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The 31st 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
New Jersey Jewish News, Whippany, NJ
"No Country for Those Born in Jerusalem,” "There Will Be Blood (and Zombies),” "Exhibitionist” by Andrew Silow-Carroll

 


Comments: The author combines the personal with the political to come up with compelling commentaries. He also has a great sense of humor and an understanding of popular culture.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ

"Renewal of Spirit,” "Mother (Earth) to Mother,” "Passover Past, Passover Future” by Vicki Cabot

Comments: Pretty strong commentary that brings the personal into current events.

Second Place
St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO
News and Schmooze: "Son, Mom Share the Spotlight...,” "There‘s Something about Harriet,” "Talking with KSDK‘s Leisa Zigman about Cancer and a Cause” by Ellen Futterman

 

Click here to see all three entries

 


Comments:Very strong and very personal columns but with interesting underlying messages.

 

Category 2: Award for Excellence in Single Commentary

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

First Place
Jewish Women’s Archive, Brookline, MA
"Harry Potter: Four Progressive Lessons for the Jewish Community” by Leah Berkenwald

 

Comments: Making the connections between the themes of freedom and equality in the most widely read story of her generation to the movement for equal rights for women and resistance to bigotry in a clear, energetic and youthful voice.

Second Place
Judy Bolton-Fasman, Newton Center, MA
"Gilad Shalit Inspires My Daughter to Join the IDF”

http://blogs.forward.com/sisterhood-blog/144242/gilad-shalit-inspires-my-daughter-to-join-the-idf/


 

Comments: An intimate glimpse at a mother's appreciation of how her daughter shaped her parents' ideals into a commitment of her own.

 


Divisions B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD
"When a Molester Dies, He is Still Very Much Alive” by Phil Jacobs

 

Comments: Very powerful, moving commentary on the power of molester to continue to cause pain to victims from beyond the grave.

Second Place
Cleveland Jewish News, Beachwood, OH
"Learning from a ‘Chanukah Bush’” by Michael E. Bennett

 

Comments: What seems like a silly idea, having a Chanukah bush, can bring up some important issues for Jews and non-Jews alike. Great commentary with good links and resources.

 

Category 3: Personal Essay

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

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

"In the Same Boat” by David E. Weiss

 


Comments: This essay takes us to a place where one might not expect a Jewish context -- and finds one. The writing is filled with the small and vital details that place us with the author. I find myself wanting to know more.


Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Family Matters: Basket in the Nile” by Leora Eren Frucht

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"9/11: I Remember, and I Wasn‘t There” by Andrea Jacobs

Second Place
St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO
"During Hanukkah, a Light in the Darkness” by Gail Appelson

 

Category 4: Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing

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

First Place
Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ
"A Deafening Silence” by Shammai Engelmayer and Larry Yudelson

 


Comments: A stirring pair of editorials denouncing the silence by both American Jews and Israeli officials in the face of unacceptable violence by ultra-orthodox Jews against Jewish school children in the town of Beit Shemesh.

 


Second Place

The Canadian Jewish News, North York, Ontario

"Morally Vacuous, Intellectually Dishonest” by Mordechai Ben-Dat

 


Comment: Unmasks the anti-semitism underlying attempts at boycotting Israeli products in Ontario. A clear-eyed look at the real motives of those calling for divestment and sanctions, ostensibly in the name of peace and justice.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC
"CIJA Rejig: Shonda 2.0

 

Comment: This hard-hitting editorial is a powerful response to a crucial issue in the life of the national Jewish community.

Second Place
St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO
"Standing Up to Fear Mongering” by Larry Levin and Robert A. Cohn

 


Comment: This editorial does an excellent job of contextualizing the Missouri House's ban on shariah both in terms of the importance of religious law generally and the specific history of persecution of religious minorities.

 


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

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

First Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY
"Holocaust Claims Going Unpaid, Investigation Says” by Stewart Ain

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/national/florida_survivors_shift_course_insurance_giant_allianz

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/international/wanna_buy_historic_shul_poland

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/international/new_compensation_effort_private_jewish_property

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/survivors_press_congress_last_ditch_effort

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/national/survivors_again_press_congress_right_sue_insurers

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/holocaust_claims_going_unpaid_investigation_says

Second Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY
21st Century Jewish Education: Series on Technology in Jewish Education by Julie Weiner
http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/has_tech_reached_tipping_point

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/can_online_portals_transform_hebrew_schools

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/hebrew_schools_new_game_theory

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/national/high_tech_and_high_quality

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/high_cost_developing_games

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD
"Quest for the Real Norquist,” "The Norquist Papers” by Richard Greenberg and Adam Kredo

 

Category 6: Excellence in News Reporting

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

First Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY
"In Lakewood Abuse Cases, ‘A Parallel System Of Justice’” by Hela Winston

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/lakewood_abuse_cases_parallel_justice_system

 


Comments: Thoroughly reported, well-written story about an important problem and pressing moral issue. Kudos to the writer and her publication for bravery, and for handling story in such a professional manner.

Second Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY
"Tragedy in Borough Park Puts Shomrim Under Scrutiny” by Hela Winston

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/tragedy_borough_park_puts_shomrim_under_scrutiny

 

Comments: Very good examination of the role of shomrim's parallel law enforcement system, and how the interplay of politics covered for the group's tragic failure to place a child's safety above all other considerations.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Eternal Friends? Afterlife on Facebook, What People Are Doing, What Rabbis Think” by Andrea Jacobs

Second Place
The Jewish Chronicle, Pittsburgh, PA
"So Long, Scotch” by Justin Jacobs (download: 1 2)

 

Category 7: Excellence in Feature Writing

Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
JTA, Inc., New York, NY
"Inside Empire‘s Slaughterhouse: The Life of a Kosher Chicken” by Uriel Heilman

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/08/04/3088849/inside-empires-slaughterhouse-the-life-of-a-kosher-chicken

 


Comments: This piece took an already good subject and presented it with color, verve and thoughtfulness. Well done.

Second Place
Jewish Exponent, Philadelphia, PA
"Riding Rough Tide of Muslim Relations” by Bryan Schwartzman

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

First Place
Chicago Jewish News, Skokie, IL
"Chicago‘s Garden of Eden” by Pauline Dubkin Yearwood

Second Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Warrior Stories” by Chris Leppek

Division C. Newspapers under 7,499 circulation.

First Place

Arizona Jewish Post, Tucson, AZ
"Healing and Hope for Tucsonans as Jan. 8 Anniversary Nears” by Sheila Wilensky (download: 1 2 3)

 


Comments: Best in the category by the shear nature of the national story and the access the reporter had to the subject.

Second Place
The Dayton Jewish Observer, Dayton, OH
"A Song for the Day of Worship” by Renate Frydman

http://www.jewishdayton.org/dayton/a-song-for-the-day-of-worship/

 


Comments: Multiple sources and stories.

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

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Honoring Our Ancestors” by Andrée Aelion Brooks

 


Comments: Well reported piece on Jewish life in a far-off place.

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Family Matters: O Israel, for Those Who Don‘t Hear” by Sue Fishkoff

 

Category 8: Excellence in Arts and Criticism News and Features

Category 8A. Critical analysis/review, usually of a single artistic endeavor, whether in literature, theater, film or fine arts and crafts. All Newspapers and Magazine/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.

First Place
JTA Inc., New York, NY
"J Street, the Book- Expect More Controversy” by Ami Eden
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/07/19/3088611/j-street-the-book

 


Comments: Regardless of whether you agree with the statements and conclusions contained in this book review, you must admire the piece for its clarity, fluidity and graceful style. No words are wasted. A fine piece of writing.

Second Place
Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD
"Two Mothers, One Land” by Lisa Traiger

 


Comments: A compelling description of an unusual play is accompanied by a concise critical analysis. Strong use of words and imagery.

Category 8B. Reporting on an artistic endeavor, trend, movement or personality, whetherin literature, theater, film or fine arts and crafts.All Newspapers and Magazine/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.

First Place
Na’amat Woman, New York, NY
"Making Their Mark in the Arts” by Judith Sudilovsky

 


Comments: Fresh topic, insightfully approached, with in-depth reporting and a comprehensive range of examples. It gives a real feel for an unappreciated part of Israel's artistic landscape.

Second Place
Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ
"What is Still Jewish about Comic Books?” by Josh Lipowsky


Comments: A good deal has been written about this topic, but few have delved into the modern echoes of the comics' Jewish background and the change in that influence over time. The list of sources for further reading is a nice touch.

 

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

Divisions A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY
"Writing as Mourning” by Eric Herschthal

Second Place
JTA, Inc., New York, NY
"In a Remote New Mexico Valley, a Jewish Skiing Legacy at Taos” by Uriel Heilman
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/12/21/3090864/in-remote-taos-ski-valley-a-jewish-ski-legacy

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Polio: Its Devastating Effects on a Jewish Woman and Her Family” by Andrea Jacobs

Second Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Son of Hamas” by Chris Leppek

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

First Place

Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Profile: Howard Jacobson” by Miriam Shaviv

 


Second Place

B’nai B’rith Magazine, Washington, DC

"Omri Casspi: Our Man in Sacramento” by Hillel Kuttler

 


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

Divisions A: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
Jewish Exponent, Philadelphia, PA
March 3, August 4, and August 18 Issues

http://issuu.com/rmascot/docs/category-10-overall-design-3_3-exponent/1

http://issuu.com/rmascot/docs/category-10-overall-design-8_4-exponent/1

http://issuu.com/rmascot/docs/category-10-overall-design-8_18-exponent/1

 


Second Place

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

May 6, September 30, and October 14 Issues

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Jewish Voice, Wilmington, DE
September, November, and December Issues by Carolyn Katwan, Seth J. Katzen, and Shoshana Martyniak

 


Second Place

Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO

Passover, Rosh Hashana, and Chanukah Issues

http://issuu.com/IJNews/docs/ijn-041511-passoveredition/1

http://issuu.com/IJNews/docs/ijn-092311-roshhashanahedition/1

http://issuu.com/IJNews/docs/ijn-121611-chanukahedition/1

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

First Place
B’nai B’rith Magazine, Washington, DC
Spring, Fall, and Winter Issues by Wendie Lubic

http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=64486

http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=79867

http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=89490

 

Second Place

Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

August/September, October/November, and December/January Issues

 

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

 


Comments: Nice use of photography and illustration. Simple but effective typography and a good use of bright colors to set the tone for the pacing of the section. Well done.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

First Place
Cleveland Jewish News, Beachwood, OH
JStyle Magazine August 2011 by Frida Kon and Margi Herwald Zitelli

http://issuu.com/cjnews/docs/cleveland-jewish-news-jstyle-magazine-august-2011-


 

Comments: Cover is simple and professional. Nice use of typography inside. Nothing to splashy but very effective. Good Work!

