2009 Gralla Fellows Program welcomes Jewish press to campus

This July, 14 journalists from the Jewish press will gather at the Brandeis University campus in Waltham, Mass. to take part in the 2009 Gralla Fellows Program. The premier advanced journalism seminar in the nation on the American Jewish community, the Gralla program is designed to enhance fellows’ knowledge of Judaism, American Jewish life and trends relevant to religion reporting.

“This summer's Gralla Fellows are an extraordinarily bright and accomplished group of journalists in the American Jewish press,” said Ellen Smith, the associate director of the program.

During this year’s seminar, which runs from July 12–17, the fellows will meet with leading scholars, Jewish communal leaders, and reporters to explore topics including the relationship of American Jews to Islam, Catholicism and the Middle East, how the down economy is impacting religion reporting, and what the latest research reveals about the Jewish community both in the U.S. and internationally.

“In a very changed world for the American Jewish community and the Jewish press itself, the Gralla Fellows Program deepens our fellows' ability to understand and report those changes, to gain ideas for new stories and angles, and to think creatively about how local journalism can not only survive, but thrive, in the coming years,” Smith said.

Founded in 1998, the Gralla Program is open to journalists in the early and middle stages of their careers. In odd-numbered years the program focuses on journalists in the Jewish press. In even-numbered years, the program is offered to religion journalists.

The 2009 Gralla Fellows were selected from a competitive pool of candidates in print, broadcast and digital media. They include:

• Rebecca Blady, forum editor for the Brandeis Justice newspaper
• Sarah Breger, freelance journalist
• Suzi Brozman, staff reporter for the Atlanta Jewish Times
• Salvatore Caputo, senior staff writer for the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix
• Jane Charney, staff writer for JUF News/E-Communications
• Wendy Jaffe, columnist for The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
• Dikla Kadosh, calendar editor/contributing writer for The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
• Leah Koenig, freelance writer/editor
• Adam Kredo, staff writer for The Washington Jewish Week
• Leyna Krow, assistant editor/managing editor for JTNews/Jew-ish.com
• Beth Lipoff, staff writer for the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle
• Ava Miller, intern for the Jewish Herald-Voice
• Aaron Passman, staff writer for the Jewish Exponent
• Amanda Pazornik, staff writer for j., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California

The director of the Gralla Fellows Program is Jonathan D. Sarna, the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

The program is made possible by a grant from Milton Gralla, co-founder of Gralla Publications and creator and editor of outstanding trade publications for more than 30 years. Fellows receive funding for tuition, room and board, and a travel stipend.

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