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NJJN/New York Jewish Week writers take NYPA awards
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NJJN/New York Jewish Week writers take NYPA awards

Shira Hanau wins Rookie Reporter of the Year; Hannah Dreyfus takes third place in Writer of the Year

Shira Hanau, left, and Hannah Dreyfus won top awards from the state press
association. (Hanau credit: Dassie Hirschfield / Dreyfus credit: Sam Reinstein)
Shira Hanau, left, and Hannah Dreyfus won top awards from the state press association. (Hanau credit: Dassie Hirschfield / Dreyfus credit: Sam Reinstein)

The New York Jewish Week, NJJN’s sister publication, won two awards from the New York Press Association.

Shira Hanau, a Jewish Week staff writer and frequent NJJN contributor, won first place in the Rookie Reporter of the Year category.

Hannah Dreyfus, another Jewish Week staff writer and frequent NJJN contributor, won third place in the Writer of the Year category.

Hanau, who began working at The Jewish Week full time last May after graduating from New York University, covers Jewish communal politics, Jewish life on college campuses, and politics surrounding Israel and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. She distinguished herself with her in-depth, on-the-scene reporting following the murders in October 2018 at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

“We are very proud of Shira and Hannah, not only for their reporting skills but for the seriousness and maturity they have shown in handling a range of difficult and delicate assignments,” said Jewish Week editor and publisher Gary Rosenblatt. He noted that both women had been editorial interns at The Jewish Week when they were in college, and he credited managing editor Robert Goldblum for his work with both reporters on their news gathering and writing and in navigating the complexities of their stories.

According to the booklet announcing the winners, the judges said of Hanau: “‘Wow. Just wow. This reporter has great writing skills, tackles tough issues, finds multiple sources and blends all that with well-placed information and quotes. The stories start with superb ledes and are strong all the way to great finishes …  I can’t say enough about this young woman’s talent and ability to write powerful news stories.’”

Dreyfus’ work has focused recently on abuses of power within religious and nonprofit settings, including several recent #MeToo-influenced investigations and a deep dive into child sexual abuse at organizations serving youth. Her diverse body of work includes investigations into means of extortion in the kosher food industry; unregistered foreign agents operating in the oil-rich Emirate of Qatar; and communal stigmas surrounding mental health, opioid addiction, and suicide.

When commenting on Dreyfus’ work, the judges said, “‘While, from a national angle, #MeToo content has been very available in the last year, finding those stories within your own community can be challenging — and writing them in a way which keeps the reader’s attention is extremely tricky. Hannah did an excellent job keeping these lengthy stories engaging, balanced and clear.’”

Amy Clark is a staff writer for The Jewish Week.

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