Robin Wright, Goldziher Prize winner

2017 Goldziher Prize Awards 

National Press Club, May 3, 2017

The Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College, in collaboration with the William and Mary Greve Foundation, awarded the 2017 Goldziher Prize to: 

Joshua Seftel_sm.jpg

Joshua Seftel, for “The Secret Life of Muslims,” a multi-platform series of short non-fiction films that reveals the lives of American Muslims through their careers, talents, and accomplishments. Seftel is a filmmaker and director whose award-winning productions have covered issues such as Romanian orphans (Lost and Found, 1991), the rights of senior citizens (Old Warrior, 1994), political intrigue (Taking on the Kennedys, 1996), air quality issues (Breaking the Mold, 2003), and commercial interests that drive war (War, Inc., 2008). His work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and Showtime.


Samuel Freedman, for a selection of columns in The New York Times from 2010 through 2016 that chronicle American Muslims, emphasizing the normal, productive lives of these citizens, and pushing back against Islamophobia. Freedman was a staff reporter for The New York Times from 1981 through 1987 and wrote the column “On Religion” from 2006 through 2016. From 2004 through 2008, he wrote the column “On Education” which won first prize in the Education Writers Association’s annual competition. He was also a regular columnist on American Jewish issues for the The Jerusalem Post from 2005 through 2009.


Robin Wright, for “Muslim Heroes, Writers, Artists and an Athlete in America,” a series of five articles in The New Yorker that reflects the rich and many-sided contributions of Muslims to the American experience. Wright has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1988. A former correspondent for The Washington Post, CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, and The Sunday Times of London, she has reported from more than 140 countries. She is currently a joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


The Goldziher (Gold-zi-air) Prize is an award for excellence in the coverage of American Muslims by an individual or team of U.S. journalists. This prize is named for Ignác Goldziher (1850-1921), a Hungarian Jew who was among the first university scholars in Europe to study and admire the laws, poetry, and practices of Islam. 

The Goldziher Prize was created in response to rising fear and hateful actions toward American Muslims, and seeks to counter these trends by recognizing and stimulating nuanced and enlightened stories or opinion pieces about Muslims in the U.S.

For the 2019 competition, The Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College, an independent college in the Catholic Augustinian tradition, and the William and Mary Greve Foundation, are partnering with the Religion News Foundation, the educational and charitable arm of the Religion News Association.