Mazel tov to our colleague, Esther D. Kustanowitz!
Mazel tov to our colleague, Esther D. Kustanowitz!

J. TV columnist Esther D. Kustanowitz wins national arts journalism award from LA Press Club

We at J. are proud to announce that our TV columnist, Esther D. Kustanowitz, has won an arts journalism award from the LA Press Club. Her May 2021 piece, “How TV has embraced dybbuks, golems and other Jewish lore,” took first place in the “Commentary Analysis/Trend — on TV” category of the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

“I’m really honored by this win, which acknowledges not just my writing, but the value of Jewish content in the overall sphere of arts and entertainment journalism,” Kustanowitz said.

“As more show creators draw from Jewish concepts, texts and lore to infuse into their creative works, I’m grateful to my colleagues at the J. for inviting my Jewish lens on television and popular culture into its pages, online and off.”

Kustanowitz has worked in Jewish journalism for years in Southern California, where she lives, specializing in writing about Jews in pop culture. Recognizing the growing role of TV in the cultural landscape — and having followed Kustanowitz’s excellent work over the years — J. invited her in 2018 to become a regular contributor. Her work has become some of this publication’s most-read digital content, with three of her articles topping our list of most popular articles for 2021.

Kustanowitz also shared a third-place award with Erin Ben-Moche in the “One-on-One Interview, TV Personalities” category for their interview with Mayim Bialik. The interview was featured in an episode of Kustanowitz and Ben-Moche’s independent podcast, “The Bagel Report.”

Malina Saval, an editor at Variety, also won a first-place prize for a very Jewish piece, “Too Jewish For Hollywood: As Antisemitism Soars, Hollywood Should Address Its Enduring Hypocrisy In Hyperbolic Caricatures of Jews.” “So that’s two pieces of intensely Jewish content that took top prizes in their categories,” Kustanowitz said.

See the full list of winners here.

David A.M. Wilensky
David A.M. Wilensky

David A.M. Wilensky is interim associate editor of J. He previously served as assistant editor and digital editor, and is a member of the board of the American Jewish Press Association. He can be reached at [email protected].