Series on NJ synagogue’s ties to poverty-stricken Kentucky town earns journalism prize

David Twersky. Credit: Provided photo.

( New Jersey Jewish News (NJJN) staff writer Johanna Ginsberg was announced as the winner of an annual award named after a distinguished Jewish journalist for her two-week series of stories on the relationship between the members of Congregation B’nai Israel in Millburn, N.J., and the poverty-stricken town of McRoberts, Ky.

Ginsberg’s three-article series from June 20-27 last year—whose headlines were “Those we work with are my teachers for life,” “I get to do good stuff all day long,” and “You don’t know what impact we may have”—earned her the 2014 David Twersky Journalism Award, which comes with a medal and a $1,000 prize.

“Johanna Ginsberg draws attention to a remarkable story of a congregation taking action and making real its commitment to heal the world,” said Elana Kahn-Oren, a former president of the American Jewish Press Association and a judge for the award, whose winner is announced annually on the late David Twersky’s Feb. 19 birthday. “The depth, nuance, and compassion in her reporting should serve as a model to all those who seek to use journalism to shine a light on the human condition.”

The award, in its third year, was established to recognize the work of journalists at the NJJN and The Forward, the newspapers where Twersky worked for a combined two decades. Twersky’s time at The Forward “was a scoop-filled period when he established the newspaper as a serious voice for the Jewish community in Washington,” and at NJJN he “transformed a community paper into a strong, state-wide publication through a series of mergers with neighboring Jewish community newspapers,” according to a press release.

Posted on February 19, 2014 .