements in the yeshiva world that dislike the paper's centrist Orthodoxy, its stance on Israel, its inclusion of tzniusdik pictures of women, etc.
And it's true, as a previous poster mentioned, that the paper's hashkafa hasn't changed since the days of Sholom Klass -- it always had pictures of women, was always strongly pro-medinas Yisroel, etc. And that's probably because Sholom Klass came of age at a time when Orthodoxy in America, even in yeshivish circles, was more tolerant, more forward looking, more engaged with the outside world, more immune to the latest chumra, etc., than is the case today.

11

 Jun 20, 2016 at 02:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

Rav Klass Z'L was an ardent Religious Zionist, who was not afraid to publish women's photos and not afraid to tackle real problems. The other publications you mentioned can't hold a candle to the JP as far as I'm concerned.

could you please explain the connection between being a religious zionist and publishing photos of women?

12

 Jun 21, 2016 at 03:28 AM Rayantoky Says:

Reply to #2  
Yossi Says:

Its so beautiful to read how people from the old age who lived in America when Yiddishkeit was so low here and they stayed so erlich and yires shemyim.
I just hope that the last few years he did not know how his paper was loosing so many readers to the Hamodia,Yated, and numerous other jewish anglo papers.
I am sure he was not aware of the many articles that were written by many writers who did not possess a torah hashkoofeh,
May he be a mylitz yosher for his family and klal yisroel.

First of all you are a moron..the word you want is losing not looking..second of all you yourself have no hashkafah by insulting a man's life work because you imagine his paper doesn't conform to your standards..get a life

13

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