The 40th Annual Simon Rockower Award Winners

2021 Awards (For Work Done in 2020)

Awards were presented via a virtual presentation on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Please click here to view the awards presentation.

Category 1: The Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary


Divisions A and B. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers; Monthly Newspapers and Magazines


First Place
The Jewish Journal of Greater LA, Los Angeles, CA
“Why is anti-Semitism so easy to forgive?, The 11th plague: How COVID-19 forces us to ask disturbing questions during Passover,” Where are the protests for France’s Jews?” by Thane Rosenbaum
Click here to view submission
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Second Place
The Jewish Journal of Greater LA, Los Angeles, CA
The COVID-19 pandemic is a disaster, not a message,” Seth Rogen’s Zionist blind spot deserves a clear-eyed Zionist answer, Why the rise of anti-Americanism is bad for the Jews” by David Suissa

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Honorable Mention
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO                      

Be careful what you pray for,” Can only a black person explain the black experience?,” 2020: A year of benefits and better habits” by Hillel Goldberg

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Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place
JNS, Allston, MA
“Let us remember what the survivors are unable to forget,” Owing the ultra-Orthodox an apology,” Gang rape at the Red Sea Hotel" by Ruthie Blum

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Second Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY 

“If your guy wins, please don’t gloat,” Coronavirus is deepening the divide between Orthodox and liberal Jews,” Coronavirus is the new normal. Let’s make it Jewish.” by Jodi Rudoren

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Honorable Mention
Crescent City Jewish News
, New Orleans, LA

A world without hugs,” "A year like no other,” "Our Kristallnacht by Alan Smason

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Category 2: Award for Excellence in Single Commentary


Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.


First Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY         
What Adin Steinsaltz and Pete Hamill taught us all” by Gary Rosenblatt

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Comment: Obit columns can be ho-hum. Try to do them on two people and it’s much tougher. I’d barely heard of only one of these people, but I learned a lot about them, came to respect them and was motivated to think. I was touched by the selfless summary: “After I die, I really don’t care whether I will go to heaven or to hell. I also do not care at all about what will be written on my tombstone. All I care about is whether I have been able to touch people throughout my lifetime and cause them to grow more and more.”


Second Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California
San Francisco, CA

Disability during a pandemic: Why you should put a spoon on your seder plate this year” by Elliot Kukla         

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Comment: This column, written in the height of the pandemic, was a rare opportunity to shed light on an underserved community, taking us behind the scenes and helping us to relate to it. Heartfelt and provocative, it presented a unique point of view from a rabbi with personal challenges. His call to action for compassion was well-taken.


Honorable Mention

St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO

Long after the news cycle ends, hard work of fighting hatred continues” by Tony Westbrook Jr.

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Comment: The writer offers an interesting perspective many of us can heed at an important point in our history. A thoughtful, provocative view.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place
Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY       
Against analogy” by Ben Ratskoff

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Comment: An ambitious, innovative and elaborate attempt to shift the tone of discourse among progressive Jews on Black issues, from one emphasizing commonalities in the Jewish and Black experiences, to one focusing on meaningful differences. Whether readers agree with Mr. Ratskoff’s argument that U.S. Jews are maintaining and reproducing white supremacy, they will come away more aware of patterns in Jewish discourse and of an intriguing alternative approach.


Second Place

Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY 

Yavne: A Jewish case for equality in Israel-Palestine” by Peter Beinart

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Comment: A trenchant critique of the idea of Israel as a Jewish state, the two-state solution, and related assumptions of liberal Zionists about the past and current state of Israel. Readers need not agree with Mr. Beinerts argument to emerge from reading this piece with a clearer understanding of their own position and assumptions.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY      
Advice to the second gentleman from a veteran male ‘rebbetzin’” by Rob Eshman

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Comment: In a year where there was so much serious news, this lighter piece stood out because of the writer's rare perspective and voice. He also added some historical twists, and links to a piece about Golda Meir. Why was this piece important? As the writer put it: Simply by being beside his wife, Emhoff will help shift American perceptions about gender roles, about egalitarian marriages, about what it means to be a man. Girls will see they can be like Kamala. Boys, no less importantly, will see they can be like Doug.


Second Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY 

Debate: Is Trump good or bad for the Jews?” by Eli Steinberg and Joel Swanson  

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Comment: 
The publication should be applauded for the innovative, easy-to-read, dueling way a much-discussed debate topic was handled. I read every word of this lively, passionate discussion that all Jews should have found interesting.


Honorable Mention
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY         
What James Bennet taught me about terrorism — and courage” by 
Jodi Rudoren

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Comment: Great job showing the back story of how journalists discuss their craft and sensitive topics. Quite insightful and timely.


Category 3: Award for Excellence in Personal Essay

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ

My mother’s funeral” by Joanne Palmer

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Comment: Moving in a personal way, and written with exceptional grace and clarity. We’ve all been there, funerals in the era of COVID, and this piece did justice to every aspect of that all-too-commonplace experience.


Second Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California
San Francisco, CA

My journey from skeptical Soviet Jew to member of the tribe” by Luda Shuster

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Comment: I loved this piece, simply written but from the heart. Her epiphany at her second seder brought tears to my eyes; the knowledge, unbidden, about her heritage as a Jew, how it transcends where we happen to be living at the moment, or where we may be living in the future.

Honorable Mention

Atlanta Jewish Times, Atlanta, GA

“Black Live Matters vs. All Lives Matter?” by Kaylene Ladinsky  

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Comment: Clearly written, about a complex and controversial issue of our times.


Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

The fourth player” by Stacy Gallop

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Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
“When bruises fade; t
he blessing and trauma of IVF” by Talia Liben Yarmush  

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Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

“The unkindest cut: Last call for a Zabar’s lox slicer” by Len Berk

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Comment: It is impossible not to fall in love, while reading this essay, with author Len Berk, the 90-year-old lox slicer fired by Zabar’s to protect him from COVID. In this charming, witty, and poignant essay, Berk meditates on the meaning of work and the importance of finding a purpose in life, especially at his advanced age. It’s nice to see that this former accountant and lox slicer has now found a third career as a wonderful writer.


Second Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

Escape from New York — a third-generation migration tale” by Anya Ulinich

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Comment: In her own masterful words, Anya Ulinich throws the wet tarp of irony on the grassfire sparked by COVID, which has forced her to come to terms with her fraying financial circumstances and flee her New York apartment for more modest quarters upstate. In the process she reenacts the indelible refugee experience that has marked her own life and that of her forebears. Bitter, funny, and moving, this piece captures the peculiar horrors of the coronavirus pandemic in a deeply personal, yet somehow universal way.


Category 4: Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing


All entries competed in the same division.


First Place
Baltimore Jewish Times, Owings Mills, MD       

What is Jewish pride?,” Holocaust history,” A time for healing” by David Holzel  

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Second Place

Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC

Blessings in bad times,” Racism is a Jewish issue,” When is never again? by Pat Johnson, Basya Laye and Cynthia Ramsay  

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


Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.


First Place

Hamodia, Brooklyn, NY          
The storm that came before the hurricane by Rafael Hoffman

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Second Place
The Jewish Week, New York, NY
How much is an unkosher Torah worth? by Hella Winston

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Honorable Mention

Cleveland Jewish News, Cleveland, OH

State probe: Executive, nurses conspired to submit false tests? by Jane Kaufman   

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Division B.
Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.


