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IJN wins eight Rockower Awards

Rockower_AwardsThe Intermountain Jewish News won eight Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism, including four first-place and four second-place awards, in the 35th annual competition.

The IJN won more awards than any other newspaper in its category and was second overall only to the Forward, which is in a higher circulation division.

Awards will be presented at the American Jewish Press Association’s annual conference Nov. 14-16 in Washington, DC.

For the first time in the contest’s history, submissions were limited to five per category for each participating newspaper.

Andrea Jacobs, IJN senior writer, won three first-place awards:

• “Vaccination: The Medicine, the Politics, the Day Schools,” the Rambam Award for Excellence in Health Care Writing, Feb. 20, 2015;

• “Soviet-Jewish American Writers Come of Age,” Excellence in Writing about the Global Russian- Speaking Jewish Community, Aug. 14, 2015; and

• “Dachau 70 Years Later” (Sid Shafner), the Jacob Rader Marcus Award for Journalistic Excellence in American Jewish History, Jan. 23, 2015.

She won second place for “Pot Czar” (Andrew Freedman), Personality Profiles, June 26, 2015.

Shana Goldberg, IJN assistant publisher, won first place for “Searching for Life — Hungary Series,” Excellence in Writing about Jewish Heritage and Peoplehood, two-part series, “Wrenching Journey,” April 10, 2015 and “Searching for Life,” Dec. 4, 2015.

She won two second-place awards for coverage of a trip to Dachau, Germany on the 70th anniversary of the camp’s liberation by, in part, the Colorado and Oklahoma National Guards:

• “Colorado Returns to Dachau,” News Reporting, May 8, 2015;

• “Lessons from Visit to Dachau,” Personal Essay, May 15, 2015.

Chris Leppek, IJN assistant editor, won second place for “Ancestral Journey Leads to Israel,” Feature Writing, Oct. 16, 2015. He wrote about Hadassah Grove, who discovered her Crypto-Jewish roots, converted to Judaism and made aliyah.

Judges for the 35th annual competition were: Alan Cooperman, director of religion research, PewResearch Center; Amy Schwartz, opinion editor, Moment Magazine; Barri Bronston, assistant public relations director, Tulane University; Bill Schechner, broadcast journalism teacher, Ohlone Community College; Craig S. Karpel, contributing editor, Esquire/Harper’s; Dale Singer, education reporter, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Dan Kohan, principal, Sensical Design and Communication; David Chack, producer and director; DePaul University; Dawn Fallik, journalism professor, University of Delaware; Dick Polman, political columnist, blogger, Newsworks NPR; Dominic Massa, executive producer, WWL-TV; Ellen Schuster, head of public affairs, DW Akademie; Fran Simon, senior editor; office of editorial and creative services, Tulane; Jonathan Make, executive editor, Warren Communications News; Josh Meltzer, assistant photojournalism professor, RIT; Lauren Rublin, deputy managing editor, Barron’s Weekly; Lisa Brennan, freelance journalist; Marc Schlifstein, Pulitzer Prize winner, NOLA.com/Times Picayune; Martin Golan, senior editor, Reuters; Melody Kimmel, media trainer, Fleishman Hiller; Michael Alexander, associate professor and Maimonides Chair in Jewish Studies, University of California-Riverside; Michael Paulson, national religion reporter, The New York Times; Natalie Weinstein, senior editor, CENT News; Neil Reisner, journalism and mass communication professor, Florida International University; Philip Ritzenberg; Rob Brill, editor, Albany Times Union; Roy Gutterman, associate professor and director, Syracuse University; Sara Ellen Amster, lead faculty for MA in digital journalism school of professional studies, National University; Seth Gitner, professor, newspaper and multi-media journalist, Syracuse; Susan Berrin, editor, Sh’ma magazine; Tovah Lazaroff, deputy managing editor, Jerusalem Post.

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