Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Chaim Bermant Prize for Journalism

The Jewish Book Council and The Jewish Chronicle are delighted to announce the establishment of the Chaim Bermant Prize for Journalism in memory of the author and journalist, who was a leading light of The Jewish Chronicle for forty years until his death in 1998. The first award will be presented at Jewish Book Week in February 2008.

Chaim Bermant was both witty and wise to a rare degree. He was one of the leading chroniclers and critics of his age, and his weekly column in The Jewish Chronicle was compulsory reading over decades.

Described by the late Lord Jakobovits, the former Chief Rabbi, as “Anglo-Jewry’s voice of conscience” and by himself as a “licensed heretic”, he always wrote memorably and incisively, combining humour and erudition to convey his original and often irreverent perspective on the issues of the day.

Chaim Bermant’s voice reached well beyond the Jewish community. He regularly contributed feature articles and reviews to many of the nation’s broadsheets and periodicals, in particular The Observer and The Sunday Telegraph. He also wrote over thirty books of history, fiction, satire and memoirs, all imbued with his characteristic wit and elegance.

The judges for the first award will be David Rowan, Editor of The Jewish Chronicle, Jonathan Freedland, journalist and author, and Jonny Geller, literary agent and author. They will be looking for journalists whose writing best reflects the qualities that made Chaim Bermant so outstanding and so loved.


The prizes will be open to all journalists, but the subject must have relevance to Jewish themes and/or Israel. There will be two categories:

Published journalist

The winner in this category will be chosen by the judges on the basis of outstanding achievement in the field of journalism, and will receive £3,000. Candidates may be nominated either by themselves or by others, whether private individuals or publications.

Aspiring journalist
This is open to anyone between 18 and 30 on 31st October 2007. Candidates should submit a previously unpublished non-fiction article of between 500 and 1,000 words. The winner will receive £1,000, and the opportunity to have an internship at The Jewish Chronicle. An edited version of the article will be published in The Jewish Chronicle.


The closing date for entry for both prizes is 31st October 2007. Entries, nominations and articles should be sent to Nicole Gordon either by email to or by post to 25 Furnival Street, London EC4A 1JT.

Click here for Terms and Conditions.

Click on the link to find out more about Chaim Bermant