A Fledgling Issue

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ami-magazineOn Wednesday, Matzav.com published excerpts of a report by Stewart Ain of The Jewish Week following Ami Magazine’s publishing of a picture on its front page depicting the White House draped in Nazi flags with Nazi storm troopers marching in front.

Ain reported that the publisher admitted that the picture of a swastika-bearing White House “may have been a poor choice.”

In the excerpts published on this site, Matzav.com referred to the magazine as “fledgling,” meaning new or young. The year-old magazine took umbrage with that. Three members of its editorial staff, Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter, Mrs. Rechy Frankfurter and Rabbi Avi Shafran, contacted Matzav.com regarding the usage of the word “fledgling,” with the former two calling it “deliberate distortion.”

A Matzav.com editor explained that “fledgling” merely indicated that the magazine is relatively new, but the magazine demanded a “correction on the site no later than 4 p.m. today.”

At their request, the word “fledgling” was swiftly removed.

It should be noted that Matzav.com also mentioned that “In the same issue of the magazine, Ami has a feature about activist Yossi Gestetner, whom the publication calls ‘the chareidi Rush Limbaugh.'” The latter sentence did not appear in Stewart Ain’s column, but no objection was voiced by the aforementioned members of Ami’s staff.

Mrs. Frankfurter stated via email that “We took umbrage with your doctoring a post. How do we or any of your readers now know if your other posting[s] are not doctored?”

Rabbi Shafran indicated that he was not as upset as his publisher about the use of the word “fledgling,” but that “there is no doubt it was intended to belittle us.”

To clarify: that was, of course, not the intention by any means.

We wish Ami Magazine continued success.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. demanded a “correction on the site no later than 4 p.m. today.”

    Matzav, stick to your guns. Dont let these mafiosa type push you around. And yes, it is a fledgling magazine as indicated by their despicable (to quote Newt) cover. They need to go back to journalism school.

  2. I must admit that when I read it, I too wondered why they wrote “fledgling” and I even looked it up to confirm what I believed to be the definition and you can see the definition that I found below. I don’t know if it’s worth making an issue over, since I was probably the only one who noticed it, but then again, I’m not the owner of Ami Magazine so who am I to talk?
    A person or organization that is immature, inexperienced, or underdeveloped: “the fledgling democracies of eastern Europe”.

  3. So, I ask, what is AMI’s hashkafah? Whose viewpoint do they represent? Who is their rabbinical adviser?

    Also, what does “demanded a ‘correction on the site no later than 4 p.m. today.’” mean? Did they threaten Matzav? And they’re a Torah magazine. How about midos tovos and, of course, otherwise, may that be fledgling?

  4. While they were wrong about their cover, and they subsequently apologized. Matzav must also recognize it was wrong for adding a word when it was utterly unnecessary to do so…they must also acknowledge that it does (as mrs. Frankfurter pointed out)call into question whether or not they add words to other posts.

    So Matzav…have you added words to other posts, or just this one?

  5. AMI: get your selves a public relations guy. You are belittling your selves by making issues about things like this
    oh and stay off the zev Brenner show. You need to be alot more articulate if your representing the chareidi comunity on a modern orthadox show.

  6. Ami Happens to be a great magazine with fresh takes on current events, I think people should get over their self righteous selves and stop pouncing on someone if they make a mistake. good shabbos

  7. If you call someone fledgling when they are not really fledgling, it is a terrible, terrible thing. Your website should apologize for such yellow journalism.
    Please, don’t call someone fledgling if it doesn’t appear in the original story you are quoting. Who are you to distort the story and stick in your own word?

  8. good point fourteen i thought that was weird too.
    i happen to enjoy the ami a lot i just think they can use some polishing if they want to make it in the wider comunity.

  9. # 14,

    “You need to be alot more articulate if your representing”

    it’s you’re – as in “you are”. Your is something that belongs to them. Just wanted to clarify to the properly articulate…

  10. http://orthodoxpundit.blogspot.com/2012/01/hypocrisy.html


    Just a week after the Ami published the strongest condemnations and distortions of any Haredi print media against the usage of Nazi imagery in by Kanoim in Israel, the magazine’s own cover photo was a white house decorated with swastikas and Nazi storm-troopers marching in front of it. Abraham Foxman, ADL, Directory saw this as illustrating that the “White House or America is… overrun by Nazis and neo-Nazis…”

