This is one of the best ways to find out about the Jewish communities where our immigrant ancestors lived, as well as additional generations. Sometimes the paper was originally in Yiddish, and later added English as generations had forgotten how to read Yiddish.
These ethnic papers covered local issues and named local citizens in a way that the general press did not. They detailed birthdays, weddings, visitors, children leaving for college, burials and other events.
The Library of Congress' Chronicling America offers many searchable Jewish papers, which you can browse here. Browse issues here http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn93068209/issues/.
The LOC recently spotlighted the Houston Jewish Herald (1908-1911, 1,500 searchable pages). Today it is the Jewish Herald-Voice.
The paper also included sermons, editorials, commentaries and articles on events of national and international interest, information on local Jewish organizations and more. From the beginning, he included photographs, which make for a very interesting pictoral record of the community.
Founded in 1908 by Edgar Goldberg, The Jewish Herald was “a weekly publication, devoted to matters of interest to the Hebrew citizens of Houston.” In its first year, the paper was published every Friday, on eight pages measuring 10 x 13 inches each. By the end of 1910, The Jewish Herald had expanded to eight pages measuring 13 x 17 inches, and the paper’s circulation had reached 1,150. Goldberg published the Herald through the Herald Printing Company, and the paper initially cost $1.00 for an annual subscription.
The first issue of The Jewish Herald appeared on September 24, 1908 (in the Jewish calendar year 5668, as stated on the nameplate), but the paper had its origins in a news bulletin that Goldberg sent to the Jewish community in April 1908. At that time, Houston could count approximately 1,700 Jewish residents and two Jewish congregations. Goldberg’s bulletin stated that the community should keep informed of current events throughout the world, and especially of developments within the growing Jewish community. He proposed an “Anglo-Jewish weekly which would chronicle the news affecting the Jews of Texas.”Other searchable Jewish newspapers available include:
- The Jewish Reformer. (New York, New York)1886-???? (English, German)
- The National Jewish Daily. ([Van Nuys, California) 1986-1988
- The Jewish Post. (Indianapolis, Indiana) 1933-1946
- The Jewish Journal. (San Francisco, Caliifornia) 1928-1932
- The Jewish Exponent (Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniaa.) 1887-????
- The Texas Jewish Post. (Fort Worth, Texas) 1947-current
- The Youngstown Jewish Times. (Youngstown, Ohio) 1935-1987
- The Jewish Monitor. (Birmingham, Alabama) 1948-1980
- The Jewish Times. (Brookline, Massachusetts) 1951-1983
- The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 1921-current
- The Jewish Chronicle. (Worcester, Massachusetts 1976-1980
- Las Vegas Israelite. (Las Vegas, Nevada) 1966-current
- Idishe velṭ = The Jewish World. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1913-1952 (English, Yiddish)
- The Boston Jewish Times. (Brookline, Massachusetts) 1983-2001
- The Jewish Chronicle-Leader. (Worcester, Massachusetts) 1980-1992
- The Jewish Voice. (St. Louis, Missouri) 1888-1933 (English, Yiddish)
- The Iowa Jewish News. (Des Moines, Iowa) 1932-1952
- Der Ṿegṿayzer = The Jewish indicator. (Piṭtsburg, Pennsylvania) 1924-1930 (English, Hebrew, Yiddish)
- Der Fihrer = The Jewish leader. (Pitṭsburg, Pennsylvania) 1930-1938 (English, Yiddish)
- Di Idishe posṭ = Jewish post. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 1903-1909 (English, Hebrew, Yiddish)
- Jewish Pictorial Leader. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 1949-19??
- Der Ṿegṿayzer = The Jewish leader. (Pitṭsburg, Pennsylvania) 1938-194? (English, Yiddish)
- The Jewish Times and Observer. (San Francisco, Calififornia) 1879-19?? (English, German)
- Jewish Weekly News. (Springfield, Massachusetts) 1945-199?
- Las Vegas Israelite of Nevada. (Las Vegas, Nevada) 1965-1966
- The Jewish Chronicle. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 1962-current
- The Southern Jewish Times. (Birmingham, Alabama) 192?-????
- The National Jewish Post. (Indianapolis, Indiana) 1946-1957
- The National Jewish Post and Opinion. (Indianapolis, Indiana) 1957-1966
- The Indiana Jewish Post and Opinion. (Indianapolis, Indiana) 1966-current
- Di Idishe shṭime ([Reading, Pennsylvania) 1922-1929 (English, Yiddish)
- The Journal. (Salem, Massachusetts) 1986-199?
- The Jewish Journal. (Youngstown, Ohio) 1987-current
- Heritage. (Los Angeles, Calififornia) 1954-1958
- Hakol (Allentown, Pennsylvania) 1976-current
- Monthly Reporter. (Madison, Wisconsin) 19??-????
- Jewish Reporter. (Framingham, Massachusetts) 1970-current
- The Delaware Valley Jewish Reporter. (Morrisville, Pennsylvania) 198?-current
- Hayom (Portland, Maine) 19??-current
- Forward (St. Louis, Missouri) 19??-19?? (English, Hebrew)
- The Jewish Tribune. (St. Louis, Missouri) 1879-1884
- The people's friend = Der Volksfreund = Der Vosterer folksfrend. (Worcester, Massachusetts) 1913-19?? (Yiddish)
- Der Vosterer idisher folks-frend = The Worcester Jewish people's friend. (Worcester, Massachusetts) 19??-19?? (English, Yiddish)
- Every Friday. (Cincinnati, Ohio) 1927-1965
- The Jewish Digest. (Miami, Florida) 1926-????
- The Jewish Chronicle. (Worcester, Massachusetts) 1992-current
- Ṭeglakhe prese (Los Angeles, California) 1934-19?? (English, Yiddish)
- Der Yidisher siṭizen = The Hebrew citizen. (Boston, Masschusetts) 1893-1??? (Yiddish)
- Folḳs-tsayṭung = Folks-Zeitung (Los Angeles, California) 1936-19?? (English, Yiddish)
- Di Press (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 19??-19?? (English, Yiddish)
There are many additional papers focusing on other ethnicities.