Jewish Bulletin picks up trio of Rockower Awards

A bleary-eyed, yarmulke-wearing man representing Israel deadpans: "Daily life."

Illustrator Nina Bonos of Santa Rosa picked up a second-place mention in the Noah Bee Award for Excellence in Editorial Cartooning or Illustrating in Newspapers category.

Bonos' designs graced the Bulletin's front page on both the 2001 Passover and Chanukah editions. The latter illustration depicted a menorah that spelled out "Shalom."

Staff writer Joe Eskenazi garnered the Bulletin's sole editorial award in the competition, taking third-place in the Excellence in Arts and Criticism News and Features in the American Jewish Press Awards-sponsored competition.

Eskenazi's piece, "Be Gone, Dybbuk! Chabadnik's Latest Book Tells All," was a review of former Marin Chabad Rabbi Chaim Dalfin's "Soul Journeys," a treatise on demon possession, reincarnation and even the weekly schedule of a dispossessed soul.

"Depending upon one's spiritual beliefs, 'Soul Journeys' is either a compendium of red-hot bubbemeysas (old wives' tales) or a case log of instances proving the existence of the thereafter, and, therefore, the necessity of living a halachic life," wrote Eskenazi.

"Dalfin's book is quick, entertaining and serves as a glimpse into the mysterious world of the Kabbalah. If one finds it a stretch to anoint a Marin homeless man as Elijah the Prophet, however, this book may be entertaining in ways unintended by the author."

This is the first Rockower award for Eskenazi, and the second for both Bonos and Greenberg.