Times of Israel writers awarded for reports on Japan, Jamaica
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Times of Israel writers awarded for reports on Japan, Jamaica

Dina Weinstein wrote about a Far East scholar who studies American Jews; Julie Masis uncovered a tropical refuge for Dutch Jews during WWII

The Times of Israel writers Julie Masis (left) and Dina Weinstein won awards in 2017 for their work. (courtesy)
The Times of Israel writers Julie Masis (left) and Dina Weinstein won awards in 2017 for their work. (courtesy)

Two Times of Israel writers were recently recognized for their outstanding journalism. On Saturday, freelance journalist Dina Weinstein was awarded first place in the Religion Reporting category, as a part of the Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists Sunshine State Awards competition.

In June, freelancer Julie Masis took home the trophy for Best Feature by a US Journalist that appeared in Foreign Media, which was awarded by the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s annual Caribbean Media Awards.

Weinstein’s July 2, 2016 article, “Students learn about Jewish civil rights activism — in Japan” explores the work of Japanese scholar Miyuki Kita, which focuses on American Jews’ involvement in the United States’ civil rights movement. Although an unlikely expert in her field, University of Kitakyushu professor Kita says American Jews can teach great lessons to her society today.

Weinstein, who recently moved from Miami, Florida, to Richmond, Virginia, reports for local, national and international publications.

The trophy awarded to writer Julie Masis for the Best Feature by a US Journalist that appeared in Foreign Media from the Caribbean Tourism Organization's annual Caribbean Media Awards. (courtesy)
The trophy awarded to writer Julie Masis for the Best Feature by a US Journalist that appeared in Foreign Media from the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s annual Caribbean Media Awards. (courtesy)

For those who follow her roving byline, it is no surprise that Masis was recognized for work far from home. The Russian-born journalist moved to the US as a 10-year-old, but attended university in Montreal, Canada, during which time she spent four months in Barbados. The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Masis lived in Cambodia for five years, where she organized tours to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Masis received her award from the Caribbean Tourism Organization for her on-the-ground reporting for the November 18, 2017 story, “In Jamaica, a once-in-a-lifetime reunion for Jews who weathered WWII in an island camp,” which brings to life the story of thousands of Dutch Jews fleeing certain death at the hands of the Nazis, who, for a brief moment, were given refuge in a tropical paradise.

In addition to her international reporting, Masis has written a memoir of her grandparents’ fight for survival, “How My Grandfather Stole a Shoe,” which was published last year on her grandfather’s 100th birthday.

Since writer Julie Masis was off on assignment, a representative of the Jamaica Tourist Board accepted the award on her behalf at the June 8, 2017 luncheon in New York. (courtesy)
Since writer Julie Masis was off on assignment, a representative of the Jamaica Tourist Board accepted the award on her behalf at the June 8, 2017 luncheon in New York. (courtesy)
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