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The Simon Rockower Jewish Journalism Awards

B’nai B’rith Magazine Wins Awards for Journalistic Excellence

At the risk of immodesty, we are pleased to announce B’nai B’rith Magazine has won two Rockower Awards for journalistic excellence! Administered by the American Jewish Press Association, the Rockowers are the pinnacle of distinction in the world of Jewish media.

B’nai B’rith Magazine won 1st place in the category of Journalistic Excellence in Writing about Health Care for our feature by Rita Rubin on Jewish genetic testing: “Jewish Genetics: To Test or Not to Test? That is the Question — And the Answer.” 

The judging panel noted: “This is a thoughtful, informative, and sensitively written article with a compelling message for any Jewish young adults contemplating marriage and children: Get genetic testing. It offers medical insights into genetics and the nature of “Jewish” diseases such as Tay-Sachs and provides information about genetic-testing services for various Jewish populations. Woven into the narrative are poignant stories about people who have lost children to these terrible diseases, and young couples undergoing genetic testing who must make extremely difficult decisions based on the results. Many stories have been written about Jews and genetics, but this one combines science, medicine, and humanity in an especially affecting way.”

We also earned a 2nd place prize for Journalistic Excellence in Covering Zionism, Aliyah and Israel for our report: “People Are Dying to Get In, but Israeli Cemeteries Are Running Out of Space,” by Michele Chabin.

The judges noted: “The author finds a fascinating and unpredictable way to cover one more way Israel is dealing with the constraints of its limited space…and coming up with another creative solution. This one is cemeteries. The solution is a wonderful metaphor for Zionism and the Israeli experiment. Story offers solid reporting, while exploring burial from a cultural, engineering, and Jewish law perspective.”

We thank you, our loyal readers, for providing a supportive audience for the unique reporting and writing you find in this magazine. Though these were not our first series of Rockower prizes — and they won’t be our last — we will continue to strive with each issue to produce such award-worthy journalism.

To read these stories, please visit the B’nai B’rith Magazine online archives.

Jewish Genetics: Spring 2018 cover story
Cemeteries: Fall 2018, page 24