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The 29th 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
The Jewish Week, New York, NY

Between the Lines Series by Gary Rosenblatt:"Day School Model May Now Be Thing of Past,""In the Year of Mourning,""Times' Cohen Getting Under Our Skin"

Comments: Sharp analysis of issues crucial to the Jewish community.

Second Place
New Jersey Jewish News, Whippany, NJ

"To Catch a Terrorist,""The Day After the Ninth of Av,""The Things We Don't Yet Understand" by Andrew Silow-Carroll

Comments: Original and nuanced view of issues.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Chicago Jewish News, Skokie, IL

"Our Friend Barack," "Mensch Wanted,""The Big Speech" by Joseph Aaron

Comments: Witty, opinionated and well-argued articles.

Second Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO

"NPR Defends Itself," "Werner and Lucie Waited Seven Years,""Unanticipated Responses to Orthodox-Reform Fissures" by Hillel Goldberg

Comments: Passionate and moving.

Category 2: Award for Excellence in Single Commentary


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

First Place
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, New York, NY

"A Gloomy Decade Later, Jews Still Fighting J2K Virus" by Ami Eden

Second Place
Forward, New York, NY
"On Gaza, Sense and Centrism" by Eric Yoffie

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC

"Transparency Good for Jews" by Dr. Stefan Braun

Second Place
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
"Why We're Different" by Josh Sayles


Category 3: Personal Essay


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

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

"One More Bud" by Elin Schoen Brockman

Second Place
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

"Cyberstalking Akiva and the Kippah Snafu" by Julie Gruenbaum Fax

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO

"The Archaeology of Our Lives" by Hillel Goldberg

Second Place
Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Milwaukee, WI
"Why Choose Israel?" by Elana Kahn-Oren


Category 4: Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing


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


First Place
ForwardNew York, NY

"Birth-Responsibility"

Comments: Sharply focused.

Second Place
ForwardNew York, NY

"Save Sudan"

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
American Jewish World, Minneapolis, MN
"Manufacturing Crimes" by Mordecai Specktor

Comments: Nuanced discussion.

Second Place
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ

"No Excuse" by Deborah Sussman Susser

Comments: Prophetic voice.



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

Labor Series by Nathaniel Popper:"New Labor Leaders Take a Page from History,""End of Long Jewish Era for Garment Union,""Which Side Are We On? Jews Lead Fight For and Against Key Labor Bill,""Long Strike at Chicago Hotel Pits Jew Against Jew,""Orthodox, and Sticking with the Union,""Historic Union Torn Apart in Messy Divorce,""Pushing for Better Wages, Not Necessarily Giving Them"

Comments: Exhaustive, well executed.

Second Place
Forward, New York, NY

The Bernard Madoff Scandal Series:
"Cleaning Toilets, and Other Victim Fantasies" by Rebecca Dube
"Madoff's Victims Speak Out" by Alison Cies
"In the Courtroom: Torment and Dante's Hell" by Thane Rosenbaum
"For Madoff's Victims, Here's a Guide to the Complex World of Legal Restitution" by Alison Cies and Nathaniel Popper
"Charities Hurt by Madoff May Have to Return Funds" by Josh Nathan-Kazis
"Should Madoff's Winners Give Back to Losers?" by Josh Nathan-Kazis
"Picower's Death Adds to Mystery: Who Else Knew of Madoff Fraud?" by Josh Nathan-Kazis
"Few Charities Go Public with Policies for Reform" by Josh Nathan-Kazis
"Victims Lose Faith that Government Protects" by Beth Schwartzapfel
"Hadassah Changing the Way It Does Business" by Gal Beckerman

Comments: Gives a human face to the scandal.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

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

"Earth Day: Jewish Perspectives on Energy and the Environment" by Jewish Light Staff

Comments: Timely, comprehensive, well packaged.