First Place
Southern Jewish Life Magazine, Birmingham, AL
Shedding light on the Light by Larry Brook
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Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

“U.S. pro-Israel groups failed to disclose funding from Israeli government,” “Think tank failed to disclose six-figure grant from Israeli government,” “Israel approved grant to Tennessee anti-Muslim ‘hate group’” by Aiden Pink

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Second Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

Colleges express outrage about anti-Semitism but fail to report it as a crime, These colleges claimed anti-Semitic incidents weren't hate crimes by Aiden Pink

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Category 6: Award for Excellence in Deadline/Breaking News Reporting


Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.


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

“St. Louis Jewish family grapples with coronavirus by Ellen Futterman  

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Comment: A powerful and timely story about the impact of COVID on one family. Enterprising reporting and compelling storytelling that puts the pandemic into both a human and larger context.


Second Place

Hamodia, New York, NY

“U.S. Supreme Court overturns New York’s strict limits on houses of worship” by Reuvain Borchardt  

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Comment: Clear, comprehensive, balanced, informative story on an important issue during the pandemic. Well done.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

The Boiling Point, Los Angeles, CA

Three coronavirus cases in people returning from AIPAC; one is in Los Angeles by Jacob Joseph Lefkowitz Brooks and Benjamin Gamson

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Comment: All the entries from The Boiling Point are excellent journalism, but especially great for high school students, dealing with national issues related to Jewish people.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

Louis Keene, Los Angeles, CA

Defying the governor but heeding the president, a Los Angeles synagogue opens its doors” published by The Forward Association, Inc.

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Second Place

70 Faces Media, New York, NY

Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn burn masks during massive protest against New York’s new COVID rules by Shira Hanau  

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Category 7: Award for Excellence in News Story


Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.


First Place

J. The Jewish News of Northern CaliforniaSan Francisco, CA

In North Bay, fire and smoke disrupt an already unusual Yom Kippur” by Maya Mirsky, Dan Pine and Gabe Stutman  

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Second Place

Atlanta Jewish Times, Atlanta, GA

COVID-19 vaccines have Jewish links” by Dave Schechter  

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Comment: Fascinating angle on a global story.


Honorable Mention

Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO   

Pueblo’s Temple Emanuel: first a bomb threat, now an arson fire and attempted burglary by Chris Leppek

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Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY 
Buffalo cantor resigns as she vows to fight sexual harassment” by Rahel Musleah

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Comment: Very good detail on significant development in one Jewish congregation.


Second Place
Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY       
The new heimish populism” by Joshua Leifer

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Comment: Excellent link to current events and Jewish connections.


Division C. Web-based Outlets, Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

Brandeis U. Press and historian split on how to talk about Jews and white supremacy” by Ari Feldman  

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Comment: Exquisitely written story on a controversial topic in contemporary discourse on American Jews: the disputed role of whiteness in U.S. Jewish history of the 20th and 21st century.


Second Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

In Brooklyn virus ‘red zone,’ why do posters tell only healthy people to get tested?” by Ari Feldman 

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Comment: An inspired decision to translate Yiddish fliers led to this story that raised the question of whether Orthodox leaders manipulated COVID-19 testing to get the governor to ease communal restrictions.


Honorable Mention

Louis Keene, Los Angeles, CA

After son of criminal rabbi takes over Poway synagogue, some congregants quit published by The Forward Association, Inc. 

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Comment: Great use of FOIA and revealing interviews contributed to this broad investigative piece on the leadership of Chabad of Poway in the aftermath of the infamous April 2019 shooting there.


Category 8: Award for Excellence in Writing About Social Justice and Humanitarian Work


Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.


First Place
Hamodia, New York, NY

Special-needs advocates say sleepaway camp is essential by Reuvain Borchardt

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Comment: Original and enterprising reporting and compelling storytelling about an underreported issue involving vulnerable kids during the pandemic.


Second Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

From ICE detention to quarantine in an East Bay synagogue” by Rachele Kanigel 

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Comment: Interesting story focusing on immigrants, and a novel solution to provide help during the pandemic.

Honorable Mention

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

Covid-19 outbreak at San Quentin spurs Jewish activism, support by Alix Wall  

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Comment: Good reporting and clear and compelling writing.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY

“Road to nowhere” by Elisheva Goldberg  

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Comment: This is a fantastic story, combining meticulous reporting with great writing to shine a spotlight on a problem involving housing and basic rights that has gone unsolved for too long. Great work!


Second Place

Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY

In the dark, When torture is a health precaution,” Mask messages, My prison is still flouting public health guidelines by Christopher Blackwell, Stephen Wilson and Michael Ness

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Comment: This highly-original and inspiring project gave a voice to incarcerated prisoners during the pandemic, and helped bring about results. This is what journalism is all about!

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place
70 Faces Media, New York, NY
When we advocate for queer Jews, we can’t leave out Hasidic youth” by Molly Meisels  

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Comment: Honest, heart-wrenching, and powerfully written from a personal perspective. This article illuminates an aspect of Jewish life that is too often kept in the dark.


Second Place
Simi Horwitz, New York, NY

‘I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if I wasn’t a Jew’ — Tamar Manasseh’s brave journey” published by The Forward Association, Inc.

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Comment: Well-written and moving account of a gutsy woman with a multi-layered identity” whose Jewishness inspires tireless efforts for social justice. Rich in telling details as well as a call for action.


Category 9: Award for Excellence in Feature Writing

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

F
irst Place

St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO

A Father’s Day story six decades in the making” by Ellen Futterman  

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Comment: This is a moving look at the friendship of a father and his son who was adopted birth, with an unflinching look at the journey that led to this point.


Second Place
Jewish Herald-Voice
Houston, TX

The road to resilience: Houstonian lives to tell COVID story, becomes advocate against virus” by Matt Samuels

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Comment: In Texas, a state full of pandemic deniers, this story is a chilling look at the effects of COVID on one person and his determination to help others.


Honorable Mention
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

At virtual retreat, men embrace vulnerability, reckon with patriarchy” by Andrew Esensten  

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Comment: A warm look at men trying to change the tide of misogynism.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Jewish Action (Orthodox Union), New York, NY

Nicotine is back. Now what?” by Rachel Schwartzberg  

Click here to view submission
Comment: An extremely comprehensive and well-written article on a very important topic. The sidebars are informative and very balanced in the critical information and guidance they provide. I especially like the piece's call for action that schools and organizations should learn from one another and unite to combat this growing problem.


Second Place

Lilith Magazine, New York, NY

Shopping: A Eulogy” by Sarah Seltzer  

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Comment: An exceptional, multifaceted piece that presents many interesting aspects of Jewish involvement in the buying and selling (and producing) of apparel. From history, to poignant memories of the mother-daughter shopping experience, to modern-day approaches to responsible sourcing of materials, this article resonates on many levels.


Honorable Mention

B'nai B'rith Magazine, Washington, DC

Secret Shabbes: How the ‘Sabbath Delight’ hid an astonishing archive” by Beryl Lieff Benderly  

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Comment: A fascinating story well told. The blend of historical facts juxtaposed with actual samples of writings preserved from the time of the Warsaw Ghetto make this a very compelling read.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

Chabad.org, New York, NY

How cartoonist Al Jaffee found his inner Jewish superhero” by Mordechai Lightstone  

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Second Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY    

Philip Roth doesn't live here anymore: A writer, a stonemason, an American friendship” by Talya Zax  

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Honorable Mention

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

Love online in the time of quarantine is oddly old-fashioned” by Irene Katz-Connelly  

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Category 10: Award for Excellence in Arts News and Features — Reporting (movie, theater, television, books, music, etc.)


Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.


First Place

Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ

Collectors and their collections” by Joanne Palmer      
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Second Place

Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD     

Playwright Jennie Berman Eng goes in search of an ‘AUTHENTIC’ Holocaust Movie” by Lisa Traiger  

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Honorable Mention

Pittsburgh Jewish ChroniclePittsburgh, PA

Comic book artist inspired by stories of real-life superheroes” by Adam Reinherz  

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Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place
Moment Magazine, Washington, DC
Italian Jews: Rome, the Renaissance and beyond” by 
Carlin Romano  

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Comment: An incredible job weaving the backstory of Italy and the Jews through history with the modern story of creating a museum about the entire Italian Jewish experience. Even if I never visit, this article helped me understand and appreciate the museum and all it stands for.


Second Place
Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY

Unorthodox bodies” by Hannah Srajer and Mari Cohen  

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Comment: What happens when writers shine a spotlight on a topic usually in the dark? In this case, they sensitively educate readers, create space for needed dialogue, and empower women.


Honorable Mention
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

A Night at the museum for all” by Menachem Wecker

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Comment: Thank you for sharing why and how some are working to create welcoming spaces for people of all abilities...and reminding us that there is much more to be done.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

The wonderful, horrible afterlife of Leni Reifenstahl” by Talya Zax  

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Second Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

How Woodstock revolutionized art — a story that has nothing to do with a music festival” by Jackson Arn

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Honorable Mention
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

‘The Plot Against America’ is truer than even Philip Roth knew” by PJ Grisar

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Category 11: Award for Excellence in Arts Review/Criticism (movie, theater, television, books, music, etc.)


Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.


First Place

The Reporter, New York, NY

Hollywood and Jewish refugees” by Rabbi Rachel Esserman  

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Comment: Excellent review of Donna Rifkind’s The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood by Rabbi Rachel Esserman. Like the author, Esserman argues the book’s important because women’s accomplishments in Hollywood then were either lost or ignored even though women worked in every studio department. Rifkind not only tells Jewish refugee-actress-writer Salka Viertel's story but she dispels misconceptions about Viertel’s reputation. Viertel opened her house to fellow refugee writers, actors and artists who'd escaped fascism in Europe — Heinrich and Thomas Mann, Bruno Frank and Christopher Isherwood, among others. For all the book’s new details, not all of them are of equal interest, Esserman notes, “At times, the book’s focus was uneven: the story of sun (Viertel) was eclipsed by that of her stars (those who visited her salon).”


Second Place

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

New Magnes exhibit: ‘Soldier in art’ Arthur Szyk blasted tyranny in stunning works of graphic art” by Lezak Shallat  

Click here to view submission
Comment: Great piece on exhibit at UC Berkeley art gallery of graphic artist Arthur Szyk, a Polish immigrant who arrived in the late 1940s in the U.S. Szyk saw himself as a “soldier in art,” lambasting Hitler and exposing Nazi genocide, on magazine covers. Review captures the importance of his work.


Honorable Mention

The Reporter, New York, NY

Jewish food studies” by Rabbi Rachel Esserman  

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Comment: Big-hearted review of two new Jewish food books, Feasting and Fasting: The History and Ethics of Jewish Food and The Dairy Restaurant, both about how to think about the intersection of food and religion but one takes an academic approach, the other: anecdotal.


Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.


First Place

Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY

No time for nostalgia” by Emily Suzanne Lever  

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Second Place

Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY

The sound of messianic time” by Nathan Goldman

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Honorable Mention

Diane Joy Schmidt, Albuquerque, NM

Windshield cracks, how the light gets in” published by New Mexico Jewish Link

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Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place
70 Faces Media, New York, NY
HBO’s ‘Lovecraft Country’ contains a plot point that resembles an age-old anti-Semitic lie. Why?” by 
Philissa Cramer   

Click here to view submission

Comment: This analysis of one episode of Lovecraft Country is excellent in so many ways. The idea for the piece started with the author’s gut reaction to the episode. But this is so much more than a personal response. The author interviewed experts in both history and antisemitic and even tracked down the only other person on Twitter who had the same gut reaction that day. This analysis, which combines personal incites with solid journalism, is also one you would likely find only in a Jewish publication, which reinforces why Jewish journalism remains so vital.


Second Place
70 Faces Media, New York, NY
“I cover anti-Semitism on a daily basis. This is why ‘The Plot Against America’ is the scariest show I’ve seen.” by Gabe Friedman  

Click here to view submission

Comment: This is a passionate, well-reasoned reaction to The Plot Against America.” As someone who read the book, I already knew I couldn’t get myself to watch the storyline play out on TV. It would feel too overwhelming, too dark, too possible. The author of this piece lays bare our fear that, in real life, we just got lucky.

Category 12: The David Frank Award for Excellence in Personality Profiles

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Cleveland Jewish News, Cleveland, OH

The CJN goes one-on-one with Amy Acton: State medical director talks Judaism, Israel, COVID-19 and more” by Jane Kaufman  

Click here to view submission

Second Place

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

'Ideologically committed to the truth: Inside the life of Lowell Bergman, living legend of investigative journalism” by Gabriel Greschler  

Click here to view submission

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC

Debra Katz: Ahead of her time” by Ellen Wexler  

Click here to view submission

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

Finding her voice” by Rahel Musleah  

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Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

70 Faces Media, New York, NY

‘We are at war’: Meet Heshy Tischler, the Borough Park agitator aiming for New York City Council” by Shira Hanau and Philissa Cramer  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Deeply reported, this is a riveting look at a controversial figure — clearly done in the moment amid a swirl of news breaking around the story subject.

Second Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

Why Dr. Vladimir Zelenko staked his reputation on hydroxychloroquine” by Ari Feldman  

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Comment: There’s been plenty of heat around this alleged COVID cure. This story brings multi-sourced light and explanation.

Honorable Mention

70 Faces Media, New York, NY

Becoming a rebbetzin: What it’s like to come out as transgender when you’re married to the rabbi” by Josein Dolsten  

Click here to view submission

Comment: The reporter does a deft job sensitively reporting on some of the most personal issues imaginable with the cultural context that makes the story vital.

Category 13: Award for Excellence in Special Sections or Supplements 

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC  

A soundtrack of the Jewish people” by Moment Magazine

Click here to view submission

Comment: Moment Magazine has produced an extraordinary issue for the ages. Teaming up with the Milken Archive of Jewish Music in Los Angeles, the magazine has curated and organized a wonderful and nearly comprehensive global online soundtrack for the Jewish people. Visitors to the site can read expertly crafted descriptions and assessments of songs and works of music that span the ages and the planet. (Writers included Leslie Odom Jr., Kinky Friedman, Peter Yarrow, Perl Wolfe, and Neil Sedaka.) To borrow language from their submission, the result is a rich tapestry of genres, evoking the breadth of Jewish spirituality, culture, experience and history. Indeed, Moment has created a long, linkable and easy to access online playlist so your ears can feast on the beauty and healing power of these Jewish and Jewish-inspired sounds. And yes, there's some great klezmer too. This is a marvelous idea and a wonderful public service. The playlist can easily be expanded and Moment asks visitors to submit songs and performances that might have been omitted. This is a must-visit site for American Jews in particular, who can enjoy a master class in works as varied as ancient psalms and prayers set to music, classical and modern songs (Shostakovich, Gershwin) and instrumentals, and joyful, celebratory pop tunes. This will remain a permanent and historically important archival journalism effort and people will come back to it again and again for knowledge and enjoyment. This is the kind of unexpected and superbly assembled print and online journalism concept that capture one’s attention and defines what a special section is all about.


Second Place

70 Faces Media, New York, NY   

Bonds of Life: Remembering those we lost to COVID-19” by JTA Staff and Ben Harris  

Click here to view submission

Comment: This is an excellent remembrance package, very touching and impactful. With traditional mourning rites almost impossible during the pandemic, the JTA staff provided a very fine journalistic platform for people to come together and remember those who were lost as a result of the pandemic. Obit writing is an art unto itself, and the quality of these numerous features is uniformly high. Well done. The sidebar submission — a live, interactive blog — complements the JTA's tributes to COVID victims and is a sophisticated and well-conceived way to draw in social media users and others who want to share commiserations online. A very creative and accessible way to integrate interactive online participation with strong, impactful content. The top COVID tribute section among the many strong pandemic-related submissions entered this year. A profound and lovely kaddish to so many.


Honorable Mention

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

18 questions about God,” Does God punish us?,” Does God need us?,” What does God believe about us?,” Is God less visible today?,” Is the word God the hurdle?” by Abigail Pogrebin  

Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

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Click here to view submission

Comment: Abigail Pogrebin, a Forward contributing writer, author, and speaker, is a leading commentator on American Jewish practice and identity, particularly in the secular tradition. Here she guides readers of The Forward to rabbis and teachers of Judaism who help translate their ideas of God to the rest of us in a practical rather than academic, didactic or stubbornly observant way. In discussions with these rabbis and scholars of varying denominations and background— leaders whom she says she admires but does not always agree with Pogrebin explores thorny questions that sometimes make us squirm. It's an interesting style of journalism that is part criticism, part commentary, and part explanatory. Wisely aiming for succinctness, Pogrebin focuses each column on one honest conversation with one teacher about one question using one Jewish text. The result is a very thought-provoking, intelligent and nicely written series of essays about the meaning and presence of God. Is God omnipresent? Omniscient? Omnibenevolent? Does he love us or has he "kicked off the training wheels and left us to our own devices. And, of course, why should we believe God even exists if we cannot hear or see him? Or, as Rabbi Sandra Lawson says, The better question is do we hear each other? During a surreal and tragic year of calamities in which many Jews and others may have understandably felt forsaken or were perhaps driven away from the notion of the almighty this excellent series of essays and interviews (with a strong online video component) offers much to contemplate. It's not a traditional form of journalism, but its intense focus on voices and ideas surrounding Jewish identity makes for an excellent supplement worthy of mention.

Category 14: Award for Excellence in Writing About Health Care

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

The Jewish Week, New York, NY

Orthodox Jewish health care workers give Covid advice that few want to hear” by Hannah Dreyfus  

Click here to view submission

Comment: The complete comprehensive story of the response to COVID in the hasidic communities of Brooklyn. Excellent and informative, told from the personal perspective of health care practitioners in those communities with the unique perspective of seeing both sides of the story.

Second Place

Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ

Born with BRCA” by Larry Yudelson  

Click here to view submission

Comment: In a year dominated by COVID comes this great story about a very specific Jewish health concern, as told through the lens of a well-known Jewish musician.

Honorable Mention

Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO    

Comforting the sick at Rose” by Andrea Jacobs  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Of the many nominated stories of how COVID has affected various segments of the Jewish community, the one that stands is about the Jewish chaplain who had the thankless task of comforting the sick and dying.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place
Jewish Action (Orthodox Union), New York, NY      
Nicotine is back. Now what?” by 
Rachel Schwartzberg  

Click here to view submission

Comment: A deep and broad revelation that should prompt thought and action in the Orthodox and every community. Powerful sidebars heighten context and education.

Second Place
Lilith Magazine, New York, NY

The other Jewish women’s cancer” by Elizabeth Michaelson Monaghan  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Beautiful. Heartfelt. Poignant and personal yet offering sound medical information, including the importance of testing.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

JNS, Allston, MA   

As race for coronavirus vaccine intensifies, Americans think back to Salk” by Heather Robinson  

Click here to view submission

Category 15: Award for Journalistic Excellence in Covering Zionism, Aliyah and Israel

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC

Hike challenges one’s views,” Seeking to understand views,” Contemplating walls” by Kevin Keystone  

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Second Place
Hamodia, New York, NY

An interview with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman” by Sara Lehmann
Click here to view submission

Honorable Mention

Mel Pearlman, Celebration, FL

Two nights in Aqaba — Part 1, Part 2, Part 3” published by Heritage Florida Jewish News

Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission


Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

Groundbreaking burial in Israel” by Uriel Heilman
Click here to view submission

Second Place
Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

A home for life” by Wendy Elliman
Click here to view submission

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

70 Faces Media, New York, NY

Secular Jews are starting to understand the haredi Orthodox — thanks to Israeli television” by Rabbi Avi Shafran

Click here to view submission

Second Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

When tuition bills add up, some Orthodox consider aliyah” by Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt  

Click here to view submission

Category 16: Award for Excellence in Writing About Women

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO  

Suffering, strength, pride; Dysia Sonenreich” by Andrea Jacobs  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Loved this story about an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor. Her memories are incredible and the writer tells her story with warmth and compassion.


Second Place

Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO  

A Denver tale” by Andrea Jacobs  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Heartbreaking story about a Holocaust survivor during the COVID pandemic and her daughter's sadness and grief that she can't be with her in person to comfort her.

Honorable Mention

Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD

Alana Suskin's deep dive” by Kayla Steinberg  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Excellent profile of Conservative female rabbi who decided to become an Orthodox rabbi and how social justice fits into her work. Writer included really good quotes and color, helping the reader really get a feel for the kind of person — and rabbi — that Suskind is.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC  

Debra Katz: Ahead of her time” by Ellen Wexler  

 Click here to view submission

Comment: Beautifully written profile about Debra Katz, one of America’s top #MeToo lawyers and the woman who sat beside Christine Blasey Ford during the confirmation hearing of now Supreme Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Second Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC  

The woman who drove Old Dixie down” by Dan Freedman  

Click here to view submission
Comment: The amazing story of Eileen Filler-Corn and how as the first female — and Jewish — speaker of delegates in Virginia made it her mission to dismantle the state's Confederate legacy.

Honorable Mention

Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

Hands-on healing” by Hilary Danailova  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Excellent story on Jewish women who become nurses. It is especially timely, given the COVID-19 pandemic. I loved the personal stories.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place
Yiddish Forward, New York, NY

Moderate Haredi voices challenge extremist war against female images” by Barbara Finkelstein
Click here to view submission

Second Place

70 Faces Media, New York, NY   

Men have dominated Jewish texts for most of history. These women are trying to change that” by Shira Hanau  

Click here to view submission

Honorable Mention

70 Faces Media, New York, NY
Native American Jewish Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis tells us how she made history” by Emily Burack  

Click here to view submission

Category 17: Award for Excellence in Writing About Jewish Heritage and Jewish Peoplehood in Europe

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ

The passion play at Oberammergau” by Joanne Palmer  

Click here to view submission

Comment: While a story about a Bavarian passion play about Jesus would seem unlikely to be printed in a Jewish newspaper, Joanne Palmer’s story is eye-opening in only a positive way. By focusing on the role that two northeastern New Jersey rabbis are playing in advising the current artistic director in making the play less antisemitic, readers learn about the good works of these local religious leaders. More importantly, Palmer shows reader that even in Bavaria — the birthplace of Hitler — there are non-Jews who are working diligently to end anti-Jewish stereotypes and harmful Jewish hatred that has been part of the Christian passion play for centuries. A fascinating and well-written story.

