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Announcing Awards for Our Reporting & Poetry

Jewish Currents is excited to announce awards for our work over the last year!

We are so proud of the work of our writers and editors. We hope you will consider making a donation to sustain this project for the years ahead.

Hostages’ Families Fight to Be Heard
The families of those held in Gaza have faced violence and neglect in their quest to retrieve their loved ones.
Maya Rosen

Jewish Currents Israel/Palestine fellow Maya Rosen won the New York Press Club’s Nellie Bly Cub Reporter award—for journalists who are new to the field—for her reporting in “Hostages’ Families Fight to Be Heard,” published in November. As we noted in our cover letter to the awards committee, Rosen’s piece “remains to this day the most comprehensive English-language analysis of the Israeli political dynamics surrounding the hostage crisis”—dynamics that remain relevant as Israel continues to marginalize hostages’ families’ calls for ceasefire while using their loved ones to justify its ongoing assault.

“Here’s your math. Here’s your hot take. / That number isn’t a number. / That number is a first word, a nickname, a birthday song in June.”
Hala Alyan

Hala Alyan’s poem, “Naturalized,” won a coveted Pushcart Prize and will be reprinted in their volume Pushcart Prize XLIX: Best of the Small Presses.

You can read the poem with Jewish Currents culture editor Claire Schwartz’s introduction, and listen to Alyan herself read the poem, above.

In the Hole
Five incarcerated men on the minute-by-minute experience of solitary confinement.
Christopher Blackwell, Aaron Edward Olson, Antoine Davis, Raymond Williams, and Jonathan Kirkpatrick

Jewish Currents contributing writer Chris Blackwell won Journalist of the Year in the inaugural Stillwater Awards, a joint initiative by the Society of Professional Journalists and Prison Journalism Project. Named after the first prison to publish a newspaper—the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater—the awards seek to honor journalistic excellence in the incarcerated community, while promoting the field of journalism as a viable path for communities impacted by the justice system.

As part of a prolific portfolio from over the last four years—including articles in The Appeal, The Nation, and The Marshall Project—Blackwell has documented the effects of prison policy during the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to writing about the impact of the 2020 racial justice uprisings and of summer heat waves on incarcerated people. Most recently in the pages of Jewish Currents, Blackwell coordinated and mentored four writers who—alongside him—reflected on the grueling experience of solitary confinement.

Mazel tov, Chris!

greenblatt at the adl
ADL Staffers Dissented After CEO Compared Palestinian Rights Groups to Right-Wing Extremists, Leaked Audio Reveals
A special meeting called to answer internal critics shows that the ADL’s vocal opposition to the anti-Zionist left is controversial even within the organization.
Mari Cohen and Alex Kane

Jewish Currents associate editor Mari Cohen and senior reporter Alex Kane won the New York Press Club’s magazine award for Continuing Coverage—National, for their work documenting dissent in the Jewish community over Israel and Zionism. In “ADL Staffers Dissented After CEO Compared Palestinian Rights Groups to Right-Wing Extremists, Leaked Audio Reveals,” Cohen and Kane broke the story of dissent within the American Defamation League last March, and contextualized it within the history of the organization. In “Crisis at the 92nd Street Y,” Cohen attentively documented the fall-out at the renowned institution in the weeks after October 7th, and in “Progressive Zionists Choose a Side,” she reported from the national “March for Israel” in November, showing how progressive Jewish organizations responded to the threat of exile from the Jewish mainstream by hewing to a pro-Israel, pro-war line.

Crisis at the 92nd Street Y
A recent controversy suggests the post-October 7th political landscape will pose existential challenges for Jewish institutions trying to maintain pro-Israel politics alongside a broad cultural mission.
Mari Cohen

Jewish Currents associate editor Mari Cohen also won second place in the Religious News Association’s Excellence in Religion Reporting, for magazines and non-daily newspapers, for a package of three articles: “Crisis at the 92nd Street Y” and “Progressive Zionists Choose a Side,” both outlined above, alongside “How a Giant of Responsible Investing Agreed to an Israel Exception,” an expose of the internal workings of Morningstar.

Portraits of Encounter
In paintings of Queens’s blue-collar workers and immigrant communities, Aliza Nisenbaum explores the small-scale politics of interpersonal relationships.
Jillian Steinhauer

Lastly, Jewish Currents won six awards in the American Jewish Press Association’s 43rd Annual Rockower Awards magazines and monthly newspapers division:

We are so proud of the work of our writers and editors, and grateful that their work is recognized and amplified.

To wish them congratulations, and support this project for years to come, we hope you will donate today.