Atlanta Jewish Times earned four first-place awards in the American Jewish Press Association’s annual Simon Rockower Jewish Journalism Awards. Two of the AJT awards this year were earned by Dave Schechter for his articles about Atlanta’s Israeli and Arab communities. Two more awards went to Patrice Worthy for her story on Ethiopians in Atlanta’s sister city in Israel and a handful of female contributors for their coverage of the women’s march here and in Washington, D.C.
The Award for Excellence in Writing about Women for “Marchers Stand Up for Rights and Atlanta” went to Rachel Gruskin, Leah Harrison, Ruth Abusch-Magder, Marita Anderson, Rebecca Stapel-Wax and Elizabeth Friendly. They gave first-person accounts from the women’s marches here and in the nation’s capital.
Schechter won the Foundation of Ethnic Understanding Award for Excellence in Interfaith Relations Reports for “Atlanta’s Arabs, Jews Share So Much.” Schechter took a look at Jewish Atlanta’s Arab population and explored the relationships between the two communities in advance of the annual Atlanta Arab Festival. He also won The Boris Smolar Award for Excellence in Enterprise or Investigative Reporting for “Israelis Divided From Rest of Jewish Atlanta.” In this profile of Israeli Jews in Atlanta, Schechter discusses the bonds and divisions between Israelis and American Jews in Atlanta.
Worthy won the Nefesh B’Nefesh Charley J. Levine Memorial Award for Journalistic Excellent in Covering Zionism, Aliyah and Israel for “Federation Helps Uplift Yokneam’s Ethiopians.” The story explored the history, lifestyle, social service programs and challenges of the Yokneam community of Ethiopian Jews in Israel supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
The Rockower Awards honor Simon Rockower for his love of the craft of Jewish journalism. An Austrian immigrant, Rockower taught his children to always ask good questions, something they taught l’dor v’dor to their children. “Simon Rockower believed that self-respect was gained by being proud of your religion and your people. He believed in the importance of leaving the legacy of a good name,” according to his great-grandson, Paul Rockower, recounting the history of the awards online.