Earlier this month, the American Jewish Press Association announced the winners of this year’s Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism, which honor achievements in Jewish media published in 2014. In its division (newspapers with 14,999 circulation and under), the Jewish Independent garnered two first places.
Publisher and editor Cynthia Ramsay won the first place award for excellence in writing about Jewish heritage and Jewish peoplehood in Europe for her article “World Musician at Rothstein” (Nov. 21, 2014), about the work of Lenka Lichtenberg. The group Art Without Borders was bringing Lichtenberg to Vancouver from her home base of Toronto for a solo performance at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre. The article includes reviews of Lichtenberg’s three most recent CDs and how, in all of her music, “the memory and traditions of those who have lived before can be heard – they are celebrated, and merge with the memories, traditions and passions of Lichtenberg and the artists with whom she collaborates.”
The JI editorial board – Pat Johnson, Basya Laye and Ramsay – won the paper’s other award: first place for excellence in editorial writing. The three editorials that comprised the winning entry were “The message is universal” (March 7, 2014), about plans for the Canadian National Holocaust Monument to be constructed in Ottawa; “The spirit of Limmud” (Feb. 14, 2014), about how the vision and passion of one woman, Ruth Hess-Dolgin z”l, significantly enriched our community by initiating the movement to bring Limmud here; and “Uniquely set apart for exclusion” (May 9, 2014), about the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations decision to exclude J Street from the group.
The Rockower awards will be presented at AJPA’s annual conference, which, for the second year in a row, is scheduled around the Jewish Federation General Assembly being held in Washington D.C. Nov. 8-10. AJPA sessions will be held Nov. 9-11. The entire list of Rockower winners can be found at ajpa.org/?page=2015Rockower.