Now principally an online news source, the Forward traces its ancestry directly to the Jewish Daily Forward, a Yiddish-language daily newspaper that began publishing on on April 22, 1897. In the 19th century, it was part of the robust immigrant press, with a policy supporting trade unionism and moderate, democratic socialism.
By the 1930s, while still a Yiddish publication, it was a significant American daily, urban oriented, with a circulation of over 275,000, and visibility to national leadership. Editor, until his death in 1950, was Avram Cahan. Among the staff were future Nobel laureates Isaac Bashevis Singer and Elie Wiesel.
With the Second World War and the Holocaust, Yiddish publishing declined. Nevertheless, in 1990 the Forward Association, the newspaper's non-profit holding company, remade the Forward into an English-language weekly covering the Jewish world. Seth Lipsky edited for the first decade, coming from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. J.J. Goldberg took over in July 2000, until he returned to writing in 2008, and the first woman editor, Jane Eisner, took over the leadership.