Second Place
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
"Tough Times: Jewish Agencies Cope with Ongoing Financial Pressure" by Debra Morton Gelbart
"CAJE Cancels Event, Will Disband" by Josh Sayles
"Cutting Jewish Classes" by Josh Sayles
"Tzedakah in Recession" by Debra Morton Gelbart
"Federation Announces Layoffs" by Debra Morton Gelbart
"Synagogues Deal with Recession" by Leisah Woldoff
"High School Cuts Jobs, Puts Building on Hold" by Salvatore Caputo
"JTO Gets Less, Grants Less in Scholarship Aid" by Salvatore Caputo
"Jewish Camp Enrollment Down Across Valley" by Josh Sayles
"Day School Board Heads Address ‘Tuition Crisis'" by Salvatore Caputo
"Recession Hits Arts Groups" by Salvatore Caputo
"The Value of a ‘Central Address': VOSJCC Seeks Renewed Community Support" by Leisah Woldoff

Comments: Wide ranging, comprehensive, detailed.

Category 6: Excellence in News Reporting


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
Canadian Jewish News, Toronto, ON

"Israeli Rabbi Rejects Toronto Conversion" by Paul Lungen

Comments: A fascinating look at a court decision that readers surely found compelling. The story did an excellent job explaining the legal and cultural issues surrounding the case of a Toronto-born man who was converted to Judaism as an infant, but who an Israeli judge deemed no longer Jewish because he was not observant enough. Is there anyone who could read this story and not have an opinion? More so, the story was very well written, laying out the facts in a clear way with good analysis of the surrounding issues.

Second Place

The Jewish Week, New York, NY
"J Street Facing Stiff Challenges Amid Rise" by James D. Besser

Comments: An excellent example of using a news event as an opportunity to take a deep dive into a subject that interests many in the Jewish community.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD

"Once Again, ‘Never Again'" by Richard Greenberg
"‘I Thought We' Would Die" by Debra Rubin
"Shooting Brings Poignancy to ‘Anne and Emmett' Play" by Lisa Traiger

Comments: All three articles were well written and tied together this extremely tragic event.

Second Place
The Jewish Chronicle, Pittsburgh, PA
"Marijuana Use Debated" by Lee Chottiner

Comments: A well-written article that gave good insight into Jewish law concerning medical marijuana.

Category 7: Excellence in Feature Writing


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 Circulation.

First Place
j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

"Spiritual Caregivers" by Stacey Palevsky
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

Comments: A powerful story told with grace and restraint.

Second Place
Forward, New York, NY

"At a Kinky Jews Seder, Pharoah Isn't the Only One with the Whip" by Gabrielle Birkner

Comments: Never gives into flibness or finger-wagging with a story that could have fallen into either.

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

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Crypto Jews" by Chris Leppek

Second Place
Chicago Jewish News, Skokie, IL
"Summer of Hate" by Pauline Yearwood

Division C. Newspapers 1 to 7,499 circulation.

First Place

The Dayton Jewish Observer, Dayton, OH
"Fall of the Aryan Nations" by Marshall Weiss

Comments: A suspenseful tale well told.

Second Place
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
"The ‘Lone Soldier' Experience" by Josh Sayles

Comments: Interesting characters with interesting things to say.

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

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Jaffa on Three Senses a Day" by Leora Eren Frucht

Comments: A powerful piece – sensitive, insightful, beautifully rendered.

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Individualism and Community" by Rachel Musleah

Comments: Well reported and perceptively written.

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.

First Place
Harriet P. Gross, Dallas, TX
"A Portrait of Rashi's Third Daughter, Rachel"

Comments: This is a beautifully written review that flows gracefully and reflects a strong grasp of the subject matter.

Second Place
The Reporter, Vestal, NY
"Humorous Tales of Woe and Apocalypse" by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

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

First Place
j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

"Many Nations, One Tribe" by Stacey Palevsky
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

Second Place
j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

"Quill and Scroll" by Stacey Palevsky
Page 1 | Page 2


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


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, New York, NY
"William Safire, NY Times Columnist, Dies at 79" by Ron Kampeas

Comments: Takes what could be a conventional obituary and adds rich and colorful detail.

