Award Winners

Rubicon Bakery

Beezy Portillo making tarts at Rubicon Bakers. Photo: Clara Rice

Alix won first prize in feature reporting from the San Francisco Press Club in 2016 for her Berkeleyside article about Rubicon Bakers, whose workforce is primarily made up of those in need of a second chance.

Daniel Boyarin

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Alix won a first prize in personality profiles in the American Jewish Press Association's Simon Rockower Awards in 2016 for this feature: "Daniel Boyarin: Talmudist, feminist, anti-Zionist, only-in-Berkeley Orthodox Jew."

Road to Atonement

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In 2013, Alix won another first prize in personality profiles in the AJPA's Rockower awards, this time for a feature about a Jewish man freshly out of prison after serving 22 years for murder.

Love Stories

Andrew & Vy

Andrew and Vy's love story is both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Andrew and Vy's story is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Despite severe illness, Vy was determined both to be Jewish and marry Andrew. Warning: tissues needed.

Levana & Casey

Perhaps the most creative wedding I've ever written about, complete with a ceremony to counter heter

This couple never wanted to get married, until they did. So they also held an "absurdist ceremony to counter heteronormative patriarchy" to make peace with their decision.  

Ruth & Vijay

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This couple, both Stanford grad students when they met, wanted to educate their guests about Jewish and Hindu culture both, so they had two full ceremonies, complete with outfit changes. 


Shoshana & Abigail

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“My parents...would have loved nothing better than to know I was finally getting married, and that they were hosting a rehearsal dinner right after getting buried."

Mike & Anthony

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Anthony was pleasantly surprised when he showed up to meet Mike on their blind date and saw a cute rabbi rather than the crypt-keeper. 

Alicia & Mike

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Mike had no idea what his type was, but a friend offered an introduction to Alicia. Another friend offered to set Alicia up with Mike. 

James "Sneaky" White

Alix visiting Sneaky hopefully for the last time in Vacaville.

The stories Alix did about people living meaningful lives after prison led J.'s editor to ask her to write about James "Sneaky" White, a Vietnam Veteran serving year 37 of a life-without-parole sentence for killing the violent ex-husband of his wife, Nancy. As an inmate, White founded a college program at Ironwood State Prison, which has been responsible for educating over 1,500 men. Now every prison in the state has such a program, largely due to the success of his. Alix went to meet him in Vacaville's California Medical Facility in January, and her story about him came out in late March. When an investigator from Governor Jerry Brown's office came to meet Sneaky two months after the story appeared, he told him that Brown and his senior staff had all read the story about him in the Jewish newspaper. In August, his case went to the state parole board in Sacramento, where Alix joined 12 others -- mostly Vietnam Vets and men whose lives had been greatly impacted by him in prison -- testifying on his behalf. Later that day, The parole board approved his pardon, and then in November, the state supreme court approved it as well. His was among the commutations that Brown issued right before Christmas, and the next step is for him to meet with the parole board, which will happen in 2019. Alix has been featured talking about the case on the podcast Unorthodox. Meeting Sneaky as well as being the one to bring his story to a wider audience has been, by far, the most rewarding story of her career. The photo above was taken when Alix visited him in December, hoping it would be the last time.

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"Team Sneaky" after testifying in Sacramento in front of the state parole board in August.

A Sampling of Favorites, Old and New

Suddenly Sisters

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A girl goes to summer camp and quickly realizes that her new friend and her best friend at home have something huge in common.

He Believes in Angels

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Bruce Feldstein has an unusual background for a hospital chaplain; he was an emergency physician, until an injury changed everything.

Orthodox Paradox

https://www.jweekly.com/2003/10/10/orthodox-paradox/

Meet Matthue Roth, the Orthodox slam poet (who has gone on to write novels and other stuff), at the very beginning of his career.

Neshama Carlebach

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For some reason, I was the first reporter to be allowed to cover one of these talks Neshama was doing, about her father in light of #metoo. 

Nechama Langer

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Neshama and Nechama. Nechama Langer is carving her own path, pushing the boundaries of tradition and making it her own.

Noe Valley's fashionable innkeeper

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Noe's Nest is a B&B filled with personality in Noe Valley. While the antiques are part of its charm, the biggest draw is the owner herself. 

RIP: Leo Horovitz

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One could truly say "they don't make them like Leo." He was a Holocaust refugee who made the most of life.

The Rabbi and his Church

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Rabbi Michael Lezak has managed to create his dream job, at a church of all places. He sees himself as an emissary.

A Rising Star in Opera

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Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is probably the only opera star who used to lead High Holy Days services.