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The student news site of de Toledo High School

The Prowler

The student news site of de Toledo High School

The Prowler

Kessler wins 2024 Jewish Scholastic Journalism Award

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Lila Kessler (’25) won second place in the annual Jewish Scholastic Journalism Awards for her opinion article “Uniting in the face of hate.” This is de Toledo’s second time winning a JSPA award and Kessler’s first award for journalism.

When 290,000 people marched for Israel on Nov. 14, 2023, Lila Kessler, a new student at de Toledo High School, attended the Washington, D.C. rally to show support for Israel after October 7th. Kessler wrote an article about her experience at the march and later won an award for her piece.

The Jewish Scholastic Press Association holds an annual competition for Jewish student journalists. The Jewish Scholastic Journalism Awards honor students’ work throughout the school year. Winning entries are published on the JSPA website, and first-place winners can win a grand prize: an internship recommendation from the American Jewish Press Association.

“Whenever The Prowler covers stories about Israel or Judaism, I enter student submissions to the annual JSPA contest,” said Journalism teacher Nancy Supanich. “This year, from almost 300 entries, judges chose Lila’s story about her experience at the rally in D.C. to receive an award. We are proud of Lila and all the students who submitted their work to make The Prowler an award-winning publication.”

Kessler (’25) submitted her story about attending an Israel advocacy rally in D.C. Kessler said she is honored to have won this award because it is exciting to have her work recognized from an outside source.

“This award is really special because I put a lot of intention and soul into my article since it is so intertwined with my identity as a Jew and a Zionist,” Kessler said. “It is surreal that this type of article is getting recognition.”

Kessler won second place in category seven: First-person opinion or first-person experience regarding Judaism, Jewish culture or identity, or Israel, or any Jewish or Israel-related story. “A trip to the Washington D.C. rally brings into sharp focus both rising antisemitism and the tactics to confront it” a juror said in response to Kessler’s award winning article.

The JSPA has 10 unique categories ranging from videos or podcasts about Judaism or Israel to news or features about inter-religious activism. Each category’s winners are ranked from first place to third, and a juror comments about each individual journalistic work.

This is de Toledo’s second time winning a JSPA award and Kessler’s first time winning an award for journalism.

“Three Prowler writers have earned annual awards for journalism since I’ve been in charge of the program,” Supanich said. “Submitting student work to a variety of contests helps us gain a wider readership and supports students who want to explore journalism as a field of study.”

Kessler is new to writing articles and said she thinks this award will motivate her to continue her writing career. “This award makes me feel proud of myself because I didn’t even start thinking about journalism until just a few months ago,” Kessler said. “This will motivate me to write better because this award shows that I am doing something right and that my writing is worth spending time on and pursuing.”

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About the Contributor
Ella Schwartz
Ella Schwartz, Managing Editor
Ella Schwartz is a junior at de Toledo and it is her first year writing for The Prowler. She likes hanging out with her friends, writing and traveling.

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