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Jewish Currents Wins 16 Rockower Awards!

We are pleased to share that Jewish Currents received 16 awards at the recent American Jewish Press Association’s 41st Annual Simon Rockower Award Ceremony for work completed in 2021. Our organization is incredibly grateful to our staff, contributors and collaborators whose work we are honored to feature in our print pages and online on our website (both of which were also awarded for excellence in design!).

We are particularly proud to see our work on issues not traditionally covered in mainstream Jewish media outlets be recognized by the AJPA, including Emily Glick and Maya Rosen’s photo essay “Portraits of Resistance in Masafer Yatta,” Mairav Zonszein’s reporting on unequal vaccine distribution in the occupied territories, and Alex Kane and Jacob Hutt’s investigation into the dismal civil rights record of the ADL. Additionally, Jewish Currents won top honors for our website design, in book criticism, and for excellence in writing on Black-Jewish relations. You can see all 16 of our Rockower awards, and read the associated pieces, listed below.

Please join us in congratulating our staff and contributors!

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Unless indicated otherwise, all winnings are in Division B: magazines and monthly newspapers.

Award for Excellence in Single Commentary

Second Place: “The Politics of ‘Jewface’” by Rebecca Pierce

Judges’ Comment: “A well-written, personal narrative that takes readers through social justice, antisemitism, and racism via the lens of ‘comedy,’ while at the same time turning the camera on ourselves.”

Award for Excellence in Personal Essay

First Place: “This is Not a #YomHaShoah Instagram Post” by Helen Betya Rubinstein

Judges’ Comment: “Helen’s piece stood out, both for its emotional impact and its creative and courageous writing. She powerfully conveyed the idea that the Holocaust, in its scale and horror, defies description and comprehension.”

The Boris Smolar Award for Excellence in Enterprise or Investigative Reporting

Second Place: “How the ADL’s Israel Advocacy Undermines Its Civil Rights Work” by Alex Kane & Jacob Hutt, featured in our Spring 2021 issue

Judges’ Comment: “A deeply reported and researched and well-told story on an important and historic organization.”

Award for Excellence in Deadline/Breaking News Reporting (all newspapers and magazines)

Honorable Mention: “Sanders Pushes Gaza Aid in Exchange for ‘Yes’ Vote on Iron Dome Funds” by Alex Kane

Judges’ Comment: “Fine political reporting.”

Award for Excellence in News Story

First Place: “The Complex Reality of Black–Jewish Coalitions in Georgia” by Mari Cohen

Judges’ Comment: “This article pulls back the cover from the rosy picture some have painted of Jewish-Black relations in Atlanta following the elections of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the US Senate. It effectively delves into the sensitive tensions that still exist below the surface.”

Award for Excellence in Writing About Social Justice and Humanitarian Work

Second Place: “Portraits of Resistance in Masafer Yatta” by Emily Glick and Maya Rosen, ““They Want to Kick Us Out of This Land”” by Mari Cohen, and “Shabbat Terror in the West Bank” by Maya Rosen

Judges’ Comment: “In this excellent assemblage of stories, photos and personal testimonials, what comes across is what one of the writers says toward the end of the series: ‘Mob violence functions as a core component of the settlers’ strategy, advancing their ultimate goal of territorial expansion and control.’ This is a well-reported, afflicting and important project that offers strong and disturbing evidence of the inhumane treatment of Palestinians in occupied lands. It is timed very well as it coincides with an Israeli Supreme Court case that will decide the fate of these settlers. Excellent and intimate. Great citizen journalism with a mature and professional tone from promising young reporters.”

Award for Excellence in Arts—Review/Criticism

First Place: “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore” by Nathan Goldman, from our Fall 2021 issue

Second Place: “Lost and Unfounded” by Judith Butler, from our Spring 2021 issue

Award for Excellence in Writing About Health (monthly newspapers, magazines, and digital outlets)

First Place: “Vaccination Under occupation” by Mairav Zonszein

Judges’ Comment: “This is an important look at the multifaceted vaccine issue.”

Award for Excellence in Writing About Jewish Heritage and Jewish Peoplehood in Europe

First Place: “The Right to a History Without Lies” by Linda Kinstler

Judges’ Comment: “It’s been four years since the Poland government passed the controversial Holocaust bill that makes it a crime to implicate Poles or the Polish nation in anything related to the Nazis and the Shoah. Linda Kinstler’s excellent story on the guilty verdict of two prominent Holocaust historians helps readers understand the specific ways that this law is affecting how history will be written about the Jews in Poland when the Nazis exterminated millions. Kinstler’s excellent reporting puts this verdict into a larger perspective of how the ruling Law and Justice party in Poland put the law into place and how other historians are facing similar fears regarding their own historical writings. This is a strong, well-written, and very clear story that has implications far beyond the Polish courtroom. Our understanding of what truly happened in the Shoah in Poland is at stake.”

ORT Award for Excellence in Education Reporting (magazines, monthly newspapers, and digital outlets)

First Place: “The Christian Zionist Group Shaping Holocaust Education in Florida” by Corey Sherman

Award for Excellence in Writing About Black-Jewish Relationships

Second Place: “The Complex Reality of Black–Jewish Coalitions in Georgia” by Mari Cohen

Honorable Mention: “From Minneapolis to Jerusalem: On Black-Palestinian Solidarity” by Hannah Black, featured in our Fall 2021 issue

Award for Excellence in Writing About Antisemitism

Honorable Mention: “How Not to Fight Antisemitism” by Jewish Currents Editors, featured in our Spring 2021 issue

Judges’ Comment: “Well written, also compelling piece.”

Award for General Excellence — Best Website (all entries)

First Place: “Jewish Currents” by Seamus Holman

Judges’ Comment: “A clean layout that looks the same on multiple browsers, including Safari, invites the reader to read and read more. The designers offer nothing fancy with colors, no gimmicks to attract attention, just easy-to-read headlines and labels.”

Award for General Excellence — Best Magazine (all entries)

Second Place: Spring 2021 by Jewish Currents

Judges’ Comment: “Great graphic cartoons throughout and wonderful mini-magazine within the magazine.”