Bintel Brief Advice Column Is Back With Dr Ruth
Submitted to: Media 
Posted: May 17 2007


May 17 2007 ( The Forward, America’s most influential Jewish news source, has re-launched the “Bintel Brief,” its famed advice column.

Renowned psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer is the first guest advice giver for the revived column, which appears on the Forward’s Web site:

Called “the genesis of all the advice columnists” by Jeanne Phillips of “Dear Abby,” the Bintel Brief was started in 1906 by Abraham Cahan, the Forward’s legendary editor. Literally translated as a “Bundle of Letters,” the Bintel Brief dispensed advice on life, love, family, faith, work and why, contrary to popular superstition, having a spouse with a dimpled chin won’t lead you to an early grave.

Discontinued in the 1970s, the Bintel Brief will now appear Mondays as a feature on the Forward’s new Bintel Blog (

In the first installment of the new Bintel Brief, Westheimer offers advice to an Orthodox woman facing marriage pressure from her community, a news columnist who ran afoul of some readers, and a woman who has become alienated from Judaism after facing inappropriate behavior from some rabbis.

“In its original form, the Bintel Brief acted as an extended family for new Jewish immigrants arriving in America who had no one else to turn to for advice,” said Ami Eden, the Forward’s Web editor. “Now, with the help of Dr. Ruth and other future guest columnists, the Bintel Brief is back to help a new generation of American Jews.”

Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a pioneering and well-known giver of advice. She teaches a course at Princeton University on the Jewish family, in which she discusses the role the original Bintel Brief played in helping Jewish immigrants find their footing in the new world.

“The Forward really provided what an extended family would provide in terms of advice,” Westheimer said. “The Forward provided that for almost a century, and here in the year 2007, we are going to launch a new series in which people are able to ask questions about relationships, maybe a problem with older people, maybe a problem in education, maybe a problem with a mother- or a father-in-law. There are all kinds of pressures on today’s families that don’t necessarily need psychotherapeutic intervention, that could maybe be helped with a little advice.”


The Forward is widely regarded as American Jewry’s essential newspaper of record. Published since 1990, the English language weekly grew out of the legendary Yiddish language Jewish Daily Forward, founded in 1897. The Forward is committed to rigorous reporting and balanced, thoughtful commentary on news, politics and culture in the Jewish world. The Forward's editor, veteran journalist and author J.J. Goldberg, and his staff have enhanced the paper's reputation for incisive, hard-hitting reportage with a populist, progressive spirit that has been the paper’s hallmark since its early days. Headquartered in New York, the newspaper is owned by the Forward Association, Inc., a 501(c) (4) corporation. It is published on Fridays and is available on newsstands nationwide, as well as by subscription


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    The Forward

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