Reporter wins two Rockower awards

By Reporter staff

The Reporter won two 2024 American Jewish Press Club Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism. Bill Simons took first place in Excellence in Writing about Food and Wine for his two-part series “Immersive research in Jewish deli culture.” Arieh Ullmann took second place for Excellence in Writing about Jewish Heritage and Jewish Peoplehood in Europe for his “Soccer memories of Zurich.” 

“We are so pleased that both writers won awards,” said Rabbi Rachel Esserman, executive editor of the newspaper. “This is the first time Bill has won an award outside of a sport category, which just shows how versatile a writer he is. Arieh taught me something new about Jewish life in Switzerland, while doing an excellent job balancing history and his personal experiences. Yasher koach to both. We look forward to publishing more of their work.”

In his articles, Simons noted (a bit tongue in cheek) that he was looking forward to doing “immersive” research at New York City’s Jewish delis, allowing him not only write about those restaurants, but sample food from five different ones. (His articles can be found at On the Jewish food scene: “Immersive” research in Jewish deli culture, pt 1.) 

“Given the formidable national competition, I am honored to receive a Simon Rockower Award,” Simon said. “At a time when local journalism faces difficult challenges and fair treatment of matters vital to Jews is often lacking, it is a privilege to be part of a Reporter team committed to quality Jewish journalism. Thanks to our executive editor, Rabbi Rachel Esserman, for encouraging me to find significance in diverse areas of Jewish life, including what and how we eat. And appreciation is due Layout Editor Diana Sochor for investing care in the physical presentation of my columns.”

Ullmann wrote his article after traveling to Zurich for a family celebration. While there, he viewed a museum exhibit about the soccer league in which he once played. The Rockower judges wrote that his article offered “interesting personal insights and informative storytelling about the Jewish community in Zurich.” Ullmann noted, “It was fun to go down memory lane and share it with members of our community.” (To read his article, visit Spotlight: Soccer memories of Zurich.)