    The Editor subsequently acknowledged that it “may have been a poor choice.” He added that cover generated some complaints, but “I would not call it a storm… I wouldn’t say there was an uproar.” His only “regret” is for “putting that in this week’s issue,” right after the uproar in Israel, and he only allowed that he “may apologize.”
    Rabbi Avi Sharfran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America and a regular contributor to the magazine, offered stronger wording. He emailed The Jewish Week that he’s “appalled” by the cover, adding that “the image itself was offensive. I told the editors so, and they agree it was a bad judgment.”
    Until I haven’t seen this Jewish Week story, I haven’t noticed the photo. In part, it is an indication of how not-important and not-looked upon this magazine is, but it is also an indication that it depends who uses the Nazi imagery. There is a different standard for Kanoim, and a different standard for all the rest.
    And do anybody believe that an editor of a magazine whose last week’s main issue was Nazi imagery, would not realize how sensitive and inappropriate it is to print a swastika-decorated White House? The only excuse I have for him, is that he feels that the need to get some publicity with the hope that it will increase circulation, is more important than defending religious rights in Israel.

  11. Fledgeling: young, new, inexperienced. That’s from the dictionary. Dear Ami Editors, You are actually proving your fledgeling status by making such a fuss. And to add insult to injury to threaten ominously- “by 4pm…”!?! Your egregious error in posting that ridiculous cover, deeply offending both Holocaust survivors and their offspring, and the residents of the building portrayed, who lead this Malchus shel Chesed, was far more reprehensible than the perceived insult you received at the hands of Matzav!

  12. Please don’t apologize
    They are the ones who are deflecting critisism by attacking Matzav on a insicnifacent minor detail. Ami has to do the apologizing! Where is Dov Hikind’s comment on their cover photo?

  13. Thanks for teaching me a new word “fledgelng”. Will look forward to next week’s word of the week… # 19, thanks or the grammar lesson. At this rate, I might learn Enlglish vocabulary and grammar in a few weeks…. Keep up the great work!

  14. I recently decided to stop buying AMI. Not because they are fledgling rather distorting. They openly distorted the Eidah Hachareidis’ view on protesting against the Medinah to the point that the Eidah HaChareidis’ publicized their own statement to retort it.

  15. It just goes to show you that once a journalist, always a journalist. I have yet to see actual facts or quotes left alone, without being doctored. That goes for newspapers, blogs, magazines. The reason publications have an editor (or here, moderator) is to have it conform with the views therein. It will never be the truth.

  16. Funny thing. Technically this was an apology, as demanded by Ami, but why did I come away from it thinking about Ami? (As if I didn’t know that already after seeing that cover.) Yes, Matzav has met the legal definition of apologizing. Nevertheless, one wonders if Ami might have been better off being less sensitive about a single adjective and paying more attention to their graphics.

  17. Dear Matzav Editor:

    Please send a bag of Pampers and some baby bottles to Ami’s mailing address.

    Please respond online if you will. Otherwise, I will do so myself.

  18. Lets get real. The word fledgling was added to an article from The Jewish Week.Its a word with a negative connotation.

    Why was it added?

  19. I was disappointed to see Ami’s cover this week featuring the Satmar – Belz reconciliation. I understand the need to report it, but to sensationalize it as the cover story is cheap in my opinion.

  20. It “may have been a poor choice” for the readership of a fledging magazine like Ami to not demand from the Ami “editors” a retraction of last week’s poorly-chosen “cover” by 4pm last Shabbos.

    “The Ami editors are babies. Give them their bottles and put them to bed.” – Great line!! Thanks for the laugh.

  21. How pathetic
    And where was their aplogy for the swastika fiasco – Was it in the editorial of this past week? I must have missed it.

  22. ami is the best magazine
    i think rabbi and mrs frankfurter do an outstanding job
    and rabbi shafran too.
    Like matzav wrote, i wish them success
    thank you matzav for always posting interesting info from Ami. Both of you do a great job.

  23. after the first couple of issues, I told my wife that I do not want this in our house. First and formost because they did not have a Rabbinacle advisery board and because of the provocitive articles that i didnt think yeshiva bochrim should read. My wife didnt agree at first but after this whitehouse cover debacle and the Gestetner-Rush story she tells me B”H how right I am.

  24. I was not born yesterday. I’v read an awful lot in my lifetime. Yet, yes, I firmly believe it is not about Matzav. Its all about Ami. That paper needs a hechsher and should get on before anyone brings it into their homes. Its not this article or that one. Its the entire paper. There are lots of articles that should not be printed. We must know where we come from and where we are headed to. In the end we must all give answers and being machate es harabim is not an easy one!

  25. Why is everyone picking on AMI for?Like most magazines I don’t agree with every columnist, nor do I believe every story they write, but I find them to be very refreshing in that they never write condescending articles or try to subtly force their agenda on their “unenlightened” readers.I don’t always buy AMI due to lack of time and money but this week I will in order to give Chizuk to people who are probably suffering from all these web attacks.


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