The Jewish Channel comes to Queens

Last month, The Jewish Channel (TJC) launched in Queens, fulfilling the many requests it had gotten from local residents.
The channel has been around for about seven months, available in areas outside of Queens through Cablevision. TJC spokesperson Aaron Hornung said that they had been doing very well in those other areas and that they merely needed to make the channel available on the carrier that services Queens.
“We had hundreds of requests from Queens residents for the channel to become available,” he said. “The fact that we have had such great success was also helpful.”
Hornung said that many of the executives involved in TJC, which is now part of On-Demand through Time Warner Cable, have backgrounds where they created other successful channels. He said that at different points in time some of these executives had thought about creating a Jewish channel.
“Basically, this is a product that doesn’t exist on the market and a lot of people wanted [it],” Hornung said.
About 90 percent of the channel’s content is Jewish films, with more than 40 of them being run every month. Many of the films are from award winning directors.
Aside from the films, TJC also has four original series and will be launching a fifth one in the near future. Three of those series are in partnership with The Forward, which is a national Jewish newspaper. They are “The Forward Forum,” “Inside the Issues,” and “Movie Talk.”
“We just have incredible usage, incredible feedback and people just really love it,” Hornung said. “It’s really just the only place to find all this really great stuff.”
Through another one of the channel’s shows, called “Rabbi’s Roundtable,” there is an inter-denominational dialogue on major topics that affect the Jewish community. It is aired about once a month.
“It’s a really ground-breaking series,” Hornung said.
Not only does TJC present television programming to viewers, but also is dedicated to the community. Hornung described the channel as a “community operation,” saying that they want to be imbedded in the community. Some of the ways they do this are by holding film screenings and discussion groups. They also create materials for teachers to use for classroom discussions.
TJC officially launched in Queens, as well as Manhattan and Staten Island, on June 11. Although there are not official numbers just yet on how the channel is doing in Queens, Hornung said that early indications show that they are doing well.
In the future, Hornung said that the channel wants to add a lot more programs. Some of the areas that they are looking to expand in are food, children and news.
For more information on The Jewish Channel, to find out about its programming, or to sign up for its free weekly newsletter and programming guide, visit www.tjctv.com.