By MORDECAI SPECKTOR
In its Jan. 19, 1973, edition, the American Jewish World announced the retirement of L.H. “Leo” Frisch as the newspaper’s editor and publisher, after 60 years. The page one story also featured a photo of Norman Gold, the AJW’s business manager, and reported that he would serve as the new editor and owner.
Gold, who guided the newspaper of Minnesota’s Jewish community, died on April 9. He was 85.
According to Gold’s daughter, Susan Ayers, of Minnetonka, the late publisher was “very, very proud” of the role he, and the American Jewish World newspaper, played in the community.
When he took over the Jewish World, Gold “was quite amazing at getting along really well and being very supportive of all facets of Judaism and all the different rabbis,” from Hasidic to Reform, his daughter recalled.
- Norman Gold (center) and his wife, Gloria, chat with Yitzhak Rabin in November 1978, at an event hosted by the United Jewish Fund and Council of St. Paul at Hillcrest Country Club. (Photo: AJW Archive)
The Gold family attended Beth El Synagogue on the North Side of Minneapolis, and later when it moved to St. Louis Park; but Ayers mentioned that her parents attended Friday night services at different local shuls.
“He wanted to be visible and be friends with all the rabbis; and all the rabbis loved my dad, they were all his friends.… They knew that they could count on my dad. My dad always dealt straight from the heart.”
Gold, a Minneapolis native, attended Central High and the University of Minnesota. He was a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. Ayers mentioned that her father helped build the runway on the Pacific island of Okinawa; and he had a full military funeral at Adath Yeshurun Cemetery.
After his military service, Gold sold real estate, then operated the Westerner Café on Hennepin Avenue near Lake Street. He later became the business manager at the Jewish World; then, with his brother, Richard Gold, bought the newspaper.
Ayers commented that her father continued the paper’s involvement with the American Jewish Press Association (AJPA), the umbrella group of North American Jewish newspaper publishers and editors. Gold was AJPA president from 1977-1978.
Gold and his wife, Gloria, traveled to Israel, and “on one of their trips to Israel, they got to meet [Menachem] Begin, Golda Meir, and Moshe Dayan,” and sat with the Israeli luminaries during a dinner, said Ayers.
After selling the American Jewish World to Rabbi Marc Liebhaber in 1980, Gold volunteered with local Jewish groups, and eventually retired to Florida. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease nine years ago, according to his daughter, who added that her mother cared for her father throughout his final years.
In addition to his daughter, Gold is survived by his wife, Gloria; son, Robert; four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
The editors and staff of the American Jewish World extend their condolences to Norman Gold’s family.