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Our own Jewess with Attitude wins prestigious journalism award

We are thrilled to share some exciting news:  our very own, Online Communication Specialist and Blogger-in-Chief, Leah Berkenwald, earned a coveted 2011 Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism.  She won first place in Division A (with readership of 15,000 or more) for Excellence in Single Commentary for her piece, “Harry Potter: Four Progressive Lessons for the Jewish Community.” The adjudicators stated that Leah effectively made “connections between the themes of freedom and equality in the most widely read story of her generation to the movement for equal rights for women and resistance to bigotry in a clear, energetic and youthful voice.”

As part of the Annual American Jewish Press Association Conference, which was held June 11-14 in Philadelphia, PA, Leah received her award at the National Museum of American Jewish Heritage this past Wednesday; the following day, Leah joined acclaimed historian, Jonathan Sarna, PhD, to speak on a panel titled “Using History To Report.” Ami Eden, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of JTA, moderated the panel.

The ever inclusive Leah, when asked for a comment, mentioned how excited she was to join the ranks of other impressive honorees and publications such as freelance writer Judy Bolton-Fasman of Newton, MA whose piece, “Gilad Shalit Inspires My Daughter to Join the IDF,” published in the Forward’s Sisterhood blog, earned her second place in this division. “How neat,” said Leah, “that both awards went to Boston-area women writing for women’s blogs.”

This is wonderful recognition and validation of the three years Leah has written for and edited JWA’s blog, Jewesses with Attitude, legitimizing the blog as a destination for serious and valued writing.

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Congratulations for a well-deserved honor. I learned you were an excellent energetic writer and supportive effective editor from my recent experience posting at JWA about Lucy Kramer Cohen.

Well deserved and unexpected. JWA has nurtured a rising star. We look forward to her continued observations and writings.

Mazel tov Leah. Job well done

Leah is a talented and entertaining writer. I enjoy reading her work. Best wishes, Leah, on this achievement

Leah Berkenwald Wins Rockower Award, 2011
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Leah Berkenwald wins the Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism for her 2011 Jewesses with Attitude piece relating the egalitarian themes in Harry Potter to Jewish life.
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How to cite this page

Orcha, Gabrielle. "Our own Jewess with Attitude wins prestigious journalism award." 18 June 2012. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on January 19, 2018) <>.


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