‘The Forward’ Wins Jewish Diversity Award

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By: E&P Staff

Anthony Weiss of The Forward won the 2008 Be’chol Lashon Media Award for print, honoring “excellence in the coverage of Jewish ethnic diversity.”

Weiss won for the article “The Obamas Have a Rabbi in the Family” that reports on Rabbi Capers Funnye, an African-American rabbi who is the cousin of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Winning “Best of Show” was Yasmeen Malik of Vox Teen Newspaper in Atlanta, Ga., for the article, “My Path to Judaism: Converting While Keeping My Muslim Roots.” The judges called it a “touching personal story of the spiritual journey” of her conversion from Islam to Judaism.

The awards were presented at what organizers said was the largest annual gathering of diverse Jews from around the world. Jewish leaders from Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Portugal, India and the United States and elsewhere met in San Francisco at a conference organized by Be’chol Lashon, a global initiative of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research intended to “strengthen the Jewish people through ethnic, cultural, and racial inclusiveness.”

“Be’chol Lashon” means “In Every Tongue.”

“Narrowing down the entries was a challenge, but a wonderful one,” said Robin Washington of editorial page editor of the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, who was the contest’s chairman. Washington was the first recipient of the award last year.

Judges included four journalists of color: Alexis Chiu of People Magazine; Courtenay Edehart of the Bakersfield Californian; Kevin Olivas of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; and Simone Weischelbaum of New York’s Daily News.

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