Inaugural Twersky prize honors work of NJJN
PROVIDENCE, RI — Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor-in-chief of New Jersey Jewish News, won the inaugural David Twersky Journalism Award for his Sept. 28, 2011, Editor’s Column “Bima vs. Bully Pulpit.” Silow-Carroll is Twersky’s successor at NJJN.
Established in memory of Twersky and in honor of his distinguished career in journalism, the award recognizes the work of journalists at The Forward and New Jersey Jewish News, the two publications where Twersky worked for nearly two decades.
Amir Cohen, a colleague of Twersky’s during his tenure with both publications, founded the award in his friend’s memory. Twersky died in 2010 at age 60, after a long struggle with cancer.
Silow-Carroll’s column dealt with the late Rabbi Joachim Prinz of Temple B’nai Abraham and explored whether rabbis should take political stands in the pulpit.
“The mission of the judges was to find that one piece that David would have considered most remarkable,” noted Cohen, who also headed the judges’ committee, which included Twersky’s children, Anna and Michael. “In ‘Bima vs. Bully Pulpit,’ we didn’t only find that but were privileged to explore holiday sermons, history, politics, and opinion in the company of the legendary Rabbi Joachim Prinz, all of which were masterfully balanced and nuanced by a journalist at the top of his game.”
The committee received 10 entries for the prize, including “Qaddafi’s Hatred of Jews Turned on Him,” by The Forward’s Andrew Engel, which was acknowledged as a notable runner up. Elana Kahn-Oren, a judge and former president of the American Jewish Press Association, described the column as “a strong argument for the value of Jewish journalism.”
The inaugural prize announcement coincides with Twersky’s birthday, Feb. 19. “This is the first year for this new prize,” said Anna Twersky, “and after such a strong start we are already excited about next year. It really is amazing to honor our father with this contest that recognizes great writing and Judaism — two subjects he was most passionate about.” Michael Twersky added, “What a wonderful way to celebrate our father’s legacy as a journalist.”
The winner will receive a medal and a $1,000 honorarium at an award ceremony in the spring.
“It’s an honor to be associated with David’s work,” said Silow-Carroll. “My column explored a topic — the nexus of Judaism and public policy — that was central to David’s role as a journalist and passionate Zionist.”