Four newsmen were named winners of the 1974 Smolar Award “for excellence in North American Jewish Journalism,” it was announced by Lavy M. Becker, of Montreal, chairman of the Smolar Award Committee of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. Chosen from among 62 entries submitted in the third annual Smolar competition, the Awards were made public at the opening plenary session of the CJF’s 43rd General Assembly at the Palmer House.
The 1974 Smolar Award winners are: Leo Mindlin, associate editor of the Jewish Floridian, of Miami, in the competition for columns and editorials. He has been associated with the Miami paper since 1951. Max W. Jacobs, international correspondent of the Buffalo Jewish Review, in the competition for a special series of articles. He is a prominent business executive and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
Sharing the award for general reportage and news features are Robert A. Cohn, editor-in-chief of the St. Louis Jewish Light and Gary Rosenblatt, formerly with the Jewish Week of New York, and now associate editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times. Cohn, who Joined the Jewish Light in 1969 as editor, has for the past three years been president of the American Jewish Press Association. Before Joining The Jewish Week two years ago, Rosenblatt was a correspondent for The New York Times.
The award was established in 1972 by the CJF in honor of Boris Smolar, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and still active as a weekly columnist for the JTA, a distinguished journalist of long standing in both the general and Jewish press, as well as the author of various books on Jewish affairs.
In choosing the four Smolar Award winners, the Selection Committee first narrowed the field of 62 entries to eight, from which the winners were chosen. Rounding out the finalists’ group were J.B. Salsberg of the Canadian Jewish News of Toronto, Samuel Kaplan, of the Jewish Western Bulletin of Vancouver, Canada, Bernard M. Hyatt, of the Boston Jewish Advocate, and Ray Kestenbaum of The Jewish Week of New York.
A group of seven reporters and one newspaper were also singled out this year for award citations by the Selection Committee. The reporters were honored for the “competence and in-depth coverage of local community news.” The newspaper, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, was given special recognition for “its initiative and reader service in the publication of its monthly supplement, the Friday Forum, which is under the supervision of the Exponents editor-in-chief, Frank Wundohl, and the editorship of Phyllis Z. Miller.
The seven reporters singled out by the Selection Committee for special commendation and citations for their year-round local news reportage In addition to the award winners are: David Gross and Jim Remsen of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, al of the San Franeisco Jewish Bulletin, Lewis Levendel of the Canadian Jewish News of Toronto, Jakki Savan of the St.Louis Jewish Light, Nina Liston of the Cleveland Jewish News, and Hirsh Goldberg of the Baltimore Jewish Times.
Commenting on the Award winners, and on the 1974 competition as a whole, Becker said: “The exceptional quality of the entries, and the increased number made this year, give a clear sign of the mounting influence and growing readability and readership of the American Jewish press. The work of these Journalists ranged over nearly all aspects of Jewish communal concerns and issues Jewish education, Israel the problems of the Jewish aging and poor, urban erosion and what is being done to combat it. and those currents and features which make up the very vital and dynamic picture of local and national news.”
Although the announcement of the Awards was made in Chicago, the actual presentation to the winners will take place at the March board meeting of the Council to be held in Atlanta.