Second Place

Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
Spain and Portugal re-invite the Jews” by Chris Leppek

Click here to view submission

Comment: Most of us know about the Spanish Inquisition and the expulsion of Jews from Spain and Portugal in the late 15th century, ending hundreds of years of Sephardic life on the Iberian Peninsula. Less known perhaps is that both Spain and Portugal began programs in 2015 allowing descendants of these expelled Jews to re-apply for citizenship. Chris Leppek’s terrific story focuses on applicants in Colorado and Mexico and their personal story in applying for a second citizenship. With so much focus of American Jewry (and the Jewish press) on its Ashkenazic roots, this deep dive into these individual stories and their Sephardic connections shines a light on this other side of our Jewish experience.

Honorable Mention
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA
I had unfinished business in Spain, going back 500 years” by 
Dan Schifrin  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Wonderful personal narrative looking at the new programs by Spain and Portugal for Jews to re-apply for citizenship by Dan Schifrin, whose own ancestors fled the Iberian Peninsula around 1492. Part-travel story, part-history of the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry, Schifrin also interviews a number of families taking their Spanish citizenship test at the University of Washington in Seattle asking about their reasons for wanting to go back. Ultimately, his focus is on this “why” question. Rather than leaving these questions hanging in the air, Schifrin does the harder thing in his essay and attempts to answer them with thoughtfulness and seriousness. His essay makes the reader wonder deeply about this all as well.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC

Italian Jews: Rome, the Renaissance and beyond” by Carlin Romano  

Click here to view submission

Comment: In this multi-textured piece about the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah, in Ferrara, Italy, author Carlin Romano explores efforts to understand and honor the past while reinforcing its relevance to the present. Informative, educational, and at times riveting, the story delves into Italy's unique Jewish history and the curatorial challenges of portraying Italian Jewry under fascism — a subject still beset by debate.

Second Place

B'nai B'rith Magazine, Washington, DC

Secret Shabbes: How the Sabbath Delight’ hid an astonishing archive by Beryl Lieff Benderly  

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Comment: Beryl Lieff Benderly recounts the remarkable deeds of Oyneg Shabes, a clandestine group of intellectuals who recorded details of everyday Jewish life in Eastern Europe and the Warsaw Ghetto, and buried the evidence for future generations to uncover. Thanks to their brave work, all that was destroyed will never be forgotten. This is a sad, moving, and graceful story that pays homage to true visionaries and their heroic acts.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Service.

First Place

JNS, Allston, MA   

Working to serve needs of Jews in Eastern Europe in age of corona” by Sean Savage 
Click here to view submission
Comment: With everything in 2020 focused on COVID-19, it was not surprising that most of the international news reported by US media focused on the worst hotspots, such as Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. But Sean Savage goes deep into the Jewish communities of Central and Eastern Europe to report on how badly the coronavirus has affected them. Thankfully, not so bad, as it turns out. His interviews with the chief rabbis of Poland, Ukraine, and Hungary show that — despite being miles and miles away — they pivoted their Torah classes and daily minyan to Zoom, just like us. The excellent, fine-grain reporting that Savage does here with many details gives readers an intimate look at these communities during these difficult times.

Second Place
70 Faces Media, New York, NY

How an annual religious pilgrimage created a year-round Jewish community in Uman, Ukraine” by Cnaan Liphshiz
Click here to view submission
Comment: Some of us may have heard about the annual pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Nachman that occurs in Central Europe. Or is it Eastern Europe? Or is it Russia? As Cnaan Liphshiz excellent story in the JTA details, it actually is in the small city of Uman, Ukraine. Liphshiz’s story is a fascinating look at how a small Jewish community has grown up in Uman over the years in relation to this pilgrimage. But this isn’t just lightweight reporting and readers are presented with the current of antisemitism in the city, along with some dark encounters among Jews and the Ukrainians. A complete picture of Jewish experience in Uman.

Honorable Mention
Yiddish Forward, New York, NY

Making soul candles: a female-led Jewish ritual revived” by Annabel Cohen  

Click here to view submission
Comment: This fascinating essay by Annabel Cohen about a long-forgotten ritual of cemetery and grave measuring, a “rare ritual” that was once practiced by women in the Hebrew month of Elul in southern Russia as a way to connect with one’s ancestors, particularly before Rosh Hashanah. Cohen is not just reporting on this here, but actually partakes in this practice and then makes the “soul candles” out of the measuring twine. A terrific personal narrative that shows how Cohen herself is moved by its rituals and meaning.

Category 18: Award for Excellence in North American Jewish History

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO

Remembering LH” by Chris Leppek  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Excellent literary exposition and photos; author made Zoom session interesting; enjoyed parallel with anti-Asian sentiment and reminder of German vs. Eastern European Jews.

Second Place

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

A road trip through Jewish Gold Country” by Gabriel Greschler  

Click here to view submission
Comment: Fun, colorful history.


Honorable Mention

Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ 

Becoming an American” by Joanne Palmer  

Click here to view submission

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY
White dresses, yellow roses and activism” by Hilary Danailova

Click here to view submission

Comment: The writer’s ability to make these extraordinary women leap off the pages of history illustrates how history can, sometimes for good, repeat itself. At a time so many people still have to fight for so many rights, never underestimate the power of women to change the world.


Second Place

The Dayton Jewish Observer, Dayton, OH

John Patterson, NCR, Oakwood, and the Jewish community,” Dayton's first Jewish cemetery, John Paterson, and NCR” by Marshall Weiss  

Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Comment: This is not just about a Dayton industrialist and neighborhood — it is the story of Jewish communities across the country. Exceptionally well-documented, it shines light on today while taking us back in an engaging way.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place
Chabad.org, New York, NY

His brother’s keeper: Norman Rosenbaum, 63, transformational advocate for justice” by Mordechai Lightstone  

Click here to view submission

Comment: This Chabad.org obituary of Normal Rosenbaum affords an opportunity to revisit, through the lens of history, the Crown Heights riots of the early 1990s and the death of Rosenbaum's brother Yankel at the hands of an antisemitic mob. The author's appropriate sense of outrage is matched, in a well-reported and deftly written piece, by his sensitivity to the multiple tragedies that occurred at that time.

Category 19: Award for Excellence in Layout and Design (Formally Award for Excellence in Overall Graphic Design) 


Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD

“Washington Jewish Week” by Michael Marshall and Jay Sevidal

Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place
Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY  

Jewish Currents” by Arielle Angel, Kayla E. and Marc Jonathan Costello  

Click here to view submission
Link coming soon
Link coming soon


Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

Not awarded.

Category 20: Award for Excellence in Photography  

All entries competed in the same division

First Place
Louis Keene, Los Angeles, CA

Tensions flare at L.A. anti-annexation rally” published by The Forward Association, Inc.
Click here to view submission

Second Place

Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ

Off the beaten path in Morocco” by Lori Silberman Brauner    

Click here to view submission

Category 21: Award for Outstanding Digital Outreach

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place
Moment Magazine, Washington, DC
Moment Magazine” by Moment Magazine and Lilly Gelman

Click Here to Read Submission
Click Here to Read Submission

Click Here to Read Submission

Click Here to Read Submission

Click Here to Read Submission

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
Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission

Category 22: Award for Excellence in a Multimedia Story

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

Heres how to think about NYCs new COVID-19 data” by Molly Boigon  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Good use of data and clear explanation of where the data fell short, an important point which many outlets fail to explain.

Second Place
Moment Magazine, Washington, DC

A soundtrack of the Jewish people” by Moment Magazine  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Lovely, interesting and well-written. Most of all, surprising.

Category 23: Foundation for Ethnic Understanding Award for Excellence in Interfaith Relations Reporting

Divisions A and B. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers; Monthly Newspapers and Magazines

First Place
Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY

Questioning the covenant” by Arianna Skibell
Click here to view submission
Comment: Questioning the covenant” by Arianna Skibell is an amazing story, very well-written and incredibly researched, that tells an unusual story of dissent and changing voices in the American evangelical community. It shares perspectives you didn't know, with thoughtful, intellectually rich explanations, and an empathy-based discussion of an alternative viewpoint toward Israel on the part of evangelical Christians.

Second Place
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ

Jewish, Christian and Muslim women come together around storytelling, community service” by Ellen O'Brien  

Click here to view submission

Comment: "Jewish, Christian and Muslim women come together around storytelling, community service" by Ellen O'Brien offers readers a fine story of how women of different faiths have built a dialogue and relationships, empathetically, movingly and specifically telling us of their multi-faith commitment.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place
The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

How a Chicago pastor and rabbi joined their Black and Jewish communities” by Rebecca Gold  

Click here to view submission

Category 24: Award for Excellence in Writing About Food and Wine

Division A: Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Jewish Link of New Jersey, Teaneck, NJ

French winerys U.S. imports go kosher” by Elizabeth Kratz  

Click here to view submission

Comment: This article is thorough and well reported. I love how it drills deep into the wine industry and the history of this specific type of kosher wine. But it becomes more than a business story by highlighting human relationships and experiences.

Second Place

The Jewish Journal of Greater LA, Los Angeles, LA

Zach Banner endorses Challah back girls who bake to raise funds for social justice groups” by Erin Ben-Moche  

Click here to view submission

Comment: This story is a wonderful example of community journalism at its best. It is both inspiring and entertaining.

Honorable Mention

St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO

Say cheese: A new spin on Hanukkah stories, recipe” by Margi Lenga Kahn  

Click here to view submission

Comment: This story is delightful. I learned so much while utterly enjoying myself.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Hadassah Magazine, New York, NY

Vintage Israel” by Esther Hecht

Click here to view submission
Comment: This is truly a well-researched and well-written story about Israel's wine industry. I was impressed with the writer's ability to pack in so much history without ever falling into tedium. I also loved the stories and details about the people behind the wines.

Second Place

Jewish Action (Orthodox Union), New York, NY

Converso cuisine: Chanukah recipes dating back to the days of the Inquisition” by Barbara Bensoussan

Click here to view submission
Comment: This is a remarkable story about a cookbook author with real-life drama on the personal, familial and historical levels. I appreciate the writer's ability to sift through so much and package it into a one-sitting read, without losing precious detail. I was wowed.

Honorable Mention
Moment Magazine, Washington, DC

“Rice and beans for Passover?” by Lilly Gelman  

Click here to view submission
Comment: This article is a well-crafted examination of a precisely Jewish topic. It combines the centuries-long history, the religious politics and the human dimensions of this issue in a snack-sized package, which is no small feature.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

JNS, Allston, MA   

Diplomacy marches on its stomach: One rabbi helps cook up kosher fare for UAE delegation” by Josh Hasten  

Click here to view submission

Category 25: Award for Excellence in Writing About Sports

Divisions A and B. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers; Monthly Newspapers and Magazines. 

First Place

The Reporter, New York, NY

Ballfield or synagogue: Hank Greenberg’s High Holiday dilemma” by Bill Simons  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Jewish sports fans know about Hank Greenberg, but this story gives the entire context and all the details that we never knew for a better appreciation of the all-time great Jewish slugger. Wonderful!

Second Place

Jewish Herald-Voice, Houston, TX  

“Making his pitch...for Israel: Houston native set to play baseball for Israel in 2020 Olympics” by Matt Samuels  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Great story about a Jewish kid from Texas almost making the majors and finally landing on the Israeli national team. Hopefully they will get to play post-pandemic.


Honorable Mention

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

S.F. native raising money to build ‘field of dreams’ in Israel” by Andrew Esensten
Click here to view submission

Comment: Quirky, unexpected story of an American trying to bring a better baseball experience to young players in Israel. Fantastic!

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

'Its a new era: Yeshiva Universitys basketball team is steamrolling into March Madness,” “Hoop dreams dashed: Yeshiva Universitys best season ever ends abruptly with NCAA cancellation” by Ari Feldman

Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission


Second Place

JNS, Allston, MA   

The education of Deni Avdija on and off the court” by Howard Blas  

Click here to view submission

Category 26: Award for Excellence in Writing About Seniors

Division A: Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

Psychedelic journeys brought peace to this Holocaust survivor. Now he’s helping others on their own journeys” by Alix Wall  

Click here to view submission

Comment: The subject and story here did the work; it was an old-fashioned human interest story that kept me reading for the twists and turns until I came to the last line. There were a LOT of profiles of seniors submitted this year, and this was the most attention-grabbing!

Second Place

Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ  

Seniors face brave new world of Zoom calls” by Shannon Levitt  

Click here to view submission

Comment: There were many similar articles in this category — probably a half-dozen or so — but this one stood out for its angle and its thorough examination of the implications of digital environments for older people.

Honorable Mention

The Jewish Journal of Greater LA, Los Angeles, CA

Small business rises out of the ashes” by Tabby Refael

Click here to view submission

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC

Beshert,” From a shiva to my lifetime love,” “The dime of his life,” “Open book finds editor,” “Two husbands later, true love!” by Moment Magazine and Pam Janis

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: Moment's series of reader-submitted articles on mature couples who are/were bershert, or meant to be, is filled with charming tales of love, marriage and affection. (Several pieces online that were left out of the entries are equally affecting.) These articles have the excellent quality of brevity at 400 words and are very well curated — presumably the work of the nominee, Pam Janis. Reader-generated content from good writers is a great source of material. All in all a very fine entry from a quality publication that did a good job of letting the mature couples speak in a natural voice while illustrating the articles with vintage photos.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY  

A 90-year-old Minneapolis artist lost it all in a protest fire — hes ready to start over.” by PJ Grisar  

Click here to view submission

Category 27: Award for Excellence in Headline Writing

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place
J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

‘King of Weed’: Meet the Jewish mogul whos smokin the competition,” At Market Hall, they cry over the horseradish so you dont have to,” Johnny Doughnuts started as John Dough, delicious on arrival” by Sue Barnett

Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Comment: The Jewish News of Northern California and Sue Barnett shine in cleverness and poetical writing. The clear winner.

