Freelancer Dave Schechter and Editor-Managing Publisher Kaylene Ladinsky are among the 2021 winners of the Simon Rockower Awards of the American Jewish Press Association. AJPA announced the winners virtually June 24 of the national awards known as the Pulitzer Prize of Jewish journalism during its annual conference, which will be held in Atlanta next year. The awards recognize journalism from 2020.
Schechter won the second-place award for Excellence in Personal Essay in the weekly and biweekly newspaper division for his Nov. 17 piece, “COVID-19 Vaccines have Jewish Links.”
The story details how Emory University researchers and local volunteers in human trials played a role in testing of one of the two announced vaccines for the coronavirus. Award judges commented that the story took “a fascinating angle on a global story.”
Schechter also won second place for best freelancer for three stories he wrote last year:
- “Rabbis criticize letter on killings, protests: The Atlanta Rabbinical Association was one of five organizations that signed the letter, but not every rabbi agreed with its message,” June 5, 2020.
- “Perdue campaign removes ad Ossoff called ‘anti-Semitic’: The Republican’s campaign said that an outside vendor was responsible for a Facebook ad that harkened back to a centuries-old anti-Jewish trope,” July 28
- “Weber alumni urge anti-racist education: Alumni who authored a letter recommending the greater emphasis and the school’s board of trustees say they look forward to further dialogue on the subject,” Sept. 9.
All entries in this category competed together in the same division, according to an AJPA release.
Ladinsky won an honorable mention in the Award for Excellence in Personal Essay, weekly and biweekly newspaper division, for her July 3 column “Black Live Matters vs. All Lives Matter?”
Judges said the column as “Clearly written about a complex and controversial issue of our times.” In the piece, Ladinsky shared a personal experience about discussing Black Lives Matter, white privilege and all lives matter from a Jewish perspective with her son.