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

Fall Arts Guide 2011 by Ellen Futterman, Agatha Gallagher, and Mike Sherwin

http://issuu.com/mikesherwin/docs/11b_fall_arts_guide

 


Comments: Cover and a few places inside are playful nice use of color. Cover is very attractive. Nice job.

Division C. Magazines.

First Place
Jewish Action, New York, NY
"9/11 Ten Years Later” by Bayla Sheva Brenner, Nechama Carmel, and Rashel Zywica

Category 12: Excellence in Graphic Design: Cover

Category 12A. Magazines. Submit (1) cover from the contest year.

First Place
Jewish Action, New York, NY
"The New Economic Reality” by Yocheved Lefkovitz and James Yang

 


Comments: Lively and effective.

Category 12B. Newspapers (encompasses weekly and non-weekly newspapers). Submit three (3) covers from the contest year.

First Place
New Jersey Jewish News, Whippany, NJ

April 12, June 21, and July 5 Issues

 

Second Place

JTNews, Seattle, WA

January 28, July 22, and August 19 Issues by Emily K. Alhadeff and Serena Bernthal-Jones

Category 13: Excellence in Photography

Division A. All Newspapers.

First Place
j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
"Clothes Make the Mensch: For six Decades, Pivnick Family Has Kept San Francisco Dressed for Success” by Cathleen Maclearie

http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/60903/clothes-make-the-mensch-for-six-decades-pivnick-family-has-kept-san-francis/

 

Comments: Incredible photo journalism. Really captures the subjects well.

 

Second Place

Jewish Herald-Voice, Houston, TX

"Pro Athletes Give Star Power to Kids‘ Recovery” by Michael C. Duke (download: 1 2 3 4 5)

Division B. Magazines/Special Sections/Websites.

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
"Israel‘s Waiting Room” by Debbi Cooper

 

Category 14: The Noah Bee Award for Excellence in Illustration and/or Editorial Cartooning

Category 14A. Cartoons. All Newspapers/Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.

First Place
Steve Greenberg, Valley Village, CA
"Arab Winter,” "The Heavy Pack,” and "Road Construction

 


Comments: Steve Greenberg's cartoons are all clever, biting and very nicely drawn... a winning combination of everything a first rate editorial cartoon is supposed to be.

Category 14B. Illustrations. All Newspapers/Special Sections and Supplements/Websites.

First Place
New Jersey Jewish News, Whippany, NY
"Pretty, Pretty Sane” by Dayna Nadel

 


Comments: I loved the use of collage to produce this caricaure of Larry David, and the zipper for the mouth is priceless. The artist showed a real understanding of the subject matter in order to make this such a winner.

Category 15: Outstanding Website

Division A. Newspapers over 15,000 circulation.

First Place
New Jersey Jewish News, Whippany, NJ

http://www.njjewishnews.com/ by Aaron Fowler

 

Comments: Tough category to judge, I felt the story content in the NJ Jewish news were more compelling reads. I also felt that the content was more original.

Division B. Newspapers under 14,999 circulation.

 


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

http://www.stljewishlight.com/ by Agatha Gallagher, Mike Sherwin, and Tom Wombacher

 

Comments: I felt this site had the best community feel of the rest of the entrants.

 

Division D. Web-only Publications.

 

First Place
Chicago JUF News, Chicago, IL

Oy!Chicago, http://www.oychicago.com/

 


Category 16: Award for Excellence in Writing about Women

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Polio: Its Devastating Effects on a Jewish Woman and Her Family” by Andrea Jacobs

 


Comments: This piece works on several levels, telling the poignant story of one woman and her family, set against a page of American history. A terrific read, it invokes Jewish values, including l'dor va dor and the timely issue of how we view and treat "the other."

Second Place
B’nai B’rith Magazine, Washington, DC
"Welfare to Well-Being: Helping Israeli Women Help Themselves” by Dina Kraft

 


Comments: A superbly done, socially relevant article about a nonprofit program in Jaffa that helps a diverse population of low-income families by training and inspiring underemployed women to retool their work-lives.

Category 17: Award for Excellence in Organizational Newsletters

Category 17A. Organizational Hard Copy (one (1) issue only).

 

First Place
Jewish National Fund, New York, NY
"Together/B’yachad” by Jodi Bodner, Francesca Faber, Sarit Schonbrun, and Ariel Vered

 


Comments: There are some typographic issues, but generally a clean, effective newsletter.


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