Monday, September 27, 2021

When you think of The Jewish Link, things like broad coverage of community events, inspiring divrei Torah, strong pro-Israel advocacy and extensive reporting on our shuls and schools may readily come to mind.

When you think of Associate Publisher/Editor Elizabeth Kratz, you may recall her breaking news reporting or her thoughtful essays on the challenges facing the Jewish community and the weekly trials she faces to put out a 120-150-page weekly newspaper.

What you may not know is that Kratz just won a national American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) journalism award for an article she wrote in the paper, about kosher wine.

Kratz credits her passion for tasting and writing about well-regarded kosher wines to two former neighbors of hers, Josh London and Gamliel Kronemer, when they all lived in Washington, D.C. As Kratz’s career evolved, from being a legislative aide on Capitol Hill to journalism, she had a few interesting jobs that ultimately brought her to The Jewish Link. During her tenure as editor of the once-biweekly newspaper, The Jewish Link has evolved from its origins as a Bergen County-focused publication, to a more expansive weekly publication that now covers news in Jewish communities throughout the tri-state region and Israel. Along the way it has also expanded its mission to embrace a broader range of interests and issues of interest to the Jewish world.

Since its inception in March 2013, The Jewish Link has become known for providing premium, hyper-local, full-color news coverage, exciting features, divrei Torah, columns and opinion pieces, all written by contributors with strong connections to the communities it covers. One of its prized weekly sections, the Food and Wine Link, features articles by kosher foodies and wine connoisseurs and experts sharing their thoughts and knowledge about the latest in the kosher food and wine industry. Kratz is a monthly contributor to this section; her article, “California Red Wine Pairings for Barbecue Season,” appeared in last week’s issue.

The success of the Food and Wine Link created such a buzz among the paper’s readers that last year the editorial staff decided to take on a related project. After months of outdoor wine tastings during the cold winter of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Jewish Link created its first-ever glossy magazine, The Jewish Link Wine Guide, with Kratz at the helm as editor, ably assisted in writing, editing and production by members of The Jewish Link staff and handpicked contributors, including London and Kronemer. Ranked tastings guides were produced by members of Kratz’s kosher-wine-tasting group in Teaneck, which included well-known wine critic Yossie Horwitz, who served as a founding judge for the magazine’s wine rankings. The Jewish Link Wine Guide was met with tremendous success, reaching 60,000 homes, and, in fact, the second Wine Guide is already in the planning stages.

Kratz’s Food and Wine Link article, “French Winery’s US Imports Go Kosher,” published in the Jewish Link on July 20, 2020, attracted acclaim from the AJPA after it was nominated by the newspaper. The AJPA’s recognition is particularly noteworthy in that it is a 78-year-old organization for English-language Jewish media in North America, which unites dozens of newspapers, magazines and digital media. Members include nationally recognized names, regionally prominent outlets and smaller news hubs. As one measure of the reach of the AJPA, the chair of the Annual Simon Rockower Awards committee mentioned during the awards ceremony broadcast on Thursday, June 24, that the committee had received 1,010 entries for the 39 award categories for articles completed during 2020..

Kratz’s article won first prize in the Division A: Weekly and Biweekly class for the Award for Excellence in Writing About Food and Wine.

“I am incredibly proud of our editor Elizabeth Kratz’s achievement and what it represents in the growth and development of our paper,” said Jewish Link Founder and Co-Publisher Moshe Kinderlehrer. “The award represents what we hope will be the first of many such awards for The Jewish Link, and is just the first fruit of our continuing effort to strengthen our feature coverage and reporting and elevate our brand of Jewish journalism.”

Commenting on receiving the award, Kratz stated: “I’m very pleased that our team got this recognition. And I’m glad that my interest in kosher wine could help attract attention to our work.”

She added: “This is the first time our newspaper has won a Rockower award. I’m confident that it’ll be the first of many such awards. In recent years, our publisher Moshe Kinderlehrer has worked to not only provide a publication of great usefulness to the community but also one of high editorial quality. This award is the first acknowledgement of his and our efforts in this regard.”

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