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'Exponent' Earns 10 Awards in Contests

June 25, 2009
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That famous face of Moshe Dayan was featured in a series on Israel.
The economy may be down, but spirits are up at the Jewish Exponent, which took home 10 awards from various journalism contests for work done in 2008.

The Pennsylvania Newspaper Association bestowed two honors on the Exponent at the organization's annual Keystone Press Awards dinner, which was held last month in Gettysburg, Pa.

The staff took home second place for its six-part series on "Israel at 60," with stories about the meaning of 1948 and the creation of a Jewish state; the ramifications of the Six-Day War; an analysis of business ties between the United States and Israel; anniversary parades that took place in Philadelphia over the years; the effort of rescuing and resettling Ethiopian Jews; and missions to Israel undertaken by Jewish organizations, many by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Arts & Entertainment editor Michael Elkin got a first-place Keystone in the headline category for "Going Forth on the Fourth -- Cheaper by the Diesel" (July 3); "Is That an Illness That You've Got, or Are You Just Happy to See an M.D.?" (July 10); and "Plant Hollywood: Actually, Vegan Diets Are Finding Popularity Way Beyond Hollywood and ... Vine" (Aug. 7).

As part of the annual journalism contest sponsored by the Pennsylvania Women's Press Association, staff writer Michelle Mostovy-Eisenberg earned third place for a July 17 health story "On the LAM," about a woman battling an unusual illness. That award was also handed out in Gettysburg.

Locally, the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists gave second place to former executive editor Jonathan Tobin in the column category for "Other People's Prayers" (Feb. 14); "A Prayer for Sederot's Children" (April 17); and "Finding a Reason to Do Nothing" (May 15). Literary editor Robert Leiter earned third place for three headlines: "He Has This Job Licked, Says Postal Chairman" (Feb. 21); " 'Leaplings' of the World -- Unite!" (Feb. 28); and "Rabbi Takes the World's Temp, Describes Illness" (May 29). Leiter, now senior editor, also won second place in the headline category in the Philadelphia Press Association Awards competition.

Other Philly Press Association winners include Michelle Mostovy-Eisenberg, who received second place in the newspaper-writing category for her May 22 story "Uncovering History -- and Mystery -- at Eastern State Penitentiary." The Exponent also earned two honors in the sports category: Staff writer Aaron Passman got second place for "Competition a Lifeline for Two Sisters" (Aug. 7); and former staff writer Jared Shelly got an honorable mention for "Before All the Basketball Glitz, There First Came the 'Mogul' " (March 13).

All of the locally issued awards were handed out in the past two weeks.

In the last of the contests, Jonathan Tobin received second place in commentary from the American Jewish Press Association. Current executive editor Lisa Hostein will pick up that award when she travels to Chicago this week for the group's annual conference.

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