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.
An immense echo-chamber has been built, and the line is always the same: Israel is not allowed to be a country like any other.
When an indigenous Argentine woman falls in love with a golem, her grandmother creates a love potion to win the golem’s (perhaps non-existent?) heart. What could possibly go wrong?
Each month brings scores of new books of Jewish interest. Here are a few we can’t wait to read this December. And who knows, maybe you’ll find the perfect last-minute Hanukkah gift here as well!
That Judah, the great victor of the Hanukkah story, ultimately died fighting the Seleucids is something that surprisingly few Jews know. And were the Maccabees actually underdogs?