JTA Series on Unrwa Wins Top Jewish Journalism Award

JTA earned six journalism awards at last week’s gathering of the American Jewish Press Association in San Francisco.

The Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism, established in 1980, recognizes outstanding journalism in 14 categories.

For the fourth year in a row, JTA took top honors in the investigative reporting category with a five-part series by Michael J. Jordan that delved into the practices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which aids Palestinian refugees.

A JTA investigative series by Edwin Black took third prize in the same category. The series, “Hitler’s carmaker,” reported General Motors’ ties to the Nazi regime.

Brian Hendler, JTA’s Jerusalem photographer, also garnered first place in the photography category for his photo “Sister Mourns Brother.”

JTA also won two of the three awards in the category for personality profiles: Uriel Heilman placed second for “Doctoring in Ethiopia,” which detailed the life of Dr. Rick Hodes, who has spent much of his career administering to the sick in Ethiopia, and Ruth Ellen Gruber was third for “Ride ‘em Jewboy,” about the maverick Texas politician Kinky Friedman.

In the Excellence in News Reporting category, JTA’s Tel Aviv-based correspondent Dina Kraft won third place for “Sudanese Refugees Jailed in Israel.”

The following are first-place winners in the Rockower Awards competition for works published in 2006:

The Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all magazines/Web sites Jonathan Tobin, Jewish Exponent, Philadelphia, “Somebody Else’s Job?,” “If You Build It, Will They Come?” and “Protestant, Catholic, Jew and Muslim.”

Newspapers between 7,500 and 15,000 circulation Marla Cohen, Rockland Jewish Reporter, New York, “Balancing on One Foot,” “Remembering May Have to be Enough,” and “Truth, Justice and the Hasmonean Way.”

Newspapers under 7,499 circulation Martin Jaffee, JTNews, Seattle, “What Became of the Monks, the Monks, the Monks,” “A Muslim-American Mad at Israel,” and Papal Bull.”

Award for Excellence in Single Commentary: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all magazines/Web sites Etgar Keret, Nextbook.org, New York, “My Lamented Sister.”

Newspapers Below 15,000 circulation Leon Cohen, Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Milwaukee, “Dying for Justice?”

Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all magazines/Web sites J.J. Goldberg, The Forward, New York, “In Dark Times, Blame the Jews.”

Newspapers under 15,000 circulation Deborah Sussman Susser, Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, “Whatever.”

The Boris Smolar Award for Excellence in Comprehensive Coverage or Investigative Reporting: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all magazines/Web sites Michael J. Jordan, JTA, New York, “Unmasking UNRWA.”

Newspapers under 15,000 circulation Aaron Howard, Jewish Herald Voice, Houston, “Pushed Out of My Home: I Lift My Lamp Refugees in Houston, 2006.”

Excellence in News Reporting: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and all magazines/Web sites Paul Lungen, Canadian Jewish News, Toronto, “As Tribute to Friend He Carried Torah to Space (Canadian Completes Israeli Astronaut’s Mission).”

Newspapers between 7,500 and 15,000 circulation Andrea Jacobs, Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, “Hot Lunches, Hot Tempers at the JCC.”

Newspapers under 7,499 circulation Rick Hellman, Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, Overland Park, Kan., “Coincidences Among Crimes at Topeka Houses of Worship Concern Leaders.”

Excellence in Feature Writing: Newspapers over 15,00 circulation Daniel Gordis, World Jewish Digest, Chicago, “What We No Longer Believe” and Joel Kotkin and Zina Klapper, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, “Diaspora Shifts, But Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon.”

Newspapers between 7,500 and 15,000 circulation Suzi Brozman, Atlanta Jewish Times, “A Prescription for Faith.”

Newspapers under 7,499 circulation Bill Cohen, The New Standard, Columbus, Ohio, “The Jewish Comfort Zone.”

Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Web sites Carl Hoffman, Moment, Washington, D.C., “Hours and 20 Minutes in Tel Aviv s Central Bus Station.”Excellence in Arts and Criticism News and Features: Critical analysis/review, usually of a single artistic endeavor, whether in literature, theater, film or fine arts and crafts Stephen Hazan Arnoff, Zeek: a Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, New York, “Live by No Man’s Code: The Religious Forms of Philip Roth’s ‘Everyman.’ “

Reporting on an artistic endeavor, trend, movement or personality whether in literature, theater, film or fine arts and crafts Toby Axelrod, Hadassah Magazine, New York, “Behind the Master’s Canvas.”

The David Frank Award for Excellence in Personality Profiles: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation Jack Gilden, Baltimore Jewish Times, “Silence of ‘The Sage.’ “

Newspapers under 15,000 circulation Andrea Jacobs, Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, “Drew Soicher.”

Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Web sites Nadine Epstein and Walter Podrazik, Moment, Washington, D.C., “Brian Epstein: The Man Behind the Beatles.”

Excellence in Overall Graphic Design: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and Magazine Special Sections and Supplements/Web sites Baltimore Jewish Times.

Newspapers under 15,000 circulation The Atlanta Jewish Times.

Excellence in Special Sections or Supplements: Newspapers over 15,000 circulation and Magazine Special Sections and Supplements/Web sites The Jewish Week, New York, “Fresh Ink.”

Newspapers under 15,000 circulation Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, Md., “Guide to Jewish Life.”

Newspapers under 7,499 circulation Jewish Herald-Voice, Houston, “Weddings to Remember.”

Excellence in Photography: All Newspapers Brian Hendler, JTA, New York, “Sister Mourns Brother.”

Magazines/Special Sections and Supplements/Web sites Jason Eskenazi and Friends, Hadassah Magazine, New York, “An Idea That Clicked.”

The Noah Bee Award for Excellence in Illustration and/or Editorial Cartooning: Cartoons Steve Greenberg, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, “Greenberg s View.”

Illustrations Robert Meganck, Yevgenia Naybert and Marvin Friedman, Hadassah Magazine, New York.

Hadassah Award for Excellence in Writing about Women Rahel Musleah, Jewish Woman Magazine, Washington, D.C., “Finding the Words.”

Nefesh B’Nefesh Award for The Story of Aliyah: Amy Klein, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, “Return to the Promised Land.”

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