The 38th Annual Simon Rockower Award Winners

2019 Awards (For Work Done in 2018)

Awards were presented at the 38th Annual Simon Rockower Awards banquet held in conjunction with the American Jewish Press Association’s 2019 Annual Conference, June 23 - 26, in St. Louis, MO.

Category 1: The Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Magazines; Broadcast; Web-based Outlets. 

First Place
JNS, Allston, MA 
“Religious freedom for me, but not for thee?,” “Swimming against the tide? The battle for Camp Ramah,” “Who owns ‘Never Again’?” by Jonathan Tobin
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Second Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY
“Christine Blasey Ford is every woman. This happens when you push us too far,” “One month after Pittsburgh, this is how we mourn,” “What has Trump done to us, America?” by Jane Eisner
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Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
"Two minutes with President Trump," "Blessed be the jet lag," "Father of Taylor Force to address AIPAC" by Hillel Goldberg
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Second Place
Arizona Jewish Post, Tucson, AZ 
“On the Day of Atonement, let us cry for the suffering of all,” “Whether in U.S. or Israel, voting is vital duty,”  “At Hanukkah, don’t take message for granted” by Amir Eden
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Category 2: Award for Excellence in Single Commentary

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
JNS, Allston, MA 
“What makes an intermarriage controversial?“ by Jonathan Tobin
Click here to view submission 
Comment: Fresh, nuanced approach to intermarriage, a topic that remains of great interest to Jews around the world.

Second Place
Moment Magazine, Washington, DC
“The dark side of shalom bayit” by Nadine Epstein
Click here to view submission 
Comment: Compelling critique of how people talk about "shalom bayit."

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
Atlanta Jewish Times, Atlanta, GA                
“A stolen son” by Dr. Steven Waronker          
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Comment: A powerfully written article by a parent who lost his son. The author made a courageous choice to use his family’s personal story to highlight the often-overlooked issue of addiction to prescription medication. The combination of those two elements made this piece a hands-down winner.

Second Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA           
“You know who else separated families trying to cross borders? The Soviets” by David Waksberg
Click here to view submission
Comment: This piece nicely wove together Jewish history, modern events and the author's personal family story to make a statement about an emotional issue for many American Jews.

Category 3: Award for Excellence in Personal Essay

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Web-based Outlets.

First Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY
“The Iranian Revolution still haunt its Jewish survivors” by E. Gheytanchi             
Click here to view submission
Comment: Moving window into the lost Jewish community in Iran. Fascinating story.

Second Place
InterfaithFamily, Newton, MA
“How I came to embrace my important role in Judaism” by Kristin Eriko Posner and Lindsey Silken
Click here to view submission
Comment: A touching story of a woman's warm embrace of Judaism.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC
“The draft: a dad reflects” by Bruce Brown
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Second Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA           
“How I learned all Israelis are not my father” by Yoav Potash
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Category 4: Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
The Canadian Jewish News, Concord, ON 
“Facebook and the Holocaust: is it time to unfriend?,” “How not to talk about intermarriage,” “Poland must come to grips with Holocaust record” by Yoni Goldstein
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Second Place
Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ
“How to say it?,” “Ban assault weapons,” “Taking children from their parents” by Joanne Palmer
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Division BNewspapers from 1-7,499 circulation  

First Place
Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD
“Vaccinations save lives,” “Children as political props,” “Coping with COPIA’s tactics” by Joshua Runyan and David Holzel
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Comment: These editorials managed to take nuanced, fresh positions on controversial regional issues while tying them to issues of national/international import.

Second Place
Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC 
“Holocaust education needed,” “Impacts of nation-state,” “What is anti-Zionism?” by Pat Johnson, Basya Laye and Cynthia Ramsay
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Comment: Riveting and well-explained editorials on anti-Zionism, the identify of Israel as a nation-state, and a local controversy involving Holocaust education.

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

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY            
“Canary mission investigative series” by Josh Nathan-Kazis
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Comment: This series on the Canary Mission's efforts to smear activists, Jewish and otherwise, who oppose some of Israel's policies is a classic example of investigative reporting. It exposed a secretive effort that some in the Jewish community found distasteful and raised legitimate questions about the merits of the program. Kudos to the Forward for taking on the subject despite any pressure not to do so.

Second Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY  
“Did Baltimore’s orthodox community turn a blind eye to child sexual abuse?,” “Kids were hurt. And nothing was done,” “Rabbi accused of sexual abuse at camp terminated from Baltimore day school,” “Community day school doubles down, claiming ‘not privy’ to investigation of former staff rabbi,” “Fired rabbi in Baltimore sues families of alleged victims,” “Judge dismisses lawsuit filed by Baltimore rabbi” by Hannah Dreyfus 
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Comment: Hannah Dreyfus has done more to expose sexual harassment and abuse at the highest levels of the Jewish establishment than any other journalist. Her work here and in numerous other stories reflects her passion for the subject but are nonetheless scrupulously fair. Her use of documents and pursuit of interviews with often unwilling sources reflect the best of investigative reporting.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD
“The Washington DC Jewish demographic study” by Jared Foretek, Dan Schere and Hannah Monicken     
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Comment: A detailed analysis at the changing landscape of Jewish life in the D.C. area, incorporating data, anecdotes and strong sources.

Second Place 
Jewish Herald-Voice, Houston, TX
“From Cape Town to our town” by Aaron Howard
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Comment: Interesting and unexpected, this series taught readers something new. Good examples and thorough historical research.

Category 6: Award for Excellence in News Reporting

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY
“Why a Lower East Side condo turned down $54M” by Josh Nathan-Kazis          
Click here to view submission

Second Place
Hamodia, Brooklyn, NY    
“The long journey to prison reform” by Reuvain Borchardt        
Click here to view submission

Division BNewspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA           
“‘People are still suffering’: the North Bay fires, six months later” by Shoshana Hebshi
Click here to view submission
CommentExcellent reporting and writing. The writer captured the resiliency of the community through interviews with everyone from therapists to clergy to Jewish communal workers.

Second Place
Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Pittsburgh, PA        
“Eleven dead, six injured in anti-Semitic attack at Tree of Life*Or L'Simcha” by Toby Tabachnick
Click here to view submission
CommentGreat reporting on the worst tragedy to ever hit an American Jewish community. I especially liked the inclusion of comments from the interfaith community.

Category 7: The Chaim Sheba Medical Center Award for Excellence in Writing about Social Justice and Humanitarian Work

 
Sponsored by Chaim Sheba Medical Center

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY
“Slaves in Egypt, refugees in America” by Adam Langer and Marisa Scheinfeld
Click here to view submission
CommentLike the Hagaddah itself, this article retold a story that is likely familiar to Jewish readers across the country: the Jewish people were refugees and then acclimated to America, but the refugee experience stays imprinted on the political consciousness of American Jews and drives many toward strong support for immigrants. This article, however, told the story in a meticulously researched and creatively conceived manner, linking seemingly disparate refugee stories through the space of the Washington Heights neighborhood and particularly the Hebrew Tabernacle Congregation. Archival research and legwork tracking down the subjects of a Forward article from over 70 years ago are matched with sensitive and engaging writing that creates narrative suspense and leads the reader on a winding path examining the interpretation of the command that "in every generation one must see it as if they themselves went out of Egypt." Starting out with the plight of a Guatemalan refugee seeking literal refuge in a Washington Heights church, the story links back to the fight to save Soviet Jewry, a seder acted out by German Jewish children mid-WWII and one synagogue's decision to host a group of Vietnamese boat people while trying to examine how each experience shaped current positions on immigration in America.

Second Place
Chabad.org, New York, NY
“The backstory of the Chassidim who got criminal justice reform done” by Dovid Margolin
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Comment: This article elucidated the long role that chassidic Jews, particularly Chabad Lubavitch, have held in the legislative fight for criminal justice reform. This article informs readers of this long story, but also makes a passionate case for the importance of criminal justice reform as a reflection of Jewish law and morality. It weaves together with the legislative narrative information about the nature of the carceral state in America, encouraging readers to understand the impact of incarceration both inside and beyond the Jewish community and to suggest that incarcerated people's families are often victims of a process that does not sufficiently seek to rehabilitate those behind bars. This article was evidently thought provoking among its readers, sparking a vibrant online discussion about the nature of criminal justice and questions of punishment and reform.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
The Dayton Jewish Observer, Dayton, OH  
“Let all who are hungry come and eat” by Marshall Weiss        
Click here to view submission
Comment: The judge was particularly impressed by the local interest and crisp writing of the article, which effectively localized a national social justice story while also clearly tying it to the Jewish community and also pointing interested community members toward effective avenues for action.

