The 1976 Smolar Awards for Excellence in North American Jewish Journalism were announced today at the 45th General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. Lavy M. Becker of Montreal, chairman of the Smolar Award Committee, reported that eight individuals and newspapers were selected as winners of a total of 122 entries. Established in 1972 by the CJF, the award is named in honor of Boris Smolar, a distinguished journalist, author and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The three awards for “News Coverage” went to Berthold Gaster, co-publisher and managing editor of the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, for local news coverage; Janice Arnold of the Chronicle Review in Toronto, for national news coverage; and Herb Brin, editor-publisher of the Heritage-Southwest Jewish Press in Los Angeles, for overseas and Israeli news coverage.
The “Best Series of Editorials” award went to the staff of the Baltimore Jewish Times, headed by Charles Buerger, publisher, and Gary Rosenblatt, editor. The prize-winning entry consisted of two editorials taking different positions on the question of whether Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger should be honored by a local synagogue.
The Smolar Award winner for “Best Regular Editorial Column” was won by Martin Levin, editor of the Winnipeg Jewish Post. His entries included columns dealing with Israel’s invitation to South African Prime Minister B.J. Vorster for an official four-day state visit, Spiro Agnew’s comments regarding Jews and the media and the observance of Holocaust Memorial Day.
In the field of feature articles, the Smolar Awards were given to Frank Wundohl, editor, Philadelphia Exponent; Robert Cohn, editor, St. Louis Jewish Light; and Jakki Savan, assistant editor, St. Louis Jewish Light.
BASIS FOR FEATURE ARTICLES AWARDS
Wundohl’s winning entry in the competition consisted of a series of articles dealing with his visit to Israel and included interviews with the Commanding General of Israel’s northern frontier, Gen. Raphael Eytan, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Yosef Tekoah and an article on tomato crops growing in the Negev.
Cohn won for three articles dealing with an exclusive and first interview with David Williams the stepson of Philip Roth, which disclosed that Williams’ mother, the late Margaret Martinson Williams Roth, is the basis for characters in some of Roth’s most important work; a comparative review of the CBS television film series. “Moses the Lawgiver” with the Tony Curtis film “Lepke,” and the implications of the Jewish characters in both; and a comparative review of the film, “Young Frankenstein” and the original film version of “The Golem.”
Savan won her third Smolar Award for her feature articles on Bob Hope’s long-standing friendship with the late Sam Zvibelman of St. Louis, fondly remembered as “Sam the Water-melon Man”; Israel and its quest for increased immigration and an interview with Elie Wiesel.
Announcement of the winners was made by Saul Viener of Richmond, Va., vice-chairman of the Smolar Award Committee.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.