The awards included first- and second-place honors in both the news and feature categories in the annual Simon Rockower contest, as well as first-place honors for best personality profile and best special section.
In the Excellence in News Reporting Category, Hella Winston took first place for “In Lakewood Abuse Cases, A Parallel System Of Justice” and second for “Tragedy in Borough Park Puts Shomrim Under Scrutiny.” The Lakewood story, based largely on court documents, detailed the inner workings of a powerful religious court as it tried to adjudicate sensitive allegations of sexual abuse. The story revealed the kinds of intimidation faced by families who sought to bring allegations of abuse to secular law enforcement. The Shomrim story focused on the Orthodox patrol group’s actions — some of which were criticized by the New York Police Department — in the wake of the kidnapping and ultimate murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky.
The Jewish Week also took first and second place in The Boris Smolar Award for Excellence in Enterprise for Investigative Reporting. First place went to “Holocaust Claims Going Unpaid, Investigation Says” by Stewart Ain, part of a series of stories documenting the efforts of Holocaust survivors to seek compensation for the valuables they lost in the Holocaust and for the insurance policies that were never paid. Second place in that category went to a series of articles, “21st Century Jewish Education: Series on Technology in Jewish Education,” by Julie Wiener. The series included stories on day schools using Internet tools to save money, the development of Jewish educational games and an online Chabad day school.
The newspaper also took first place in the Excellence in Special Sections or Supplements category for Text/Context, edited by Sandee Brawarsky.
Staff writer Eric Herschthal won the First Place David Frank Award for Excellence in Personality Profiles for his interview with novelist Francisco Goldman.
“This is a real tribute to and recognition of the outstanding work done by our reporters, week in and week out,” said Peter Wang, president of The Jewish Week’s Board of Directors. “We have the finest staff in the world of Jewish journalism, and we’re immensely proud of its accomplishments.
Gary Rosenblatt, editor and publisher, said he was particularly proud of the AJPA’s recognition of “The Jewish Week’s commitment to in-depth reporting on a wide range of issues, from local, to national to international.”
The award for Herschthal, who has covered arts and culture for The Jewish Week since 2006, comes as he steps down from the position to pursue a doctorate in American history at Columbia University.
The Jewish Week competes in the category of newspapers and magazines with circulations higher than 15,000.