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A Record 12 Jewish Journal Writers Win 17 Awards at the 43rd Annual Simon Rockower Awards

[additional-authors]
June 4, 2024

A Jewish Journal record of 12 different writers collected awards at the 43rd Annual Simon Rockower Awards presented on June 3 by the American Jewish Press Association.

Multiple winners included Tabby Refael, David Suissa and Mark Schiff. Other winners were Judy Gruen, Marcus Freed, Monica Osborne, Gary Wexler, Thane Rosenbaum, Sharon Gomperts and Rachel Emquies Sheff (Sephardic Spice Girls), Morton Schapiro and Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz.

Here is the full list of winners, with links to the winning articles:

The Louis Rapaport Award for Excellence in Commentary

2nd聽Place 鈥 Judy Gruen

鈥淛别飞颈蝉丑 Students Should Boycott Universities that Coddle A苍迟颈蝉别尘颈迟别蝉,鈥 鈥淎 Recipe for True W辞尘别苍鈥檚 E尘辫辞飞别谤尘别苍迟,鈥鈥淗ome is Where the Heartbreak 鈥攁nd the Solidarity 鈥 A谤别鈥

Honorable Mention 鈥 Marcus J Freed

Satirical Semite: DatingGPT,鈥 鈥Satirical Semite: It鈥檚 complicated,鈥 鈥Satirical Semite: Unjected

Award for Excellence in Single Commentary

2nd聽Place 鈥 Monica Osborne 鈥Wokeism and the Jews: A Reckoning

Comment: What happens when questioning replaces certainty? This piece logically takes the reader on a thought journey that supports why it is dangerous to acquiesce to ideologies.

Honorable Mention 鈥 Gary Wexler 鈥The Inside Story of How Palestinians Took Over the World

Comment: Bearing witness to history, the author paints a compelling ( frightening!) picture of how we got here, why our response needs to change, and what is at stake.

Award for Excellence in Arts 九色 and Features – Reporting

1st聽Place 鈥 David Suissa 鈥Fighting Antisemitism with Punch Lines

Comment: Nice piece. Nice to see both event coverage and a larger issue melded into one single story.

Award for Excellence in Arts 鈥 Review/Criticism

1st聽Place 鈥 Thane Rosenbaum 鈥Oppenheimer and the Lesson of Brainy Jews

Comment: It is good to point out the number of Jews involved.

Honorable Mention 鈥 Tabby Refael 鈥For a Deaf Woman From Iran, Freedom Never Sounded so Good

Comment: Sounds like a great novel and it centers on a story of Jewish culture that is not told.

Award for Excellence in Covering Zionism, Aliyah and Israel

2nd聽Place 鈥 David Suissa 鈥Israel, Water and the Next 100 Years

Comment: A timely, important, and often overlooked environmental story.

Award for Excellence in Writing About Women

1st聽Place 鈥 Tabby Refael 鈥 鈥In Honor of Purim, Meet Four Extraordinary Persian Jewish Women

Comment: This lovely memoir offers a peek into the now-lost culture of Iranian Jewish women.

Award for Excellence in Writing About Food and Wine

Honorable Mention 鈥 Sharon Gomperts and Rachel Emquies Sheff 鈥Precious Pastelikos

Award for Excellence in Writing About Sports

1st聽Place 鈥 Morton Schapiro 鈥How Sandy Koufax Boosted My Jewish Pride

Comment: This is an exceptionally well written piece that really grabbed me. When I read it, I thought I was reading an article from Sports Illustrated when that magazine was the epitome of what sports journalism should be.

Award for Excellence in Writing About Seniors

Honorable Mention 鈥 Mark Schiff 鈥What Choice Do I Have?

Comment: Aging may be no fun, but the author鈥檚 sense of humor and positive attitude make reading about it enjoyable!

Award for Excellence in Writing About Antisemitism

2nd聽Place 鈥 David Suissa 鈥As Jew-Hatred Hits Record Highs, Our Best Allies Can Be Israeli-Arabs

Award for Excellence in Writing About Jewish Thought and Life

Honorable Mention 鈥 Tabby Refael 鈥I鈥檓 an Observant Jew, and I Need Christmas Music More Than Ever Before

Award for Excellence in Writing About Young Families/People

2nd聽Place 鈥 Tabby Refael 鈥An L.A. Couple Is Married. The Wedding Guests? 200 Children

Comment: A joyful, well-balanced piece that tells a lovely story while weaving in many details of Jewish law and custom.聽

Honorable Mention 鈥 Mark Schiff 鈥A Long Overdue Father and Son Roadtrip

Comment: A well written, humorous article that doesn鈥檛 just tell a story, but also exudes the warmth of a wonderful father-son relationship.

Award for Excellence in Writing About the War in Israel: 九色 and Feature Writing

2nd聽Place 鈥 Chaim Steinmetz 鈥A Letter from Israel: It鈥檚 Okay to Start Dreaming

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