10 Journalist Named Winners of the 1975 Smolar Awards; Newspaper, News Service Given Special Citatio
Menu JTA Search

10 Journalist Named Winners of the 1975 Smolar Awards; Newspaper, News Service Given Special Citatio

Download PDF for this date

Ten Journalists were named winners of the 1975 Smolar Awards “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. One newspaper and a news service were also given special citations.

Chosen from 170 entries in eight news, editorial and feature categories submitted in the fourth annual Smolar competition, the awards were made public at the CJF’s 44th General Assembly, The five-day conclave, which began Wednesday and continued through yesterday brought 3000 communal leaders and Federation executives from more than 200 communities in the United States and Canada to assess the critical issues and priorities at home, overseas and in Israel confronting the North American Jewish community,

Three winners were named for news coverage, Sheldon Kirshner, staff reporter of the Canadian Jewish News of Toronto, won the award for local news coverage. Lewis Levendel, associate editor of the Canadian Jewish News, was cited for his coverage of national news. Dr. Yitzchak Ben Gad, UN correspondent of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, won in the field of international news for his coverage of the Palestine Liberation Organization debate.

Awards for editorial comment went to Norman Gold, editor and publisher of the American Jewish World of Minneapolis, for his weekly editorials. I.J. Fishbein, editor of the Sentinel of Chicago, was honored for his series of weekly editorial columns.


Five reporters divided three awards in the features division, Awards for articles on a single theme were shared by Albert Bloom, executive editor of the Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, and David Salsburg, of the Jewish Leader of New London, Conn. Bloom was cited for a series of 14 articles on his coverage of a Middle East press mission, entitled “Peoples and Issues–Behind the Arab Curtain.” Salsburg achieved recognition for a Bicentennial series reviewing “The Jewish Contribution to America.”

Two women shared the award for the best series of individual articles, Kim Muller-Thym, assistant editor of the Jewish Times of Baltimore was honored for a variety of articles, among them news stories on widowhood, a Russian immigrant family, and a series of biographical interviews. Jakki Savan, assistant editor of the Jewish Light of St. Louis, received recognition for a number of articles, including a former Israeli POW, sexism and an interview with Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Joseph B. Salsberg of the Canadian Jewish News of Toronto, was honored for his regular, column on the contemporary local scene filtered by shteti recollections,


A weekly community newspaper and a national student press body were singled out this year for special recognition by the Selection Committee. The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle was cited for “initiative and service to readers”–the elderly and the very young especially–in the creation and publication of its 14 point, bold type “Sight Saver” monthly supplement, The national Jewish Student Press Service was cited for its Jewish press features, “a monthly news and feature service whose lively coverage of Jewish life in Israel and the diaspora provide a fresh perspective and resource to the American Jewish press community.”

Commenting on the Award winners, and on the 1975 competition overall, Becker said “Most impressive to the committee this year has been the size of the entry field, the keen level of the competition itself in all categories and the ever-widening range of issues, stories and Journalistic styles displayed. It says quite clearly that the reading fare available to the Jewish community is richer than ever before–a tribute to the reporters, columnists, feature writers and editors who are engaged so noticeably and energetically in reaching for new levels of American Jewish press completeness and excellence.”

The Smolar Award, established in 1972 by the CJF, was designed to recognize achievements by outstanding North American Journalists whose work appears in English-Jewish newspapers primarily concerned with the coverage of Jewish communal affairs and issues in the U.S. and Canada.

Created as a tribute to Boris Smolar, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and still an active author and columnist, this year’s competition covers material published between June 1, 1974 and May 31, 1975. Although the announcement of the awards was made here, actual presentation to the winners will take place at the March board meeting of the CJF in Cincinnati,

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund