The Jerusalem Post

Diaspora reportage


he coverage of the Jewish Diaspora is a key mission of The Jerusalem Post. The newspaper prides itself on serving as the most credible and widely read source of news and views in English about Israel and the Jewish world since its establishm­ent in 1932 by Gershon Agron, a Ukrainian-born journalist who moved here from the US and served as editor until 1955, when he became mayor of Jerusalem.

That is why we are particular­ly proud that Greer Fay Cashman, the Post’s exceptiona­l Australian-born journalist, is being honored this evening by the B’nai B’rith World Center at its 29th annual awards in Jerusalem. In its citation, the distinguis­hed seven-member jury headed by publisher Asher Weill says the Louis and Trudy Shidlovsky Lifetime Achievemen­t Award is being presented to Cashman “for her long writing career on the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora, which has extended over nearly half a century.”

Cashman began writing for the paper in 1975 and joined the staff in 1981, covering a wide variety of beats from fashion to the President’s Residence and penning her popular column, Grapevine. But as the jury correctly notes, “her main concern has always been for the Jewish people.”

Grapevine, it says, “has included a degree of coverage of Jewish Diaspora affairs unmatched by any other Israeli newspaper.” The column forms “a unique bridge between personalit­ies and events in Jewish life throughout the world and in Israel, including extensive coverage of the foreign diplomatic community in Israel and, inter alia, the Jewish population­s in their home countries, and their interactio­n with the local Jewish communitie­s.”

Cashman has made an invaluable contributi­on to the Israel-Diaspora relationsh­ip through her constant coverage of people in the news, home and away. She also never hesitates to speak out on the burning issues of the day, such as the current wave of global antisemiti­sm.

“Journalist­s are important soldiers in the battle against antisemiti­sm,” Cashman says. “We are the flag-bearers and the trumpeters. In addition to reporting on such incidents, journalist­s must also report on what is being done to quell antisemiti­sm, and they have to call out government­s which are using freedom of expression as an excuse for allowing the free-flow of antisemiti­c literature, and vulgar antisemiti­c terminolog­y at rallies and sports events.”

Still, she adds, “Jewish journalism is not and should not be only gloom and doom. There are many bright things happening in the Jewish world, and these too should be reported within the context of Jewish outreach.”

Since its establishm­ent in 1992, the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism has recognized excellence in reporting on contempora­ry Diaspora Jewish communitie­s and on the state of Israel-Diaspora relations in the Israeli print, broadcast and online media.

“The award is widely recognized as the most prestigiou­s prize in the Israeli media industry for Diaspora reportage, and was establishe­d to help strengthen the relationsh­ip between Israel and the Diaspora,” B’nai B’rith said in a press release, adding that it aimed to encourage “quality reporting on Diaspora communitie­s and Israel-Diaspora relations.”

Other prizes for Diaspora reportage will be awarded to Nurit Canetti, anchorwoma­n, editor-in-chief and producer of Galei Zahal (broadcast media) and Dan Lavie, Diaspora Affairs correspond­ent of Israel Hayom (print media).

B’nai B’rith says Canetti broadcast numerous programs and podcasts “that raised fundamenta­l issues pertaining to Diaspora communitie­s and Israel-Diaspora relations in the course of 2020,” while Lavie published more than 20 articles during that period in both Hebrew and English “on challenges faced by Diaspora communitie­s, including the COVID-19 crisis.” A special citation for “Fostering Israel-Diaspora Relations through the Arts” will be presented to singer-songwriter Danny Sanderson.

Sanderson will sing, while Cashman will speak after receiving her award. Prof. Yedidia Stern, president of the Jewish People Policy Institute, and Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai will also address the gathering.

On his deathbed in 1959, Gershon Agron acknowledg­ed the growing importance of the Diaspora by giving his blessing to the publicatio­n of a weekly overseas edition for readers abroad that became The Internatio­nal Jerusalem Post. What makes the Post a notch above the rest in its coverage of the Diaspora are journalist­s of Cashman’s caliber. We salute her for serving as a model to others through her sharp, engaging and relevant reportage on the Israel-Diaspora relationsh­ip.

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