Category 28: Award for Excellence in Business Reporting — Trends

Divisions A and B. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers; Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO

West Side: Still room for families?” by Chris Leppek  

Click here to view submission

CommentA smart blending of business and cultural issues, with a strong foundation of multi-sourced reporting, results in a trend story with an interesting twist.


Second Place

St. Louis Jewish Light, St. Louis, MO

Proceeding with caution” by Eric Berger and Ellen Futterman

Click here to view submission

Comment: In a time that frequently seems hopeless, the writer smartly places an emphasis on hope — businesses stubbornly dedicated to changing and surviving.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

JNS, Allston, MA   

Jewish businesses start to feel heat as coronavirus affects product acquisition and sales” by Faygie Holt  

Click here to view submission

Category 29: Award for Excellence in News Obituaries

Divisions A and B. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers; Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

Ron Berman, adored adman who created campaigns for Jewish causes, dies at 83” by Dan Pine  

Click here to view submission 

Comment: A fine balance of professional and personal accomplishments, presented with such warmth, that this reader couldn't help but wish to have known Mr. Berman.

 

Second Place

Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Pittsburgh, PA 

Paul Caplan, patient-minded physician, dies at 107” by Adam Reinherz  

Click here to view submission 

Comment: A beautiful, balanced portrayal of both the man and his accomplishments. Mr. Caplan's personal philosophy of learning through — and connecting to — others is expertly reflected in this well-written piece.

Honorable Mention

Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Scottsdale, AZ

Rabbi Micah Caplan, 44, leaves legacy of compassion, friendship and love” by Shannon Levitt  

Click here to view submission 

Comment: This piece is, not only well written, but also sets itself apart with well-chosen reflections from a diverse group — family, friends, congregants and colleagues — who speak to the many different facets of the rabbi.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

Eulogy: Max Bendich, 105, an ordinary life lived extraordinarily” by Irene Katz-Connelly  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Max's life may have been ordinary, but it was also fascinating.

Second Place

Jewfolk Media, Minneapolis, MN  

Remembering beloved teacher Bella Porter Smith” by Lev Gringauz  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Bella seems like the perfect teacher.

Category 30: Award for Excellence in Writing About Politics/Government 

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Cleveland Jewish News, Beachwood, OH

Beachwood settles second claim related to mayor’s conduct” by Jane Kaufman  

Click here to view submission

Comment: The best of the pack in a competitive field. Nice watchdog local reporting. Way to go.


Second Place

Hamodia, Brooklyn, NY

The GOP elephant and the Jewish question” by Rafael Hoffman  

Click here to view submission

Comment: A sweeping exploration of an important issue. Well-written.


Honorable Mention

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

My security as a Jew is at stake: Jewish Bay Area Biden supporters work feverishly to get out the vote,” Supporting him from the bottom of our hearts; Jewish Bay Area Trump fans eager for the presidents re-election” by Gabe Stutman and Gabriel Greschler

Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission

Comment: Voters are lucky to have this reporting to help them make up their minds. Nice service journalism plus just interesting, too.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC

AIPAC falls victim to polarizing politics,” Biden faces two dueling approaches on Israel,” How Trump won over Jewish Republicans against all odds,” Trumps parting gifts,” On peace, normalization and politics” by Nathan Guttman

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: Nathan Guttman’s series of articles cover a wide-range of goings on in Washington through a Jewish lens. This series presents stories that political junkies likely know about, but causal news readers may not: AIPAC; Biden and Israel; Trump and Jewish Republicans; Trump’s Supreme Court success and its impact on the Orthodox community. It’s not just Guttman’s clear, analytical writing that stands out, but also the choice to include multiple images from Twitter that let readers see specifically how social media is an important part of several of these stories. This series of stories give readers an excellent understanding of issues important to Jewish interests that are not readily available elsewhere.

Second Place
Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY

“The tragedy of Jeremy Corbyn” by Joshua Leifer  

Click here to view submission 

Comment: Even a casual observer of the pre-pandemic news in the UK was likely aware of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as he fought Boris Johnson to become prime minister. But the stories of Corbyn and the Labour Party’s antisemitism might not have been noticed if one were not reading the New York Times. In this detailed story, Joshua Leifer not only explains how Corbyn’s antisemitism finally became visible, but also puts it in context of the contentiousness of the Labour Party itself, as well as the nature of Jewish Britain. This was deep reporting and solid writing.

Honorable Mention

The Boiling Point, Los Angeles, CA

Year of the Yard Sign: Elections conflicts and tensions are playing out on neighborhood front lawns” by Keira Beller  

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Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

Mensch Joe Biden sees surge in Jewish support” by Aiden Pink  

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Comment: Nice overall entry. Well-written and good reporting.

Second Place

Jewfolk Media, Minneapolis, MN   

In CD5 DFL Race, Omar, Melton-Meaux enter final stretch” by Lonny Goldsmith  

Click here to view submission

Comment: A deeply reported analysis of one political race. Nice work.

Category 31: Award for Excellence in Education Reporting

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO

Hard lessons: Most of the Nazi doctors volunteered” by Andrea Jacobs  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Well-written; exposes new info and connects racism and antisemitism.

Second Place

Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO

Denver day schools stream along” by Chris Leppek  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Good roundup of what schools were planning/doing in early months of COVID; highlighted Internet conflict of frum families.


Honorable Mention

Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ 

Survivor comes to life in the classroom” by Jed Weisberger  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Well-constructed story about how a hologram Holocaust survivor talks with students.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Jewish Action (Orthodox Union), New York, NY  

The age of anxiety” by Ahuva Reich  

Click here to view submission

Comment: A well-rounded piece that, not only presents the problem, but delves into what's being done to address the issues. Very well written!


Second Place

Jewish Action (Orthodox Union), New York, NY

Being mindful on campus” by Ahuva Reich  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Well-written and researched, with sidebars that give us a comprehensive presentation of the whole story. Very well done.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

Jewfolk Media, Minneapolis, MN   

Draft MN social studies standards eliminates Holocaust mentions,” Holocaust, genocide studies to be included in MN standards” by Lonny Goldsmith
Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Comment: This is a clear winner because it broke a story and then followed up on the impact of it. Very impressive effort.

Second Place

JNS, Allston, MA   

How to teach the lessons of the Holocaust in the school classroom” by Faygie Holt

Click here to view submission

Honorable Mention

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY

Some of L.A.s Orthodox schools set to reopen — as camps!” by Louis Keene

Click here to view submission

Category 32: Award for Excellence in Writing About Black-Jewish Relationships

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

For Jews of color, protests are reminders of pain — even within Jewish community” by Gabriel Greschler  

Click here to view submission


Second Place

Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ  

“It happened here” by Larry Yudelson  

Click here to view submission

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC  

Dispatch from Crown Heights: Two universes, one neighborhood” by Larry Cohler Esses  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Crown Heights has been the heart of Black-Jewish conflict for decades. Outstanding reporting to update readers at this critical time in the relationship.


Second Place

Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY  

“How ‘pro-Israel’ Orthodoxy keeps US foreign policymaking white” by Peter Beinart  

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Comment: A complex topic and unique angle on Black-Jewish relations in the foreign affairs space.


