Matti Friedman

Matti Friedman (Hebrew: מתי פרידמן‎) is an Israeli Canadian journalist and author.


Matti Friedman grew up in Toronto. In 1995, he immigrated to Israel and settled in Jerusalem.[1][2]

Media career

Between 2006 and the end of 2011, Friedman was a reporter and editor in the Jerusalem bureau of the Associated Press (AP) news agency.[3] During his journalistic career, he also worked as a reporter in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Moscow and Washington, D.C.[1]

Friedman's book, The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible, published in May 2012 by Algonquin Books, is an account of how the Aleppo Codex, "the oldest, most complete, most accurate text of the Hebrew Bible," came to reside in Israel. It was believed the codex had been destroyed during the 1947 Anti-Jewish riots in Aleppo when the Central Synagogue of Aleppo, where the codex was housed, was set on fire and badly damaged. Friedman also investigates how and why many of the codex's pages went missing and what their fate might be.[4]

The book won the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature,[5] was selected as one of Booklist's top ten religion and spirituality books of 2012,[6] was awarded the American Library Association's 2013 Sophie Brody Medal[7] and the 2013 Canadian Jewish Book Award for history,[8] and received second place for the Religion Newswriters Association's 2013 nonfiction religion book of the year.[9]

Friedman is also the author of Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story of a Forgotten War, about his experiences as an IDF soldier during the South Lebanon conflict, published in 2016.[10]

Views and opinions

Following the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, Friedman wrote an essay criticizing what he views as the international media's bias against Israel and undue focus on the country, stating that news organizations treat it as "most important story on earth". He said when he was a correspondent at AP, "the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the 'Arab Spring" eventually erupted... I don’t mean to pick on the AP—the agency is wholly average, which makes it useful as an example. The big players in the news business practice groupthink, and these staffing arrangements were reflected across the herd."[3] Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the piece went "viral" on Facebook.[1] The Atlantic then invited Friedman to write a longer article.[11] AP issued a statement, saying that Friedman's "... arguments have been filled with distortions, half-truths and inaccuracies, both about the recent Gaza war and more distant events. His suggestion of AP bias against Israel is false".[12] Veteran journalist, Mark Lavie, who worked at the AP's Jerusalem bureau corroborates Friedman's claims of gross journalistic misconduct leveled against the AP.[13][14]

Published works


  1. ^ a b c "Why journalists say Israeli-Arab reporting is 'rigged'". Haaretz. 14 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Homepage". Matti Friedman official website.
  3. ^ a b Friedman, Matti (26 August 2014). "An Insider's Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth". Tablet.
  4. ^ Bergman, Ronen (25 July 2012). "A High Holy Whodunit". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Friedman accepts 'Aleppo Codex' prize". The Times of Israel. 22 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Top 10 Religion & Spirituality Books". Booklist. 15 November 2012.
  7. ^ "'The Aleppo Codex' wins RUSA's Sophie Brody Medal for achievement in Jewish literature". American Library Association. 27 January 2013.
  8. ^ "'Aleppo Codex' wins Canadian book award". The Times of Israel. 2 May 2013.
  9. ^ "2013 RNA Contest Winners". Religion Newswriters Association.
  10. ^ Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story of a Forgotten War
  11. ^ Friedman, Matti (30 November 2014). "What the Media Gets Wrong About Israel". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  12. ^ "AP statement on Mideast coverage". Associated Press. 1 December 2014. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014.
  13. ^ mbentsion (2014-09-19). "Matti Friedman hits back at AP, and so do I". Broken Spring. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  14. ^ "Former AP Reporter Confirms Matti Friedman Account". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved 2017-01-24.

External links

Aleppo Codex

The Aleppo Codex (Hebrew: כֶּתֶר אֲרָם צוֹבָא‎ Keter Aram Tzova or Crown of Aleppo) is a medieval bound manuscript of the Hebrew Bible. The codex was written in the city of Tiberias, in what is currently northern Israel, in the 10th century C.E., and was endorsed for its accuracy by Maimonides. Together with the Leningrad Codex, it contains the Ben-Asher masoretic tradition, but the Aleppo Codex lacks most of the Torah section and many other parts.

Associated Press

The Associated Press (AP) is a U.S.-based not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. Its members are U.S. newspapers and broadcasters. Its Statement of News Values and Principles spells out its standards and practices.The AP has earned 52 Pulitzer Prizes, including 31 for photography, since the award was established in 1917.

The AP has counted the vote in U.S. elections since 1848, including national, state and local races down to the legislative level in all 50 states, along with key ballot measures. AP collects and verifies returns in every county, parish, city and town across the U.S., and declares winners in over 5,000 contests.

