Daniel Finkelstein, Associate Editor of The Times, has been named winner of the inaugural Chaim Bermant Prize for Journalism
The prize was launched by the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish Book Council in memory of Chaim Bermant, the outstanding writer and journalist who wrote a weekly column for the Jewish Chronicle for nearly 40 years until his death in 1998. The award recognises journalism on Jewish and Israeli themes.
Finkelstein submitted a series of columns published in the Times and the Jewish Chronicle. Although he writes a monthly Jewish Chronicle column, the judges were insistent that this connection had no bearing on their decision.
The judges said: “He was simply the writer who most closely reflected the values, spirit and qualities of Chaim Bermant’s journalism, his controlled playful and witty columns effectively drawing the reader in by anecdote and humour to a deeper issue or painful truth, bringing to a wide national readership issues such as Holocaust denial or property restitution in a fresh, lively, conversational style.”
Daniel Finkelstein is a weekly Times columnist and that newspaper's Comment Editor. He is the author of the popular blog Comment Central and the weekly football column Fink Tank.
Finkelstein said, "It is a tremendous honour for a columnist to have their name associated with Chaim Bermant in any way. I was delighted that the judges detected some of his spirit in my work - his erudition and wit were justly celebrated."
An award for an Aspiring Journalist was won by Ross Perlin, for Ladino in Lagado, a comment piece on the decline of the Ladino language.
The awards were judged by David Rowan, editor of The Jewish Chronicle, Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian and literary agent Jonny Geller to mark the end of Jewish Book Week.