by Phil Jacobs
Biz hundert un tsvantsik.
These Yiddish words, which mean "may you live until 120" and were said by Judge Nancy V. Alquist in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore on Thursday, brought to a conclusion the sale of the Baltimore Jewish Times to Route 95 Publications LLC, an affiliate of WJW Group LLC, the owners of Washington Jewish Week.
The judge also said she was "enormously pleased" with Monday's bankruptcy auction, which resulted in the court's approval of Route 95's $1.26 million bid. She then complimented Zvi Guttman, the court-appointed trustee, who managed the company and brought its sale to fruition in 20 days.
Louis Mayberg, one of the four Route 95 and WJW Group LLC investors, was appreciative of the management and employees of Alter Communications, the parent company of the Baltimore Jewish Times, Style Magazine and a custom publishing division. He also underscored what he had said on Monday- that the 93-year-old legacy of the Jewish Times will continue uninterrupted, bringing news of, and features about, Baltimore's Jewish community to its readers and advertisers.
"We are looking forward to working with the fine, dedicated Alter team, and we look forward to them joining our publishing family," said Mayberg, who was present at both Monday's auction and Thursday's court approval. Mayberg's partners include Michael Gelman, David Butler and Stuart Kurlander, all known for their philanthropic and Jewish community involvement.
WJW Publisher Craig Burke, who helped formulate the plan to acquire Alter Communications, will serve in a similar publisher role with the Jewish Times.
Mayberg also complimented the Buerger family "who conducted themselves with style, class and dignity during this difficult process. We will work tirelessly to honor their legacy as we look forward to the future of serving the Baltimore Jewish community."
"I'm very happy that the Baltimore Jewish Times, Style Magazine and Alter's other publications can once again focus on the work of putting out newspapers and magazines," said Judge Alquist.
Andrew Buerger, Alter's publisher, talked of the dedication and commitment during the bankruptcy process of his employees, who never missed a deadline and published under difficult financial circumstances.
"They continued to do a great job against all odds," he said. "And I'm pleased that they'll come to work tomorrow and continue to have a job to do.
"I'm sad for my family that they won't own this for the next 93 years. But they are being taken over by a wonderful group."