Second Place
Baltimore Jewish Times, Baltimore, MD
"Freedom Fighter" by Alan H. Feiler

Comments: An engrossing and well-written tale of one man's struggle with himself.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Hillel of UN Watch" by Tehilla Goldberg

Second Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Worldwide Maggid" by Chris Leppek

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

First Place

Hadassah, New York, NY
"Matt Beynon Rees" by Leora Eren Frucht

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


Division A: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
Forward, New York, NY
March 10, November 13, November 20, 2009 Issues by Kurt Hoffman and Richard Harrington


Download a sample of each issue: March 10November 13 | November 20

Comments: Authoritative, but pleasing, informative design.

Second Place
j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

January 30February 6March 6, 2009 Issues by Cathleen Maclearie

Comments: Clean, creative, handsome.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO

March 20October 30November 6, 2009 Issues by Hillel Goldberg

Second Place
Cleveland Jewish NewsBeachwood, OH

March 13, August 7, August 14, 2009 Issues by Frida Kon

Download a sample of each issue: March 13 | August 7 | August 14

Comments: Newsy, attractive, good use of photos.

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

First Place
JVibeBurlington, VT

March/April, July/August, September/October 2009 Issues by Linda Curran

Download a sample of each issue: March/April Issue | July/August Issue | September/October Issue

Comments: The design is vibrant, bold and sure of itself without ever becoming inaccessible.

Second Place
Hadassah, New York, NY
January, February, and June/July 2009 Issues

Download a sample of each issue: January Issue | February IssueJune/July Issue

Category 11: Excellence in Special Sections or Supplements


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY

"Text/Context" by Collaborative

Comments: From the cover to the illustrations throughout, this publication has continuity, conceptual strength and clarity. Well done.

Second Place
New Jersey Jewish News, Whippany, NJ

"Fresh Ideas from Garden State Teens" by Robin Friedman and Dayna Nadel

Download full set of entries: Click Here (.sit Compressed File)

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Comments: Strong use of typography teamed with a good sense of when to let the empty space act as a design element, too. Bold, entertaining and high energy.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

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

"Earth Day: Jewish Perspectives on Energy and the Environment" by Jewish Light Staff

Comments: This issue was a model of consistency and thoughtful journalism. A wide range of interesting articles explored Judaism and the environment. There were great graphics and good page design. The issue had humor, insight, intelligence and practical applications for readers. Overall this was well conceived and executed.

Second Place
Cleveland Jewish News, Beechwood, OH
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Supplement by Ellen Schur Brown

Division C. Magazines.

First Place
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ

Chosen Magazine Spring 2009 Issue by Jennifer Goldberg

Comments: Wow! Feature design is eye popping and bold, with interesting articles and lots of variety. Nice use of photo narrative. Good work.

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Tel Aviv”

Comments: A great visual narrative for a 100 anniversary, tradition and modern play together well with the pages and design is clean and strong.

Division D. Websites
.

First Place
Jvibe, Burlington, VT
18under18.com (Visit Site) by Hyung Park

Comments: Nice design on the opening page with good color palette choices and clean transition to second level pages.


Category 12: Excellence in Cover Design (3 Cover Submission)


Division A. Magazines and magazine style covers.

First Place
Lilith Magazine, New York, NY

Spring, Summer, and Fall 2009 Issue Covers by Lindsay Barnett and Aliza Dzik

Comments: Interesting, engaging covers that emphasize clever concepts over pretty pictures. The creative use of color and typography gives these covers consistency and unity and helps them stand out in the crowd.

Second Place

j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
August 7August 21November 27, 2009 Issue Covers by Cathleen Maclearie

Comments: Clever conceptual illustrations bring life to these newsweekly covers.

Division B. Standard newspring page 1 and broadsheet formats.