Honorable Mention

Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY

Jews of color and the policing of white space” by Rebecca Pierce  

Click here to view submission

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY  
A police crackdown in a Black neighborhood paved the way for a Jewish resurgence” by Louis Keene    
Click here to view submission


Second Place

JNS, Allston, MA   

Black (and Jewish): Braving the pitfalls, Jews of color find inner and outer peace” by Deborah Fineblum  

Click here to view submission

Comment: A fascinating look at how committed (and very desperate) Jews of color navigate having feet in both worlds, particularly in light of this year's heated racial debates and demonstrations.


Category 33: Wild Card Category: Award for Excellence in Writing About COVID-19

Division A. Weekly and Biweekly Newspapers.

First Place

Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ  

Hospital chaplains play pivotal role during crisis” by Johanna R. Ginsberg  

Click here to view submission

Comment: Hospital chaplains' work is sacred, yet we don't often think of them as front-line workers in the same sense as doctors, nurses, EMTs and the like. Yet, in the midst of this pandemic order, it was often the chaplain who gave a dying patient their last human touch, or held the phone so their loved ones could say goodbye via Face Time. This lovely piece tells the story of three Jewish chaplains, the jobs they've been doing, how they try to offer spiritual succor to patients, their families, even hospital staff. A look at their often unsung roles through Jewish eyes.


Second Place

Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO  

A Denver tale” by Andrea Jacobs

Click here to view submission

Comment: That the pandemic forced nursing homes to suspend visitation is well known and there have been many stories on the topic. But this kind of deep dive into a unique situation a mother and daughter found themselves in is unusual. Lotty Stark, a dementia patient was a Holocaust survivor whose illness haunted her with "memories" of that horror. Until the COVID lock down, her daughter Michelle visited every day and realized the staff saw her mom only as a patient and didn't understand how the Holocaust was mixed in. Lotty's story and Michelle's pain is a poignant look at a tragic situation that brought tears to my eyes. This piece appeared in the April 24 edition and noted that Lotty had tested positive for COVID. She died on April 25, and this lovely piece of reporting and writing became her memorial.


Honorable Mention

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA  

Death during a pandemic: virtual shiva calls and funerals without mourners” by David Wilensky  

Click here to view submission

Comment: There were many submissions concerning the ways synagogues, chevrot kadishas and funeral homes adjusted to the pandemic. Most, though, looked at the subject from the outside in. The rule in journalism is to "show, not tell," and this piece accomplished that by offering the story through the eyes of a mourner. That made the difference.

Division B. Monthly Newspapers and Magazines.

First Place

Jewish Currents, Brooklyn, NY  

Honoring the dead from a distance” by Jordana Rosenfeld  

Click here to view submission

Comment: This article was a fascinating look into how some of the most sacred, intimate Jewish practices like washing the dead have had to adjust, for better or worse, during COVID.

Second Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC

Archiving COVID-19 as it happens” by Sarah Breger  

Click here to view submission

Comment: So many organizations that archive our history have had to rethink the ways they share their artifacts and stories with the public during COVID — often, we saw here, to great results.


Honorable Mention

The Boiling Point, Los Angeles, CA  

Exciting, live and ‘weird,’ in-person school reopens outside in tents” by Molly Litvak  

Click here to view submission

Comment: This slice of life showed something that kids often dread, but truly welcomed: the return to school after so many months of online learning. While we have seen other articles from other schools that show kids' reactions as they went back, this one came from the perspective of those kids.

Division C. Web-based Outlets; Digital Only, Website Only and Wire Services.

First Place

Ruth Ebenstein, Jerusalem, Israel

No time for a breather: A nurse’s account of Israel’s first coronavirus death and life inside a COVID-19 ward” published by Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Click here to view submission

Comment: Realistic without being maudlin. Good writing that brings reader into the horrific.


Second Place

The Forward Association, Inc., New York, NY  

Why Dr. Vladimir Zelenko staked his reputation on hydroxychloroquine” by Ari Feldman  

Click here to view submission

Comment: In-depth look at controversial Jewish figure with controversial medical and political ideas during the pandemic.

Category 34: Award for Excellence in Creation of an Advertisement

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA  

Were all in” by LeeAnn Nelson, Dan Pine and Allison Green  

Click here to view submission


Category 35: Award for Excellence in Creation of Marketing Material

Not awarded.

Category 36: Award for General Excellence — Best Freelancer

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place

Sharon Rosen Leib, Los Angeles, CA

"Photographer Henri Dauman shot Hollywood greats, after being shot at by Nazis," published by Times of Israel; "One year later, Chabad of Poway shooting's legacy of pain and hope," published by The Forward Association, Inc.; "The 28-year-old studio executive who helped Hollywood survive its first pandemic," published by The Forward Association, Inc.

Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission


Second Place

Dave Schechter, Atlanta, GA

Rabbis criticize letter on killings, protests,” Perdue campaign removes ad Ossoff called ‘anti-Semitic,” Weber alumni urge anti-racist education” published and submitted by Atlanta Jewish Times

Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission


Honorable Mention

Faygie Holt, Livingston, NJ  

How to Teach the lessons of the Holocaust in the school classrooms,” published by JNS; College student spends 11 hours a day shopping for groceries,” published by Chabad.org; Jewish businesses start to feel heat as coronavirus affects product acquisition and sales,” published by JNS

Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Category 37: Award for General Excellence — Best Website

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place

Moment Magazine, Washington, DC

Moment Magazine” by Moment Magazine  

Click here to view submission


Second Place

70 Faces Media, New York, NY  

JTA” by JTA Staff

Click here to view submission

Honorable Mention

18Doors, Newton, MA  

18Doors.org” by Lindsey Silken, Heather Martin and Kevin LaManna

Click here to view submission


Category 38: Award for General Excellence — Best Magazine

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place

Moment Magazine, Washington DC

Moment Magazine” by Moment Magazine  

Click here to view submission

Comment: A simply wonderful edition, the obvious winner. Though conceptualized prior to the pandemic, this summer issue on time resonated especially well as the country experienced the throes of the coronavirus. The highlights include looks at 30 specific years of importance in Jewish history, the ways Jews deal with death, why there's no word for history in Hebrew, a review of Moment's history, and whether Jews have a particular interest in the big government vs. small government debate. There's so much thoughtful material in this issue to ruminate on.


Second Place

Hamodia, New York, NY

Inyan” by Heshy Ehrenreich
Link coming soon

Comment: This attractive, well-designed edition of Inyan captures the various agonies and concerns facing its readers in March and April 2020 at the start of the pandemic and right before Passover. Enjoyable advice columns address questions of COVID-era ethics and single life Shidduch GPS, while Passover features on seder traditions around the world, and on the laws of chametz, clearly hit the mark.


Category 39: Award for General Excellence — Best Newspaper

All entries competed in the same division.

First Place

The Jewish Journal of Greater LA, Los Angeles, CA

The Jewish Journal of Greater LA” by David Suissa, Kelly Hartog and Jonathan Fong  

Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Comment: Excellent design and layout from cover to cover and extraordinary original content from news to opinion writing.


Second Place

J. The Jewish News of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

J. The Jewish News of Northern California” by J. Staff

Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Comment: Excellent graphic design and breadth of original content from news to opinion writing.


Honorable Mention

Jewish Independent, Vancouver, BC 

Jewish Independent” by Cynthia Ramsay, Josie Tonio McCarthy, Pat Johnson, Steve Freedman and Leanne Jacobsen

Click here to view submission
Click here to view submission

Click here to view submission

Comment: Diverse content from news to cultural writing, including unique reporting on Jewish media in Canada. Fun and easy to read.

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