Congratulations to our own Cole Krawitz, founder of jvoices.com

Pakistani American teen wins top honor in international journalism
contest, prevailing over entries from major U.S. newspapers

National Public Radio, The Forward and jvoices.com also win honors

Yasmeen Malik, a Pakistani American high school senior whose column in a teen newspaper told of her conversion to Judaism at 12 years old with the support of her Muslim family won the top honor in the Be’chol Lashon Media Awards Sunday. The contest, which honors coverage of the ethnic diversity of world Jewry, also awarded prizes of $1,000 each to journalists from National Public Radio, the Jewish Forward and the Web site jvoices.com in the second year of the awards.


The award in the broadcast media and film category went to Jocelyn Frank of National Public Radio (NPR) for her report “Passover in Uganda.” The print media award went to Anthony Weiss of The Forward for “The Obamas Have a Rabbi in the Family.” Cole Krawitz, creator of jvoices.com, received the new and emerging media award for “Jen Chau reflects on her work as a change-maker for mixed-race communities.”

Judges included Alexis Chiu of People Magazine, Courtenay Edehart of the Bakersfield Californian, Kevin Olivas of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Simone Weischelbaum of the New York Daily News — all Jewish journalists of color — along with author Rebecca Walker and Temple University professors Jane and Lewis Gordon.

My Path to Judaism” by Yasmeen Malik of Atlanta’s Vox Teen newspaper won the Best of Show honor and $1,000, presented at the Be’chol Lashon International Think Tank in San Francisco. The 18-year-old, who is graduating The Weber School in Atlanta and plans to major in journalism at the University of Georgia in the fall, is on a class trip to Israel and could not attend the event.

“I am still just in utter disbelief that I won,” Malik said from Israel of her entry, which prevailed over those from major U.S. newspapers and other media outlets worldwide.

The awards were presented at 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.

“The entries showed the wide range of Jewish diversity and clearly elevate any discussion of Jewish ethnicity to an enlightened one encompassing every conceivable human color and condition,” said Diane Tobin, Be’chol Lashon’s founder and director. She created the awards to help draw attention to diverse Jews and the important place they have among the Jewish people.

Robin Washington of Minnesota’s Duluth News Tribune, and the contest chairman, was the first recipient last year, awarded for his 30 years of coverage of Jews of color in major U.S. newspapers and broadcast outlets.