First Place
New Jersey Jewish News, Whippany, NJ

February 5June 4August 20, 2009 Issue Covers by Staff

Comments: Large, colorful illustrations make good use of the tabloid format, while supporting images provide entry points without cluttering up the page. Good variety of layout between covers.

Category 13: Excellence in Photography


Division A. All Newspapers.

First Place
j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
"Spiritual Caregivers" by Stacey Palevsky

Comments: Touching, beautiful work.

Division B. Magazines/Special Sections/Websites.

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Finding (Jewish) Grassroots" by Lucy Schaeffer
Download: Part 1 | Part 2

Comments: I love the great use of natural light in these story-telling, documentary shots.

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

"Standing Against Time"by Yossi Gutmann

Category 14: 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
"Madoff and the Devil," "Prayer Is Good," "Ahmadinejad Denial"


Second Place
Forward, New York, NY
Cartoons by Eli Valley

Part 1|Part 2|Part 3

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

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
Illustrations:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11

Second Place
Forward, New York, NY

Illustrations by Kurt Hoffman
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Category 15: Outstanding Website


Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
MyJewishLearning.comNew York, NY (Visit Website)


Comments: Concise, uncluttered and inviting.

Second Place
Forward.com, New York, NY (Visit Website)

Comments: Engaging tone, excellent use of multimedia

Category 16: Award for Excellence in Writing about Women


First Place
Jewish Woman, Washington, DC
"Down to Earth" by Paula Amann

Comments: In a category rich with meaningful and important stories, the winning entry stands out as a sweeping, yet tightly written survey of women whose enterprise and intellect are helping to enact the Jewish value oftikkun olamin diverse and sometimes surprising ways.

Second Place
B'nai B'rith Magazine, Washington, DC
"Israeli Women's Roles Grow: But Total Equality Remains Elusive" by Uriel Heilman

Comments: This comprehensive exploration of the complexity of Israeli attitudes toward women in leadership roles, in religious life and in the home includes a fascinating discussion of how the rules and conventions of military service affect women's relative status and opportunities.

Category 17: Nefesh B'Nefesh Award for The Story of Aliyah


First Place
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
"The ‘Lone Soldier' Experience" by Josh Sayles

Comments: This story without a doubt met the contest's criteria of capturing theunfoldingstory ofaliyah. Mature adults who decide to move their families to Israel is one story. But the story of young adults who leave North America in the 21st Century to fight for Israel is an entirely different level of sacrifice and commitment. I imagine conversations with parents and families who agreed and disagreed with these young adults' decisions were challenging and even more challenging to write about. Mazel Tov!

Second Place
Forward, New York, NY
Writing in My Father's Footsteps Series by Jonathan Kesselman: "Writing in My Father's Footsteps," "From Crotona Park to Tel Aviv: Why He Fought, and How He Got There," "The Pan York and Aliyah Bet: The Men and the Ships that Beat Bevin," "Part IV: The Men of Company B and the Taking of Tamra," "Part V: At Mount Meron, His Final Battle"

Comments: This series was powerful on two levels. Too few authors make the point that this author did: Jews have been victims and sometimes still are, but "We always persevere; we always fight." The series also poignantly reflects the remorse of not asking enough questions when our loved ones are still alive. The author demonstrates that thorough miningcan yield a rich history that should make the family and the Jewish community proud.

Category 18: The Jewish Healthcare Foundation Award for Excellence in Writing about Health


First Place
Lilith Magazine, New York, NY
"What Beauty Does" by Alix Kates Schulman

Second Place
The Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ
"Local Rabbi Donates Kidney to a Stranger" by Dr. Miryam Wahrman

Part 1 | Part 2

Category 19: Award for Excellence in Organizational Newsletters


First Place
B'Yachad, New York, NY
Fall 2009 Issue,"The Lives We Touch" by Jodi Bodner, Terry McCarthy and Sarit Schonbrun

Second Place
Friends of Yad Sarah, New York, NY

Fall 2009 Issue,"Inside Yad Sarah" by Abbey Marks

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