Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor of New Jersey Jewish News won the inaugural David Twersky Journalism Award for his September 28, 2011 Editor’s column “Bima Vs. Bully Pulpit.” Silow-Carroll is David Twersky’s successor at New Jersey Jewish News.
Established in honor of Twersky’s distinguished life in journalism, the award recognizes the work of journalists at The Forward and New Jersey News, the two publications where Twersky worked for nearly two decades. Amir Cohen, a colleague of David Twersky during his tenure with both publications, founded the award in his friend’s memory.
“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 that 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 ten extraordinary 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, former president of the American Jewish Press Association, described the column as “a strong argument for the value of Jewish journalism,” and, in a statement that aptly described her fellow committee members’ feelings about the impressive body of work submitted, she remarked, “Who else would publish this?”
The inaugural prize announcement coincides with Twersky’s birthday, February 19th. “This is the first year for this new prize 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,” said Anna Twersky. Her brother, Michael, 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.
More about the prize: The editors of The Forward and New Jersey Jewish News were invited to submit five selections from work they have published in 2011, including one they wrote personally, with a focus on Israel and/or concerning local and global politics, the topics Twersky cared most about. The nomination process was designed to give each editor the freedom to include commentary, reporting, photography or illustration, provided that the work remains within the Prize’s thematic parameters.
More about David Twersky: David’s editorial leadership at The Forward in the early nineties was a scoop-filled period when he established the newspaper as a serious voice for the Jewish community in Washington. At New Jersey Jewish News, David transformed a community paper into a strong, state-wide publication through a series of mergers with neighboring Jewish community newspapers. David had a great love for Israel and unique insights into local and global politics. He also had a remarkable ability to accurately predict how events throughout the world would impact Israel and the Jewish people.