The AP news report, distributed to its members and customers, is produced in English, Spanish and Arabic. AP content is also available on the agency's app, AP News. A 2017 study by NewsWhip revealed that AP content was more engaged with on Facebook than content from any individual English-language publisher.As of 2016, news collected by the AP was published and republished by more than 1,300 newspapers and broadcasters. The AP operates 263 news bureaus in 106 countries. It also operates the AP Radio Network, which provides newscasts twice hourly for broadcast and satellite radio and television stations. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributing members of the cooperative. As part of their cooperative agreement with the AP, most member news organizations grant automatic permission for the AP to distribute their local news reports. The AP employs the "inverted pyramid" formula for writing which enables the news outlets to edit a story to fit its available publication area without losing the story's essentials.

Cutbacks at rival United Press International in 1993 left the AP as the United States' primary news service, although UPI still produces and distributes stories and photos daily. Other English-language news services, such as the BBC, Reuters and the English-language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States.

Gerald M. Steinberg

Gerald M. Steinberg. a professor of politics at Bar Ilan University, is an Israeli academic, political scientist, and political activist. He is founder and president of NGO Monitor, a policy analysis think tank focusing on non governmental organizations.


Hadash (Hebrew: חד"ש, lit. New), an acronym for HaHazit HaDemokratit LeShalom uLeShivion (Hebrew: החזית הדמוקרטית לשלום ולשוויון, lit. The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality); Arabic: الجبهة الديمقراطية للسلام والمساواة‎, translit. al-Jabhah ad-Dimuqrāṭiyyah lis-Salām wa'l-Musāwah) is a radical left-wing political coalition in Israel formed by the Israeli Communist Party and other leftist groups.It currently has five members, as part of the Joint List, in the 120-seat Knesset.

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

The Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction is a Canadian literary award, presented annually by the Writers' Trust of Canada to the best work of non-fiction by a Canadian writer.

Canada's most lucrative non-fiction prize, the winner receives a prize of C$60,000 and all finalists receive C$5,000.

Keren Tendler

Keren Tendler (Hebrew: קרן טנדלר‎; died August 12, 2006) was Israel's first female helicopter flight mechanic soon after a court allowed women to serve in combat positions.She was the first female Israeli soldier to die on active duty since the killing of Keren Ya’akobi in Hebron in December 2002. Tendler was killed during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, along with four other crew members, when their helicopter, a CH-53 Sea Stallion Yas'ur, was shot down upon lifting off in Lebanon. A fund was established in her name to help other young women become flight mechanics.

Matti (given name)

Matti is a given name, originated from the Hebrew Mattityahu, meaning "gift of God". It is a popular Finnish version of Matthew (name). Matti (מתי) is also a short for the Yiddish Mattisyahu. It may refer to:

In sports:

Matti Breschel (born 1984), Danish road bicycle racer

Matti Hagman (1955–2016), Finnish hockey player

Matti Hautamäki (born 1981), Finnish ski jumper

Matti Klinga (born 1994), Finnish footballer

Matti Mäki (born 1982), Finnish swimmer

Matti Niemi (rowing) (born 1937), Finnish coxswain

Matti Niemi (athlete) (born 1976), Finnish hurdler

Matti Nuutinen (born 1990), Finnish basketball player

Matti Nykänen (1963–2019), Finnish ski jumper

Matti Oivanen (born 1986), Finnish volleyball player

Matti Pitkänen (born 1948), Finnish former cross-country skier

Matti Rajakylä (born 1984), Finnish swimmer

Matti Santahuhta (born 1981), Finnish football manager and former player

Matti Wasama (1918–1970), Finnish hockey playerIn music:

Matti Caspi (born 1949), Israeli composer, musician, singer and lyricist

Mátti Kovler (born 1980), Israeli/American composer of music theatre

Matti Salminen (born 1945), Finnish operatic bass singerIn politics:

Matti Mattson (1916–2011), American labor organizer, social activist, veteran of the Spanish Civil War

Matti Nikki, Finnish software developer, researcher and Internet anti-censorship activist

Matti Vanhanen (born 1955), former Prime Minister of FinlandIn other fields:

Matti Friedman, Israeli Canadian journalist and author

Matti Klinge (born 1936), Finnish historian

Matti Pohto (1817–1857), Finnish book collector

Matti Saari, editor-in-chief of the Finnish Apu family magazine

Matti Juhani Saari (1986–2008), perpetrator of the Kauhajoki school shooting

Matti Seppälä (born 1941), Finnish geomorphologist

Mizrahi music

Mizrahi music (Hebrew: מוזיקה מזרחית‎ muzika mizrahit [ˈmuzika mizraˈ ħit], "Eastern/Oriental music") refers to a music genre in Israel that combines elements from Europe, North Africa and the Arab world, and is mainly performed by Israelis of Mizrahi descent. It is usually sung in Hebrew, literary Hebrew, or colloquial Arabic. The literal translation of Mizrahi from Hebrew is "Eastern".

