In 1979, as a century tribute to him by his sons, the Rockower family created the Simon Rockower Jewish Journalism Awards to honor Simon Rockower and his deep love for the craft of Jewish Journalism.
Like the story of so many, Simon Rockower left his native Austria in search of the dreams and promises of a new land. In this country, he found it. His progeny have become physicists and physicians, lawyers and businessmen, and yes, even journalists. He was a man who taught his children to always ask good questions, something they taught, L’dor v’dor, to their children.
Simon Rockower was a man who deeply cherished his people, and always supported their betterment. One of his deepest pursuits was bringing not only relatives to America, but also bringing the friends of relatives and the relatives of friends to this land.
Simon Rockower believed that self-respect was gained by being proud of your religion and your people. He believed in the importance of leaving the legacy of a good name.
The excellence of your newspapers brings honor to Simon Rockower’s name; the excellence of your newspapers brings honor to our people. The field of Jewish Journalism remains committed to the truth. You faithfully tell the story of our people, the story of the Jewish American experience, and of our homeland Israel. You tell our story in a clear voice, even through uncertain times, as you share our joys and our triumphs, our trials and our tribulations. Your commitment to telling the American Jewish story remains paramount and unwavering.
On behalf of the entire Rockower family, I thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to sharing the stories of the American Jewish community.
Your work to faithfully tell the stories of our people is profound, and both the Rockower family and the entire American Jewish community are honored by your tireless efforts.
I am proud to note that our family renewed its support of the Simon Rockower Awards, and its connection to the American Jewish Press Association. Our family is honored to continue its support of the awards with a multigenerational campaign within the Rockower family to sponsor the awards for years to come.
Just as you are committed to telling the stories of the American Jewish community, the Rockower family is committed to honoring your work over the coming decades.
The Rockower family would also like to thank the American Jewish Press Association for being a partner in the Simon Rockower Awards events. I would like to especially recognize the work of past-Presidents Marshall Weiss and Rick Kestenbaum, President Craig Burke and Managing Director Cathy Herring for their role in the campaign to renew the awards.
As we have seen a rise in anti-Semitism in America during these last few years, the likes of which the American Jewish community has never seen, your work has become more important and vital. Hate and hate speech flourishes when it is met with silence; thanks to your continued collective voices, the American Jewish community will not be silent in the face of this looming spectre.
We will not stand idly by while attacks take place against the First Amendment, and against the Fourth Estate. Nor will we stand idly by while attacks take place against our community, or any community that makes up the fabric of America.
In an age of shrill cries of “fake news,” the American Jewish press remains loyal to the Truth. In a time of uncertainty, the American Jewish press continues to faithfully share our stories, in joy and in pain.
I believe that this was one of the reasons that Simon Rockower’s children set up the award in the first place: so that even in darkening times, the American Jewish press would always stand proud and firm as the voice of our community.
~Paul Rockower, great-grandson of Simon Rockower