The staff of the Jewish Exponent has earned nine more awards as two city press associations named their picks for the best journalism published in 2010.
Most notably, the Exponent won best overall weekly coverage from the Philadelphia Press Association, the same distinction the paper has secured for the past two years in the statewide competition run by the Keystone Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
This brings a total of 20 awards to the staff of the Exponent for work produced last year.
Also from the city press association, freelancer Fredda Sacharow won second place in the weekly newspaper writing division for "From a Chaotic Life to a New One of 'Familial' Order," on an up-and-coming black lawyer who credited a Jewish couple from Haverford with transforming her life.
Managing Editor Carin Smilk took third place in that same category for "Islamophobia? Not in This Quiet Neighborhood," an exploration of the symbiotic relationship between a neighboring shul and mosque in eastern Chester County.
Executive Editor Lisa Hostein was given an honorable mention in the editorial comment weekly division for a column titled "Political Landmine."
In the 47th annual Excellence in Journalism awards from the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists:
Reporter Bryan Schwartzman took second place for spot news reporting for his story "Cemetery Ad Stirs Up a Stinging Controversy." Judges complimented Schwartzman for seeking many different opinions on Jewish tradition, law and practice to produce a balanced and informative piece.
Smilk and Sacharow were cited again for the same pieces, respectively taking second and third places in the non-deadline writing category. The interesting, detailed look at the relationships forged among the Jewish and Islamic residents in the special neighborhood Smilk explored "provides a roadmap of how others could achieve harmony as well," judges wrote. Sacharow's "uplifting" and "heartwarming tale" is a welcome respite from "all the gloom and doom of breaking news," they continued.
Hostein was again recognized for her reader-friendly evaluation of serious topics in the editorial writing category, sharing a third place spot with The Philadelphia Inquirer.
"Writing for a specialized audience, Hostein's explanations of inside baseball welcome anyone willing to learn about these significant issues," the judges commented.
Lastly, freelancer Allison Kaplan Sommer was awarded third place in sports writing for "Her Life in the Fast Lane, as a Professional Ball Player," a "well-executed" feature on a 5' 9" forward from Richboro who became an Israeli citizen and joined a national women's professional basketball team.
On a national level, Sacharow's piece also garnered a second-place Rockower Award in the personality profiles category from the American Jewish Press Assocation, which was meeting this week in Dallas.