Category 8: Award for Excellence in Feature Writing

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY 
“Rosé, sex, & bonfires: inside the world of adult Jewish summer camp” by Jenny Singer
Click here to view submission
Comment: Singer's crisp, compelling prose bring this story to life, and will pull at the heartstrings of nostalgics for Jewish summer camp everywhere.

Second Place
The Canadian Jewish News, Concord, ON 
“What is the future of Yiddish?” by Michael Fraiman
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Comment: With humor and insight, Fraiman provides readers with an illustrative example of how Jewish life – in this case, the Yiddish language – adapts to survive in unexpected ways.

Division B. Newspapers 7,500-14,999 circulation.

First Place
Atlanta Jewish Times, Atlanta, GA
“Tikkun olam: different strokes for different folks” by Dave Schechter   
Click here to view submission
Comment: What a fantastic story! I honestly wasn't expecting much when I saw the headline. I've read a lot of stories over the years about tikkun olam, and most just skim the surface of the concept. This story is different. It feels like the writer was handed one of those standard holiday assignments – "We need a cover story for the High Holy Days, and you're it!" – but then took it to next level. The writer fully explores the nuances of tikkun olam in a thoughtful, compelling way. This dedication is evident is every aspect of the story, including the wide variety of interview subjects. Even the willingness to address the criticisms of the topic makes the story better because the writer was willing to put into print the prejudices that many of us harbor. I also love the semi-scholarship of tracing the phrase through an online database. That was a fun, unexpected side note. As a bonus, the story actually taught me a few things! Obviously, I just plain love this story. It embodies nearly everything that Jewish journalism aspires to, and it is the clear winner of this very competitive category.

Second Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
“One year later: Trump’s Bay Area Jewish voters are proud, but not loud” by Sue Fishkoff
Click here to view submission
Comment: This is an incredibly well-crafted story. It obviously took a herculean effort to report and write it in such an honest and fair way. The writer notes that 15 Trump supporters were contacted but only five agreed to an interview. In the San Francisco area, getting even five people must have been a huge feat. The writer obviously worked hard to build up trust with these five subjects, especially since they knew they would face consequences for going public. On top of the sheer amount of work involved, the writing is fantastic. The first thing that hits the reader is the lede. It's absolutely compelling. Once I read it, I was hooked. The article does a great job speaking truths, both about Trump supporters and Trump opponents. The writer doesn't pussy-foot around some incredibly touchy subjects and instead faces them head on. The article also does the Jewish world a service by trying to help Trump opponents understand fellow Jews who voted for and continue to support someone they utterly despise. It may be helpful if other Jewish newspapers could replicate this effort in their own communities, but the skill it took to produce this story would actually be very difficult to reproduce.

Division C. Newspapers 1-7,499 circulation.

First Place
St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO
“Love and Judaism inspire long-distance conversion” by Eric Berger
Click here to view submission 

Division D. Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
Moment Magazine, Washington, DC
“Inside the Iron Dome” by Dan Raviv
Click here to submission
CommentWhile I typically prefer stories with more quotes, the information in this story kept me interested and wanting to continue reading what was going to happen next. Of all the stories I read, this is one I remember the best.

Second Place
Jewish Action (Orthodox Union), New York, NY
“A chaplain's tale during the Korean War” by Ruchama Feuerman
Click here to view submission

Category 9: Award for Excellence in Arts and Criticism News and Features - Reporting

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY           
“A ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ in Yiddish — the way it ought to be” by Alisa Solomon    
Click here to view submission
CommentExcellent, comprehensive history of this subject with interesting facts and analysis.

Second Place
Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ      
“The long road home” by Joanne Palmer
Click here to view submission
Comment: Fascinating deep dive into one piece of art – I've read pieces on entire museums that haven't been this informative.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
“CJM turns 10: Is it contemporary, Jewish or a museum?” by Laura Paull
Click here to view submission
CommentComprehensive, well-written, makes a case for why the museum matters and how.

Second Place
Baltimore Jewish Times, Owings Mills, MD 
“The Book of Joseph: Play inspired by resilient family's wartime letters” by Susan C. Ingram
Click here to view submission
CommentFascinating examination of this family's story and the complications involved in turning these letters and history into a cohesive production.

Category 10: Award for Excellence in Arts and Criticism News and Features – Critical Analysis/Review

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY 
“For an art rebel, Martha Rosler proves surprisingly Orthodox“ by Jackson Arn
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CommentExcellently written even as Rosler's work at the Jewish Museum is both reviewed and engaged with. Multiple perspectives and valences are presented by the writer Jackson Arn that open the reader to the critique as well as to the appreciation and the aesthetic.

Second Place
Simi Horwitz
Film Journal International, New York, NY    
“Film Review: Shoah: Four Sisters” by Simi Horwitz
Click here to view submission
CommentThis is an excellently written piece by Simi Horwitz, about Lanzmann and his work. It shows how he brings the horror of the Holocaust to even more poignancy in SHOAH: THE FOUR SISTERS. It would have been good to reference Chekov and his play for Lanzmann's title. But her final comment about relevancy and its immoral usage is piercing.      

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD
“When geniuses collide” by Aaron Leibel
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Second Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO 
“The post” by Hillel Goldberg
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Category 11: The David Frank Award for Excellence in Personality Profiles

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast

First Place
Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ
“People of air” by Joanne Palmer
Click here to view submission
CommentA great read, and portrait of a personality, that along the way tells the long and winding road of the effort to free Soviet Jewry.

Second Place
Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ
“Popeye the Sailor’s man in Glen Rock” by Larry Yudelson
Click here to view submission
CommentGood read, the subject comes alive, along with the era when Sunday comics were king.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
“Sentenced to life for murder, he has helped 1,500 fellow inmates earn degrees” by Alix Wall
Click here to view submission

Second Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
“Answering the call: Rabbi Steven Kaye police chaplain” by Andrea Jacobs
Click here to view submission

Division C. Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
Simi Horwitz
Moment Magazine,
 Washington, DC
“Abby Stein: a gender transition through a Jewish lens" by Simi Horwitz
Click here to view submission
CommentThis piece captures the humanity of Abby Stein, with an abundance of quietly telling details (like what she's eating during the interview). An impressive work.

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
“Training Muslim eyes on the Holocaust” by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Click here to view submission
CommentVery thoughtful (and educational) exploration of a woman in a fascinating position, with much information on the history that brought her –  and us –  to where we are in Jewish-Muslim relations. As with the other winner in this category, you can almost taste what the subject's life is like, day to day, which is the very definition of a first-rate personality profile.

Category 12: Award for Excellence in Special Sections or Supplements

All entries will compete in same division

First Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY
“Kosher wine guide” by Dan Bocchino and Richard Waloff      
Click here to view submission

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
“Aging wisely” by Rahel Musleah, Renee Ghert-Zand, Fredda Sacharow, Leah Finkelshteyn and Hilary Danailova
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Category 13: Chaim Sheba Medical Center Award for Excellence in Writing about Health Care

 
Sponsored by Chaim Sheba Medical Center


Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
B'nai B'rith Magazine, Washington, DC        
“Jewish genetics: to test or not to test? that is the question — and the answer” by Rita Rubin
Click here to view submission
CommentThis is a thoughtful, informative, and sensitively written article with a compelling message for any Jewish young adults contemplating marriage and children: Get genetic testing. It offers medical insights into genetics and the nature of “Jewish” diseases such as Tay-Sachs and provides information about genetic-testing services for various Jewish populations. Woven into the narrative are poignant stories about people who have lost children to these terrible diseases, and young couples undergoing genetic testing who must make extremely difficult decisions based on the results. Many stories have been written about Jews and genetics, but this one combines science, medicine, and humanity in an especially affecting way.

Second Place
Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ
“Talking about addiction in the Jewish community” by Joanne Palmer
Click here to view submission
Comment: Addiction isn’t someone else’s problem, as one Bergen County, N.J., family learned. In this perceptive piece, Joanne Palmer relates the story of a young Jewish woman in rehab for drug addiction and her parents’ decision to demystify addiction by speaking publicly about it at a Jewish community event. Palmer deftly captures the daughter’s struggles and the parents’ angst, and supplements the family portrait with details about a local Jewish organization helping victims of sexual and drug abuse. The family’s courage and the compassion of caregivers are both memorable, thanks in good part to Palmer’s thorough and probing research and forceful writing         

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
Cleveland Jewish News, Cleveland, OH
“Burn victim finds 'Hope' through recovery” by Alyssa Schmitt
Click here to view submission
Comment: This is a deeply moving story of a woman disfigured by an automobile fire who finds physical and spiritual healing and the courage to inspire others as a result of her ordeal. Author Alyssa Schmitt manages to capture the horror of the accident, the anguish of the victim's medical treatment, and her subject's life-affirming transformation in one compact, well-written, empathetic piece.

Second Place
Cleveland Jewish News, Cleveland, OH
“Fertility clinic crisis brings to light complexities of Jewish birth” by Amanda Koehn
Click here to view submission
Comment: This eye-opening article focuses on a Jewish woman's decision to donate frozen embryos to other infertile couples after a freezer malfunction at an Ohio fertility clinic compromises thousands of eggs and embryos stored there. Author Amanda Koehn of the Cleveland Jewish News gives a local story greater resonance by also exploring a similar situation in Texas. Throughout the story, she approaches sensitive issues of infertility, embryo transplant, and halacha (Jewish law) governing Jewish parentage with clarity and intelligence. The full article can be found here.

 

Category 14: The Nefesh B'Nefesh Charley J. Levine Memorial Award for Journalistic Excellence in Covering Zionism, Aliyah and Israel.

 

Sponsored by Nefesh B'Nefesh


Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web-based Outlets

First Place
Moment Magazine, Washington, DC             
“Inside the Iron Dome” by Dan Raviv
Click here to view submission
Comment: A very impressive story that takes readers inside a secretive world of the IDF. The piece combines an easy narrative with technical and financial details about the Iron Dome. The author naturally weaves context into the story that helps readers understand the importance of the topic. And the improbably nature of its success. It's a compelling tale about an important subject.

Second Place
B'nai B'rith Magazine, Washington, DC  
“People are dying to get in, but Israeli cemeteries are running out of space” by Michele Chabin
Click here to view submission
Comment: The author finds a fascinating and unpredictable way to cover one more way Israel is dealing with the constraints of its limited space...and coming up with another creative solution. This one is cemeteries. The solution is a wonderful metaphor for Zionism and the Israeli experiment. Story offers solid reporting, while exploring burial from a cultural, engineering, and Jewish law perspective.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
The Boiling Point, Los Angeles, CA               
“From fact-checks to Facebook, Shalhevet alum helps IDF tell its story” by Molly Litvak
Click here to view submission
Comment: An interesting profile of a fascinating job. The story brings a human face to a job that I've always wondered about -- how does Israel deal with its PR, when so much of the world already has a firm opinion about the country and its people. The author chooses an excellent subject with solid reporting to explore that question.

Category 15: Award for Excellence in Writing about Women

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY
“My dark secret: Orthodox women reveal their abortion stories” by Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt
Click here to view submission
Comment: Not only does this text cover a very important topic, it also adds authenticity to the stories by letting us listen to the voices of women who underwent the disturbing procedure of abortion.

Second Place
Jewish Action (Orthodox Union), New York, NY
“Time to sing a new song” by Toby Klein Greenwald
Click here to view submission
Comment: A very well-written and personal story with a constructive approach. It gives hope to women who also have to fight against cancer or other life-threatening diseases.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under. 

First Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
“Neshama Carlebach speaks about her famed father’s legacy of sexual abuse” by Alix Wall         
Click here to view submission

Second Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
“Michaelson Jenet reflects on the Jewish values — and laws — she brings to Colorado legislature” by Andrea Jacobs
Click here to view submission

Category 16: Award of Excellence in Writing about Jewish Heritage and Jewish Peoplehood in Europe

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
70 Faces Media, New York, NY
“Soviet immigration, once a bane of Germany’s Jews, has become their salvation” by Cnaan Liphshiz
Click here to view submission
Comment: The writer provided insights and historical context for changing identity of Jews in Germany. While writers in this and another category see European Jewry in decline, the article makes clear that it is on the upswing in a country that few would consider a likely candidate for regrowth in population. The article smartly addresses political and cultural issues and makes good use of sources. Note: The entrant's article "In Paris, the demise of some Jewish congregations is fueling revival in others" was a strong contender for second place.

Second Place
Lilith Magazine, New York, NY
“When food betrayed the Jews: Tracing modern food cultures to the inquisition, and before” by Susan Barocas
Click here to view submission
Comment: The article intelligently weaves history, tradition and food into one article. It balances personal observances, facts and analysis to give a greater understanding of how the Sephardic dishes we enjoy today connect with a past that may not be ours. The writing style is personal and professional, a balance seen only in this entry. The recipe is to be expected in a food article. Still its presence fulfills one's hunger for food and information.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under. 

First Place
Baltimore Jewish Times, Owings Mills, MD
“13 driver's licenses: The discovery of 80-year-old documents in Germany changes lives in Baltimore” by
Susan C. Ingram
Click here to view submission
Comment: The author doesn't simply report on discovery of these historic driver's licenses in Germany. She delves into what they reveal the impact on those in Germany who researched and displayed them and the meaning they have for descendants in the U.S. A significant amount of reporting went into this article, and it paid off.

Category 17: Award for Journalistic Excellence in American Jewish History

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY            
“Series: The fate of the Iraqi Jewish archives” by Talya Zax     
Click here to view submission
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Comment: This is a fascinating tale of the Iraqi Jewish Archive, telling the story about how it came to the U.S. following the Iraq War, the tug-of-war over who owns it and where it will remain and the implications it has for the future. It's a story well told, well sourced and well written.

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY             
“Brooklyn — The most Jewish spot on Earth” by Hilary Danailova                          
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Comment: The package is wonderfully written, deeply sourced and — most important — shows the author has her own roots in Brooklyn and understands its soul. It makes you smile.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
“Name of anti-Chinese SF Jew may be stripped from playground” by Joe Eskenazi  
Click here to view submission
Comment: This spot-news story is superior to others because it takes a current political issue and gives it a perspective unlike most other Jewish-history narratives. Through excellent use of sources, the reader gains a deeper understanding of history and society inside and outside the Jewish community than seen in other entries. The report also has more relevance than other entries because it informs current public discourse over immigration by re-airing the anti-immigration rhetoric from a century ago and showing its consequences for Jews. Last, the article stands out from those about individuals because the subject is not uniformly remembered with fondness. That connects with today's re-examination of popular narratives of historical figures.

Second Place
The Dayton Jewish Observer, Dayton, OH
“How the 1917 Battle of Jerusalem surrender flag ended up in Greenville, Ohio” by Marshall Weiss  
Click here to view submission
Comment: Through enterprise reporting, the article humanizes and localizes an event that is far away in time and place. Superior writing and research takes an inanimate object and builds a story around it. With that, the author succeeds in the hard task of balancing a history lesson with a personality piece. The historical perspective deepens the reader's knowledge of modern Israeli history though none one associated with the event was Jewish. That's no easy task.

Category 18: Award for Excellence in Overall Graphic Design

Division A. Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast.
Not awarded.

Division B. Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under.

First Place
Atlanta Jewish Times, Atlanta, GA
“Chanukah,” “Home & garden issue,” “Jewish love issue” by Deborah Herr Richter
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Comment: Best use of photography of all the entries. Nice covers with good use of art and images. Layout could use more white space, better treatment in feature packages.

Division C. Magazines, Special Sections and Supplements; Web-based Outlets.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY
“The Forward Magazine: June, July and December, 2018 issues” by Kurt Hoffman, Anya Ulinich, Elaine Tin Nyo, Caroline Cox and Adam Langer
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Comment: Great design, wonderful use of photography and type. Thoughtful use of variety and white space throughout.

Category 19: Award for Excellence in Photography 

All entries competed in the same division. 

First Place
Baltimore Jewish Times, Owings Mills, MD
“It’s a horror” by Marc Shapiro
Click here to view submission
Comment: Powerful emotion and storytelling about a horrific event. Simple tight image of a strong face worked well in this cover.

Second Place
Jewish Herald-Voice, Houston, TX
“Light overshadows darkness” by Michael Duke
Click here to view submission
Comment: Quiet but powerful moment, no camera awareness on the part of the people in the image, nice composition.

Category 20: Award for Outstanding Digital Outreach

All entries competed in the same division

First Place
70 Faces Media, New York, NY
“JTA website redesign and integrated digital outreach strategy” by Rebecca Phillips
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Comment: The JTA did a great job with its rebranding. Very impressive statistics and options for users. Best in a tough category.

Second Place
JewishBoston.com, Boston, MA    
“JewishBoston.com: The vibe of the tribe” by Kali Foxman, Ashley Jacobs and Miriam Anzovin     
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
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Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Comment: Lot of outlets/mediums for what they do. Good use of their resources. Good engagement on social media.

Category 21: Award for Excellence in a Multi-Media Story

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place
70 Faces Media, New York, NY
“Stories @ 70” by Marissa Roer and Grace Yagel       
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
CommentOutstanding series of profiles that included an incredibly diverse group of Jews, their lives, challenges and hopes. Edited effectively into about 3 minutes. High-quality production. Perfect for binge-watching. I was hooked and plan to watch the rest of the series.

Second Place
70 Faces Media, New York, NY
“Shtick: Jewish jokes explained” by Marissa Roer, Grace Yagel and Andrew Silow-Carroll               
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
CommentOffering insight into politically incorrect Jewish jokes is an incredibly bold, creative idea. But the series had to hook viewers. Host had warm personality/voice whose insight was trusted. Diverse topics. Not only did I get some good chuckles, but I learned some things about Jewish culture. Length was just right. After four entries, I wanted more. Definitely worth binge-watching.

Category 22: Foundation of Ethnic Understanding Award for Excellence in Interfaith Relations Reporting

 
Sponsored by Foundation for Ethnic Understanding 

Division A: Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web Based Outlets.

First Place
St. Louis Jewish Light Magazine, St. Louis, MO
“Jews just the tip of mohel's practice” by Eric Berger
Click here to view submission
Comment: The winner in a very competitive category. Well written, educational/informational.

Second Place
Jstyle, Cleveland, OH 
“Honeymoon phase” by Amanda Koehn      
Click here to view submission
Comment: Excellent piece. The reader feels as if they are along for the trip.

Division B: Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under

First Place
Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Pittsburgh , PA 
“Israeli Jews, Arabs finding common ground at Pittsburgh-inspired center” by Toby Tabachnick    
Click here to view submission
Comment: A well-written story with import for how others can help find common ground in the US and in Israel.

Second Place
Diane Joy Schmidt             
New Mexico Jewish Link, Albuquerque, NM
“The Pittsburgh shooting, our community unites in response” by Diane Joy Schmidt         
Click here to view submission
Comment: A good summary of how the Jewish and other communities reacted to the Pittsburgh temple shooting.

Category 23: Award for Excellence in Writing about Food and Wine

Division A: Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web Based Outlets.

First Place
The Canadian Jewish News, Concord, ON 
“Everything that's old is tasty again” by Barbara Silverstein
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission
Comment: I knew this story had potential when I read "glorified stoner food" in the second paragraph. What a fantastic quote! I was hooked. A few minutes later, I knew it was the winning entry when my mouth actually started to water as I read the description of a dish. I love that the article tells so many stories, that the Jewish angle isn't forced in any way and that it offered context about the Canadian Jewish restaurant business. Great work!

