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The 28th Annual Simon Rockower Award Winners
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Category 1: The Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all Magazines/Websites.


First Place
Forward, New York, NY

"Strategic Interest" columns ("The Economic War Against the Palestinians has Failed," "How Jimmy Carter Almost Derailed Peace with Egypt," and "Accept that the Regime in Iran is here to Stay") by Yossi Alpher

Second Place
The Jewish Exponent, Philadelphia, PA

"A Matter of Opinion" columns ("Other People's Prayers," "A Prayer for Sderots's Children," and "Finding a Reason to do Nothing") by Jonathan Tobin

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Rockland Jewish Reporter, West Nyack, NY
"Memories of My Father," "The Price of Return," and "Rain at the Proper Season" by Marla Cohen

Comments: Very clear, graceful, and thoughtful writing, with memorable messages and a nice variety of topic.

Second Place
Zeek Media, San Francisco, CA

"Menorahs and Mumbai," "Sex by the Book," and "Rabbinic Rulings and the Rectal Route," by Angela Himsel

 


Category 2: Award for Excellence in Single Commentary


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all Magazines/Websites.

First Place
"On One Foot" blog, Stamford, CT

"An Open Letter to Malcolm Hoenlein" by Joshua Hammerman

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Oops, You're Not Jewish" by Gershom Gorenberg

Divisions B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish NewsDenver, CO

"The Almighty Convention: More Than A State Fair and Purin Rolled Into One – A Desire for Change"
by Chris Leppek

Comments: A fresh, lively take made of the most covered event of 2008.

Second Place
Zeek Media, San Francisco, CA
"Madoff: Rethinking Jewish Fundraising" by Jo Ellen Green Kaiser

 


Category 3: Personal Essay


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all magazines/Websites.

First Place
CJ: Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism, New York, NY

"When it Doesn't Work" by Joanne Palmer

Comments: An emotionally wrenching, theologically insightful, beautifully written memoir of the author's struggle to say Kaddish after the death of her daughter.

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

"My Hearth Is Lit" by Ilana Kurshan

Comments: The author explores the interconnection of modern Israeli literature, American literature and classical Jewish sources as she seeks to arrange a lifetime's worth of books on permanent shelves in her Israeli home. A resonant, many-faceted meditation on text and the power of text.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Arizona Jewish Post, Tuscon, AZ

"For Tucsonan, Jewish Food Conference Is About More Than Goat Slaughter" by Maria Russakoff

Comments: The author mines the Hazon Jewish Food Conference for penetrating insights into belonging and exclusion, the sacredness of life and death, and the pursuit of Judaism in the 21st century.



Category 4: Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all Magazines/Websites.


First Place
ForwardNew York, NY

"Judging Character—and Kashrut" by J.J. Goldberg

Second Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY
"The Reluctant DA"

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC, Canada
"Ideals Fall Short at U.N." by Cynthia Ramsey

Second Place
St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO

"Is Anti-Semitism Becoming Normalized?" by Robert A. Cohn



Category 5: The Boris Smolar Award for Excellence in Comprehensive
Coverage or Investigative Reporting


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all Magazines/Websites.

First Place
Forward, New York, NY

"Agriprocessor and Beyond" by Nathaniel Popper, Anthony Weiss, Marissa Brostoff,
Lana Gersten

"Iowa Fines AgriProcessors for Labor Violations"
"After Jail, Agriprocessors Workers Face a Difficult Journey"
"Kosher Meat Crisis Strands Consumers, Workers, Animals"
"Widespread Slaughter Method Under Scrutiny for Cruelty"
"As Industry Faces Criticism, A Look at how the Kosher Sausage is Made"
"News From Postville May Be Treyf, but Kosher Consumers Keep Buying"
"Kosher Industry Looks To Future in Wake of Agriprocessors Charges"
"Flacks for Agriprocessors Admit Online Impersonation of Meat Company's Critics"


Comments: A compelling look at issues faced by families with developmentally disabled children in the Houston Jewish community.


Second Place
JTA, New York, NY

"Bernard Madoff's Effect on the Jewish Community" by Jacob Berkman

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Jewish Herald-Voice, Houston, TX

"Such Varied Creatures" (6 part series) by Aaron Howard

Second Place
Jewish Herald-Voice, Houston, TX
Galveston post-Hurricane Ike coverage (5 articles) by Michael C. Duke

 

Comments: Stories that called attention to profound damage to property of the Jewish community in Galveston.