NGO Monitor

NGO Monitor (Non-governmental Organization Monitor) is a non-governmental organization based in Jerusalem, which analyzes and reports on the output of the international NGO community from a pro-Israel perspective. It has been characterized as being pro-Israel and as right-wing. NGO Monitor says in its mission statement that it was founded "to promote accountability, and advance a vigorous discussion on the reports and activities of humanitarian NGOs in the framework of the Arab–Israeli conflict."

The organization was founded in 2001 by Gerald M. Steinberg under the auspices of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. NGO Monitor became a legally and financially independent organization in 2007.The organization has been criticized by academic figures, diplomats, and journalists who have said that NGO Monitor's research is not objective, that it does not examine right-wing NGOs, and that it puts out information that it knows is wrong. Other journalists have praised the organization for investigating and exposing self-described human rights groups as being what they call anti-Israeli groups.

Presidency of Shimon Peres

The Presidency of Shimon Peres, the ninth President of Israel, began after the Israeli presidential election, 2007 on 13 June 2007 in which Peres defeated Reuven Rivlin and Colette Avital. Peres was sworn in as President on 15 July 2007.At the age of 90, Peres was the world's oldest head of state.


Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story, is a 2016 book by journalist Matti Friedman, published by Algonquin.

Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature is an annual prize awarded to an outstanding literary work of Jewish interest.

Sophie Brody Award

The Sophie Brody Award is an annual award of the American Library Association, administered by the Reference and User Services Association RUSA. It is given for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature, for works published the previous year, in the US.

The award is named after Sophie Brody and was established by her husband, Arthur Brody, and the Brodart Foundation.

Spies of No Country

Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel is a book by Matti Friedman published in March 2019.Spies of No Country won the 2018, pre-publication, $25,000 Nathan Book Award, a prize given by the Nathan Fund in conjunction with the Jewish Book Council to support the work of a writer whose book has not yet been published.

The Aleppo Codex

The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible is a 2012 book by Matti Friedman published by Algonquin.

The book tells the story of how the Aleppo codex, one of the world's oldest extant Bibles , was saved from destruction during the 1947 Aleppo pogrom, how it was smuggled into Israel, and what became of the missing pages. The Wall Street Journal calls Friedman's book "a detective thriller," noting that, "not everything about the codex is as it seems."

The Jerusalem Kollel

The Jerusalem Kollel is a rabbinic education program with the stated goal of training kollel students to assume positions of leadership in Jewish communities worldwide.Established in the autumn of the Jewish calendar year 5762 (2002), the kollel opened with twenty young men. As of 2012, the Kollel had over 70 students and had placed over 200 alumni in positions of community leadership throughout the world.The Dean of the Kollel is Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits, a respected advisor on contemporary halachic issues, especially for Jerusalem’s English-speaking haredi community. Berkovits was a student of the Mir yeshiva (Jerusalem) and served as Menahel Ruchani of Yeshivas Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem for 16 years.

Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature

The Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature is a major Canadian literary award relaunched in 2016 and presented annually by Toronto’s Koffler Centre of the Arts. The Awards honour the best Jewish Canadian writing in four categories, each with an annual prize of $10,000: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Young Adult/Children’s Literature, and History. A fifth $10,000 prize for Poetry is awarded every three years. The Awards consider submissions from both print and digital sources (including books, e-books, graphic novels, digital storytelling, and a variety of media). Writers must be Canadian or the submission must have significant Canadian content. Writers must be Jewish or the submission must have significant or predominantly Jewish content.A professional jury of three individuals working in the arts and media oversee the award selection process. The shortlist for the inaugural Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature was announced on September 15, 2016. The winners were announced on September 29, 2016.

Wasil Taha

Wasil Taha (Arabic: واصل طه‎, Hebrew: וואסל טאהה‎, born 24 April 1952) is an Israeli-Arab politician and a former member of the Knesset for the Israeli Arab party, Balad.

William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute

William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute is a semestered secondary school located in Toronto, Ontario. It was built in 1960 to accommodate the skyrocketing number of new students in what was then known as North York, and to ease overcrowding at Northview Heights Secondary School. Being located near another high school, Northview Heights Institute of Technology, the school is rumoured to have been called "Southview Heights Institute of Technology", because of the provocative initials. However, it was called Southview Heights Secondary School. Ultimately, William Lyon Mackenzie, the first mayor of Toronto and leader of the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837, was selected.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.