Images from four award-winning stories (clockwise from top left): "For Jews of color, protests are reminders of pain — even within Jewish community"; "In North Bay, fire and smoke disrupt an already unusual Yom Kippur"; "Ron Berman, adored adman who created campaigns for Jewish causes, dies at 83"; "A road trip through Jewish Gold Country"
Images from four award-winning stories (clockwise from top left): "For Jews of color, protests are reminders of pain — even within Jewish community"; "In North Bay, fire and smoke disrupt an already unusual Yom Kippur"; "Ron Berman, adored adman who created campaigns for Jewish causes, dies at 83"; "A road trip through Jewish Gold Country"

J. wins record-breaking 19 national Jewish journalism awards

J. The Jewish News of Northern California has won 19 Rockower awards from the American Jewish Press Association, for work published in 2020. That is a record for J., after last year’s 12 awards.

The awards — six first place, seven second place and six honorable mentions — were announced this evening during the AJPA annual conference, which was held virtually for the second year in a row.


First-place awards

News story: “North Bay fire and smoke disrupt an already unusual Yom Kippur” by Maya Mirsky, Gabe Stutman and Dan Pine

Writing about seniors: “Psychedelic journeys brought peace to this Holocaust survivor. Now he’s helping others on their own journeys,” by Alix Wall

Headline writing: “King of Weed: Meet the Jewish mogul who’s smokin’ the competition”; “Johnny Doughnuts started as John Dough, delicious on arrival”; and “At Market Hall, they cry over the horseradish so you don’t have to” by Sue Barnett

Obituaries: “Ron Berman, adored adman who created campaigns for Jewish causes, dies at 83” by Dan Pine

Black-Jewish relationships: “For Jews of color, protests are reminders of pain, even within the Jewish community” by Gabriel Greschler

Creation of an advertisement: “We’re all in” by Dan Pine, Allison Green and LeeAnn Nelson


Second-place awards

Single commentary: “Disability during a pandemic: Why you should put a spoon on your seder plate this year” by Rabbi Elliot Kukla

Personal essay: “My transition from a skeptical Soviet Jew to a member of the tribe” by Luda Shuster

Social justice and humanitarian work: “East Bay synagogue hosts former ICE detainee in quarantine” by Rachele Kanigel

Art criticism/review: “New Magnes exhibit: ‘Soldier in art’ Arthur Szyk blasted tyranny in stunning works of graphic art” by Lezak Shallat

Personality profile: “Ideologically committed to the truth: Inside Lowell Bergman, a living legend of investigative journalism” by Gabriel Greschler

North American Jewish history: “A road trip through Jewish Gold Country” by Gabriel Greschler

General excellence, best Jewish publication in the United States: For this award, J. submitted three print issues — Nov. 27, 2020; March 20, 2020; and June 12, 2020


Honorable Mentions:

Social justice and humanitarian work: “Covid-19 outbreak at San Quentin spurs Jewish activism, support” by Alix Wall

Feature writing: “At virtual retreat, men embrace vulnerability, reckon with patriarchy” by Andrew Esensten

Jewish heritage in Europe: ”I had unfinished business in Spain, going back 500 years” by Dan Schifrin

Sports: “S.F. native raising money to build ‘field of dreams’ in Israel” by Andrew Esensten

Politics/Government: “‘My security as a Jew is at stake’: Jewish Bay Area Biden supporters work feverishly to get out the vote” by Gabriel Grescheler; and “‘Supporting him from the bottom of our hearts’: Jewish Bay Area Trump fans eager for the president’s reelection” by Gabe Stutman

Covid-19 coverage: “Death during a pandemic: virtual shiva calls and funerals without mourners” by David A.M. Wilensky

This is the 40th year of the Rockower Awards. The American Jewish Press Association hands out the awards every year for work published the prior year. The full list of winners can be seen here.