Category 6: Excellence in News Reporting


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
The Jewish Standard,Teaneck, NJ

"Sderot: City in Crisis" by Josh Lipowsky

Second Place

ForwardNew York, NY
"Madoff Scandal Rips Apart Close World of Jewish Philanthropy" by Anthony Weiss

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD

"Sadness, Solidarity," by Richard Greenberg

Second Place
Jewish Press of Omaha, Omaha, NE
"Two Jewish scouts tell harrowing experience in deadly tornadoJump" by Gary Javitch



Category 7: Excellence in Feature Writing


Division A: Newspapers over 15,000 Circulation.

First Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY

"A Charge of Double Betrayal," by Hella Winston

Second Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY

"Anti-Semitism 2.0 Goes Largely Unchallenged," by Tamar Snyder

Honorable Mention

JUF News, Chicago, IL
"Catholic Priest documents ‘Holocaust by Bullets', by Aaron B. Cohen

Division B: Newspapers from 7,500 to 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Got Milk? Shoenberg Farms," by Chris Leppek

Comments: Unusual Story, well presented.

Second Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Guggenheim Empire Started Right Here," by Aaron Greenstein

Comments: Well written history, fascinating, important family.

Additional Comment: Photos for both stories contribute a great deal to the stories.

Division C: Newspapers 1 to 7,499 circulation.

First Place

Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC, Canada
"Capitalism's Ideological Anchor: Reactions to the works of Ayn Rand continue to oscillate,
despite the years gone by
,"
by Eugene Kaellis

Comments: Anchor Places Rand in context, excellent research and interpretation of subject.

Second Place
Jewish Press of Omaha, Omaha, NE
"Refusenik: How It All Began,"page 2, by Carol Katzman

Comments: Strong feature that teaches what occurred at the beginning of the Save Soviet Jewry movement.

Division D: Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.


First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Security Over Secrecy," by Rahel Musleah

Comments: Comprehensive, well sourced, excellent! Stresses unusual successes.

Second Place
CJ: Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism, New York, NY
"Justice and Judaism: Community Organizing in the Conservative Movement,"
by Daniel May and Peter Dreier

Comments: Important pieces. 12 sources! Takes broad look at various groups and what they've attempted. Unusual topic, usually found in Reform publications.


Category 8:Arts and Criticism News and Features


Division A: Critical analysis/review, usually of a single artistic endeavor, whether in literature, theater, film or fine arts and crafts.

All Newspapers and Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.

First Place
Forward, New York, NY
"The Commentator: Is Adam Sandler Our Greatest Jewish Mind?" by Daniel
Treiman


Comments: The writer poses a question that on the surface seems ridiculous -- Is Adam Sandler the most important living Jewish commentator? -- and turns the discussion serious with a very reasoned, thoughtful and well-written argument.

Second Place
JTA, New York, NY
"Memoir Recounts Bizarre UN Mission" by Ben Harris

Comments: Wonderfully breezy writing style informed by the critic's personal experience.

Division B: Reporting on an artistic endeavor, trend, movement or personality, whether in literature, theater, film or fine arts and crafts.

All Newspapers and Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.


First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO

"The Girl in the Green Sweater Lived in Lvov's Sewers for 14 Months" by Hillel Goldberg
Comments: Beautiful, poetic summary gives a powerful story all the more strength.

Second Place
Jewish Journal Boston North, Salem, MA
"What a Man with a Lens, Skill and Passion Can Do," by Bette Keva

 


Category 9: The David Frank Award for Excellence in Personality Profiles


Division A: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
Forward, New York, NY
"A Rabbi with a Knack for Publicity Wins Coveted and Historic Visit from the Pope" by Anthony Weiss

Comments: A profile in the classic sense: clever, understated lines (I particularly love "Schneier's office on the second floor of the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School ..." -- it says volumes), coupled with broader strokes, paint a vibrant picture of a man.

Second Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY
"A Pariah in Exile" by Stewart Ain

 

Comments: An even-handed portrait ofa man many Jews would turn away from.

Division B: Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"The Late Rabbi Binyamin Zilber," by Hillel Goldberg

Second Place
The Jewish Chronicle, Pittsburgh, PA
"Angel in Squirrel Hill," by Toby Tabachnick

Division C: Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.

First Place

Hadassah, New York, NY
"Breaking the Silence," by Leora Eren Frucht

Second Place
Hadassah, New York, NY
"Najem Wali," by Shoshana London Sappir



Category 10: Excellence in Overall Graphic Design (3 Issue Submission)


Divisions A: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
j. The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
November 26 Cover
December 5 Cover

Second Place
Forward, New York, NY


Division B: Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Detroit Jewish News, Detroit, MI

Feb 21-27 Cover
Aug 14-20 Cover
Aug 21-27 Cover

Second Place
Texas Jewish PostDallas, TX


Division C: Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.

First Place
JVibeNewton, MA

January-February Cover
May-June Cover
July-August Cover

 

Comments: Nicely designed for the target audience, lots of entry points, lots of energy.

Second Place
Jewish Woman, Washington, DC

Fall 2008 Cover
Spring 2008 Cover
Summer 2008 Cover

 

Comments: Good presentation, opening spreads for feature stories particularly strong.



Category 11: Excellence in Special Sections or Supplements


Division A: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place

The Jewish Week, New York, NY

"Directions"

Comments: very well put together, lots to read.

Second Place

Forward, New York, NY
"Giving," "Forward 50,"

Comments: They picked some interesting designees;

Third Place
Nu Magazine [New Jersey Jewish News], Whippany, NJ
"Fresh ideas from Garden State teens"

Comments: always love it when kids are encouraged to develop their writing skills and the story choices were interesting.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
The Jewish Press of Pinellas County, Clearwater, FL

Jim Dawkins

Second Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
Hillel Goldberg

Division C: Magazines.

First Place
Tikkun Magazine, Berkeley, CA
"Israel at 60" by multiple authors



Category 12: Excellence in Photography


Division A: All Newspapers.

First Place
JTA Jewish Telegraph Agency, New York, NY
"Israel Deploys 2," by Brian Hendler (2-25-08)

Second Place
Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC, Canada
"Celebrating 150 Years of B.C. This Summer 1858-2008"

Division B: Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.

First Place

Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Jewish High Society," by Jason Eskenazi

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"A Nation In Focus," by David Seymour, David Rubinger, and Paulo Pellegria

 


Category 13: The Noah Bee Award for Excellence in Illustration and/or Editorial Cartooning


Division A: Cartoons. All Newspapers/Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.


First Place
Steve Greenberg, Simi Valley, CA
1
2
3
4
5

 

Comments: Greenberg's cartoons always hit the mark!


Division B: Illustrations. All Newspapers/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.

First Place
JVibe, Newton, MA


Comments: Dave Clark and John Klossner both do delightful work!



Category 14: Outstanding Website


Division A: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
www.forward.com, Forward, New York, NY


Comments: This is an outstanding example of how a print publication can have an online presence that not only celebrates and embraces its print edition, but also uses online technology smartly and graphics simply and effectively.

Second Place
www.njjewishnews.com, New Jersey Jewish News, Whippany, New Jersey

Comments: NJJN makes Jewish news local, relevant, and easy to find. Whether you live in Middlesex or Princeton, njjewishnews.com makes local, national or international Jewish news simple to find and read.

Division B: Newspapers under 15,000 circulation.

First Place
www.thejewishchronicle.net, Pittsburgh Jewish Publication and Education Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA

Comments: Serving a community that extends from Western Pennsylvania to West Virginia, this site is not an online version of a print publication, but a multimedia hub with its own identity. I, for one, couldn't stop reading articles and I live nowhere in Western PA.

Second Place
www.jewishjournal.org, The Jewish Journal, Salem, MA

Comments: A well-designed and well thought out online community website that is a great resource for this Massachussets community.

Division C: Newspapers under 15,000 circulation.

First Place
www.babaganewz.com, JFL Media Publication, Newton, MA

Comments: Middle schoolers, those Bar and Bat Mitzcah kids, are a tough group to interest and educate while entertaining. Babaganewz does just that by using the technology just the way this age group likes to use technology to bring Jewish life and culture into their tech-central world.

Second Place
www.JVibe.com, JFL Media Publication, Newton, MA

Comments: This smartly designed publication targets Jewish teens with articles and resources in a sociel-media environment.

Division D: Web-only publications.

First Place
www.interfaithfamily.com, Newton Upper Falls, MA

Comments: A fabulous resource site that answers the easy and tough questions surrounding an interfaith family life. The site is easy to use, accessibly written, and discrete when necesasry. This site makes a valuable contribution to the Jewish community using technology.

Second Place
www.oychicago.com, Chicago, IL
[A Project of JUF News]

Comments: You can't force a community to use a site, but if you make a good one that speaks to the needs of the community, it will be used. That's the case with oychicago, a well designed and well written website for the 20 and 30ish Jewish community living and working in Chicago.


Category 15: Award for Excellence in Writing about Women


First Place
Na'amat Woman, New York, NY
"Talking with Deborah Tannen,"by Rahel Musleah

Second Place
Forward, New York, NY
"Female Torah Scribe Lives off the Land, Religiously, " by Anthony Weiss

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