In the past year, Jewish Review of Books has reviewed three of the five books that were named finalists for the prestigious Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Here are the five, with links to our reviews:
- Sara Yael Hirshhorn, City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement
- Ilana Kurshan, If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir
- Yair Mintzker, The Many Deaths of Jew Süss: The Notorious Trial and Execution of an Eighteenth-Century Court Jew
- Shari Rabin, Jews on the Frontier: Religion and Mobility in Nineteenth-Century America
- Chanan Tigay, The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World’s Oldest Bible
We also published a fascinating piece by Shari Rabin on a Civil War Seder.
Mazal tov to all the finalists!
Awarded by the Jewish Book Council, the Sami Rohr Prize is designed to honor “emerging writers who explore the Jewish experience and demonstrate the potential for continued contribution to Jewish literature.” The winner, to be announced in July, will receive $100,000. (Second place wins $18,000 and the other finalists will be awarded $5,000 each.) All will be celebrated in a ceremony to take place this summer in Jerusalem. This year, the prize will be awarded to a non-fiction book. In alternate years, a work of fiction wins the prize.
While literalism is intellectually untenable and liberalism is numerically imperiled, many Jews find that what they believe cannot be transmitted, and what can be effectively transmitted they cannot believe.
Ilana Kurshan, a hyper-literary, ideologically egalitarian, hopeless romantic (in her words), doesn’t fit the typical profile of a Daf Yomi participant.
After reading through dozens of entries into our Reader Review Competition, we are pleased to announce that Gital Segal Rotenberg has been chosen as the winner. Her review of Dati Normali appears today. We thank all our readers who participated!
Personal reflections on the legacy of a sui generis Jewish American sociographer and essayist.