Friday, March 14, 2014

Lubavitch and The New York Times

Lubavitch (aka Chabad) has, for many years, been heavily involved in PR, public relations, trying to get press coverage to promote their aims. One of the leading press outlets in the NYC area, where Lubavitch HQ is, as well as worldwide, is the New York Times newspaper. Lubavitch has appeared in that publication many times over the years.

How did Lubavitch develop a relationship with that well known, very influential paper? They invested special effort into cultivating it.

This was recently discussed in an address by R. Yehudah Krinsky of Lubavitch, who was delegated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to work on PR way back in the 1950's. He told of his relationship with Irving Spiegel, who dealt with Jewish affairs at the Times. The address can be seen here.

Another aspect of the Lubavitch-NYT connection is seen in another newly released video online, which shows NYT reporter Israel Shenker and the Lubavitcher Rebbe at a 1972 Purim Farbrengen. It can be seen here. Some more recent R. Krinsky-Lubavitch-NYT interactions are related by R. Krinsky in this recording.

One doesn't usually know what goes on behind the scenes at a newspaper. Here we are given some glimpses of behind the scenes action.

The advertising that Lubavitch placed in the NYT over the years is another related topic. How that may have impacted on the paper's coverage is not discussed.

These activities show how Lubavitch used modern public relations strategies at the direction of the last Rebbe.

Postscript: If you examine the Wikipedia page on R. Krinsky and are aware of the composition, activities, and trajectory of Lubavitch in recent decades, you can see how important its PR (Public Relations) activities and wing have been as part of its overall activity.

The Wikipedia page does not include some other interesting facts on R. Krinsky, which are revealed in a book by George Kalinsky, which features him among other clergy, that he was the youngest of nine children of a non Lubavitch shochet from Boston, who attended Boston Latin school before going to New York, and that his maternal grandfather was of Habad background. Also of interest is that in publicity for a planned program at Yeshiva University, re The Lubavitcher Rebbe and The Rav, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, it is stated that he was the first student at Maimonides day school of Boston, founded by the Rav.