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Simon Rockower Award Judging Instructions
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The 33rd Annual Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism

Please make sure you are using an approved browser (Firefox for PC and Macintosh) and have a recent version downloaded and installed for the best contest experience. Judges need to have a recent version of Adobe Flash Player installed as a plug-in for their browser. To update your Flash Player, go to

Judging Instructions for BetterBNC’s Online Contestant Software:

1. Go to 

2. From the Contests drop-down list, select The 33rd Annual Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism.

3. Enter your email address.

4. In the password box, enter your temporary password: ‘bnc’ (all lower case).

5. Click Login. If you wish to change your password, mouse over 'Judging' (top left), click My Account, click Change Password, and complete the required fields.

6. To view your assigned competitions, either click View My Assignments on the home page, or click My Assignments under 'Judging' in the top left corner.

7. To view the entries within the competition, click on the competition name, then click on the individual entry under 'Entries to Review'. In the case of hardcopy or mailed entries, review the physical entry content instead.

8. Once you have reviewed all parts of an entry (e.g. multiple attachments, website URLs, comments, captions, etc.), you can give the entry a preliminary score from 0-10 in the "How would you rate this entry?” scoring bar near the top of the page, which will help you sort the entries when you are ready to choose winners.

9. If you wish, you can add confidential entry comments (viewable only to yourself) in the Private Note box in the right side of the entry page.

10. When you have completed all review steps, click DONE REVIEWING THIS ENTRY at the bottom right of the page. This will help you keep track of which entries you have already reviewed for the competition you are currently evaluating.

11. Because the Reviewed Entries are automatically sorted by their preliminary scores (highest to lowest), you can simply view the first entries in the Reviewed Entries box when you are ready to select your winners. In other words, your preliminary scores help narrow down your winning candidates, so you don’t have to look at every entry again.

12. Once you determine which entries you want to award 1st/2nd places to, simply drag and drop the thumbnail images for those entries into the corresponding Winners boxes at the bottom of the page.

- Please remember, if the competition you are reviewing received 10 entries or less, please only award a 1st place winner.

          - No 3rd place, honorary mentions, or ties will be accepted. 

13. You can add brief comments for each of the three winning entries in the Comments boxes directly below each winning entry’s thumbnail image.

14. You may also comment on the overall competition in the Competition Comments field, to the right of the winning entry boxes.

15. Once you have completed the judging process for a competition (based on your contest’s rules and guidelines), click FINALIZE JUDGEMENT to save your decisions.

16. Repeat these steps for each of your assigned competitions.

Suggested Judging Guidelines:
  • We would like you to award only a 1st place prize if your category has fewer than 10 submissions. If your category has over 10 submissions, please award 1st and 2nd prizes.
  • No 3rd place, honorary mentions, or ties will be accepted.
Depending on the category you are judging, you may want to consider the following criteria:
  • Quality of writing, creativity of story topic and way topic is approached.
  • Coverage that is either unusually comprehensive (if a news event) or unusually thoughtful in its slant and subject (if a feature).
  • Please consider the entry within the context of the Jewish community, including its relevance to and impact upon that community.
  • Additional criteria are contained under the individual description for each category in the 33rd Annual Simon Rockower Awards Competition Packet. To view this, please click here.

To download a PDF copy of these instructions, please click here.


If you have any questions, please email Cathy Herring at or call her at (480) 403-4602 ext. 214. 


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