Jodi Rudoren and Gary Rosenblatt will headline JSPA@CSPA, the organization’s first-ever meeting in New York City.

Speakers and schedule announced for first JSPA@CSPA event in New York March 16-19

Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief of The Forward, to be keynote speaker Friday night; Gary Rosenblatt to speak on 'Covering Your Own Community' Thursday

March 12, 2023

Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief of the Forward and former Jerusalem Bureau Chief of the New York Times, will be keynote speaker at Friday night Shabbat dinner as the Jewish Scholastic Press Association opens the Shabbat portion of its first-ever “JSPA@CSPA” appearance, set for March 15-18 in New York City.

The hybrid event will begin at the 99th Annual Spring Scholastic Convention of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. JSPA will present five sessions on Thursday, March 16, all open to anyone at the larger convention.

After CSPA ends on Friday afternoon, JSPA will host Shabbat dinner and lunch events at synagogues on New York’s Upper West Side.  In addition to hearing from Ms. Rudoren, the organization will announce at dinner the winners of its 2023 Jewish Scholastic Journalism Awards.

Ms. Rudoren has led the Forward, the oldest Jewish daily in the U.S., since 2019. She assumed that position after 22 years at the New York Times, including four as chief of the newspaper’s bureau in Jerusalem. She will be interviewed by Benjamin Gamson and Tali Liebenthal, co-editors-in-chief of the Boiling Point at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, where JSPA was founded in 2013.

Gary Rosenblatt was editor and publisher of The Jewish Week of New York, the largest Jewish newspaper in America, from 1993 until June 2020. He has won numerous journalism awards from both the Jewish and secular press for his writing, which includes the only article in Jewish news media ever to be a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize — a series of articles in 2000 on a rabbi accused of abusing teenagers for three decades, which resulted in the rabbi’s conviction and imprisonment.

Mr. Rosenblatt will lead a session on Thursday focusing on the challenge of covering stories one’s own community — something high school journalists face every day.

Other speakers are:

Arno Rosenfeld, Enterprise and Investigative Reporter at The Forward, will lead a workshop on coverage of racism, antisemitism and other forms of hate. Mr. Rosenfeld covered the trial of neo-Nazi rally participants in Charlottesville, Va., and recently published results of his year-long observation of antisemitism and other aspects of life for Jewish students at George Washington University.


Joelle Keene, president and Executive Director of the Jewish Scholastic Press Association, will lead two workshops — the first on covering religion in high school media, and the second on how religious Jewish text informs responsible journalistic practice. Since 2003, Ms. Keene has taught journalism at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, where she advises The Boiling Point, nominated this year for its 11th consecutive Crown Award.


Julia Gergely and Louis Keene will lead a workshop on localizing national and world news for a local audience and broadening local stories for a wider audience. Ms. Gergeley writes for the New York Jewish Week and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), while Mr. Keene covers religion, sports and the West for the Forward.


Ms. Rudoren led the Times’ Israel coverage from 2012 through 2015, during two Israeli elections and two wars in Gaza, and served also as presidential campaign correspondent, Chicago bureau chief and deputy editor on both the metro and international desks. While in college she served as managing editor of the Yale Daily News, and earlier attended CSPA conventions while a high school student in Newton, Mass.

The Forward is the United States’ oldest Jewish newspaper, founded in 1897 and published only in Yiddish until 1990, when it inaugurated a weekly edition in English.  It became online-only in the first half of 2019.

On Saturday, JSPA is hosting a Shabbat luncheon and journalism moral dilemma discussion. To register for the Shabbat program, click here.

For more information or to register for JSPA@CSPA, click here or contact Zev Hurwitz at [email protected].  To register for the CSPA convention, please visit the CSPA website’s convention information page.

JSPA works to improve news media in Jewish high schools while offering a Jewish ethical perspective on journalism to students at any school. It is sponsored by Shalhevet High School, the American Jewish Press Association, the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, and Harvey Motulsky and Lisa Norton.

Here is the full schedule of JSPA’s workshops at CSPA:


How (and Why) to Cover Religion in High School Media – Joelle Keene

Thurs. 3-16, 9-9:45 a.m.

As our communities become ever more diverse, school news media have the opportunity and responsibility to bridge cultural gaps with information that can promote tolerance and civic understanding. Learn where to start, how to move from basic news to deeper features and have sources you trust — and who trust you — if conflict should arise.


Covering Hate  – Arno Rosenfeld

Thurs. 3-16, 10-10:45 a.m.

How can journalists cover racist incidents and trends with both sensitivity and rigor, and without fanning the flames? Drawing on examples from his work covering the trial of neo-Nazis in Virginia, college students debating antisemitism at George Washington University,  and dark money behind national advocacy groups ostensibly fighting discrimination, reporter Arno Rosenfeld of the Forward will help you understand how to look clearly at hate so that readers can too.


Journalism in Religious Text – Joelle Keene

Thurs. 3-16, 11-11:45 a.m.

Religious traditions frown on gossip and careless speech, so journalism may seem to be at odds with deeply held beliefs.  Yet religious texts also shape values that support a modern, ethical journalism that’s religiously informed.  Learn how five verses from the Torah suggest a journalism practiced with integrity, sensitivity and courage, along with a deep concern for those who are suffering — and see if they help you make a similar connection, whatever your faith.


Close to Home: Covering Your Own Community – Gary Rosenblatt

Thurs. 3-16, 1:30-2:15 p.m.

A Pulitzer Prize finalist and former editor of The Jewish Week of New York will discuss the struggle to be both a loyal member of one’s own community and an independent and sometimes critical voice. How should you decide when to investigate and when there are too many other things pressing?  And how do you live with the reaction when it stings?


National to Local and Vice Versa — Julia Gergely and Louis Keene

Thurs. 3-16, 2:30-3:15 p.m.

It can be hard to find the right angle on national news stories, or challenging to report on what’s happening in a specific community in a way that feels relevant to a national audience. Both are key tools for any journalist. In this session, Keene and Gergely will draw on their experience writing for national Jewish publications and discuss how to make big stories smaller and small stories bigger for every audience.



Comments (0)

All Jewish Scholastic Press Association Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *