The CJ Voices portrayal of our work will receive the top prize in its category at the American Jewish Press Association’s 33rd Annual Simon Rockower Awards. While “poverty-stricken” or “drug infested” is a very limited depiction of my neighborhood (as Schulson’s article explains), I’m glad to see the story of Beth Am and Reservoir Hill continues to gain national attention. Here’s the write-up:
Category 10: The David Frank Award for Excellence in Personality Profiles
Division C. Magazines; Special Sections and Supplements; Web-Based Outlets.
CJ Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism, New York, NY
“The Urban Rabbi” by Michael Schulson
Comments: “The Urban Rabbi” is an outstanding portrait not only of a young, energetic and idealistic Conservative rabbi but a complex community – Baltimore’s Reservoir Hill, once a Jewish neighborhood and now a poverty-stricken, drug infested corner of the city in which the rabbi’s synagogue sits. Author Michael Schulson conveys with insight and sensitivity Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg’s passion to build meaningful bridges between his congregation and the neighborhood, thereby expressing the “fundamental Jewish value” that all people are created in God’s image. The story benefits from Schulson’s historical research as well as his successful attempt to understand Rabbi Burg’s background and inspiration, and reminds us that “synagogue” can mean many things in contemporary American life.