Second Place
70 Faces Media, New York, NY
“Food critic Jonathan Gold had the chutzpah to take immigrants’ cuisine seriously” by Rob Eshman
Click here to view submission
Comment: I love that the writer quoted Jonathan Gold in the second paragraph. It's an unusual, gutsy approach to take in an obituary. And it totally worked. The nut graph is an especially well-crafted piece of writing. I could tell that the writer put a lot of thought into it. I also love that the writer took the unusual step of removing the barrier between himself and the subject. He took a chance, and it worked. I did realize at some point that it's more of a eulogy than an obituary, and somehow that made me appreciate the story even more.

Division B: Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under

First Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
“At SF’s hot new Che Fico, Italian Jewish food is a political statement” by Alix Wall
Click here to view submission
Comment: It’s hard to resist a meaty story about Jewish identity and Italian cuisine, especially when it involves the San Francisco restaurant scene. But you don’t have to be a Bay Area foodie to appreciate this engaging portrait of David Nayfield, proprietor of newly launched Che Fico, which explores his Jewish pride, culinary influences, and inventive recipes. Both the rich story and Alix Wall’s sophisticated food writing leave the reader hungering to know more about Mr. Nayfield – and make reservations.

Second Place
Atlanta Jewish Times, Atlanta, GA
“A Jewish Thanksgiving” by Roni Robbins
Click here to view submission
Comment: Thanksgiving isn’t a Jewish holiday, but food, family, and gratitude certainly are Jewish themes. In this clever and touching piece, Roni Robbins interviews local Atlanta rabbis about how they celebrate the holiday and what it means to them. She also lists several psalms appropriate for recitation on Thanksgiving, and provides delectable recipes, including one for pumpkin challah stuffing. The piece unites religious and secular experience, and the spiritual and mundane (psalms and recipes!) in a wholly satisfying way.

Category 24: Award for Excellence in Writing about Sports

Division A: Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web Based Outlets 

First Place
Jewish Exponent, Philadelphia, PA               
“Boxer blends faith, training as pro debut beckons” by Joshua Needelman
Click here to view submission
CommentGreat descriptions of what happens in gym and of Benny. The writer has a great voice. The writer had to ask some great questions and invest some serious time to come out with this detailed profile of a unique, or so it seems, Jew — from losing 100 pounds to the tattoos to the colorful gym and life. Super stuff. I want to read more about Benny and follow his career.

Division B: Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under

First Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
“Bay Area Uruguayan Jews (who knew?!) look for World Cup win” by Laura Paull
Click here to view submission
CommentGreat job finding a needle-in-a-haystack story on your day off, then writing about it! It's interesting to read about someone as unique as an Uruguayan Jew, but his soccer interests, including the timely World Cup, made it even more interesting. Nice story-telling voice.

Second Place
Cleveland Jewish News, Cleveland, OH
“Crafty veteran: Cleveland Heights native, among oldest living MLB players, recalls pitching career” by Ed Carroll
Click here to view submission
CommentReally interesting story about a man many would overlook because he played only 16 games in the Bigs. He has had an intriguing life. These guys can have great stories, and the writer found some. Some good anecdotes about being Jewish in 1950s professional baseball, which obviously was not easy. Good reporting.

Category 25: Award for Excellence in Writing about Seniors

Division A: Newspapers 15,000 circulation and over; Broadcast; Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web Based Outlets.

First Place
Lilith Magazine, New York, NY
“Love at second sight” by Vivian Conan
Click here to view submission
Comment: In a competition filled with beautifully written stories, this one stood out as the best. 

Second Place
St. Louis Jewish Light Magazine, St. Louis, MO
“Cemetery mitzvah” by Bill Motchan
Click here to view submission
Comment: Gripping story about a man who spends his days in cemeteries researching the stories behind the stones.

Division B: Newspapers 14,999 circulation and under

First Place
St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO
“‘Scared every day': WWII bombardier shares his story” by Susan Fadem
Click here to view submission
CommentFrom the first to the last line, this was a well written article that deftly brought out the character of a WW II bombardier and left the reader wanting more. The photography collage added a nice touch to the piece.

Second Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
“The last of the Shanghailanders, S.F.’s unique Holocaust refugee community” by Maya Mirsky
Click here to view submissions
CommentThis was a lovely piece about the disappearing community of Jewish Shanghai refugees that helped highlight a lesser known story from World War II. The inclusion of the old photographs nicely augmented the story.


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