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.
Over the years, I’ve spoken privately with several Israeli novelists but with only two of the internationally famous ones. And these very brief conversations took place more than 40 years…
The great French comic artist is now working at the height of his considerable powers, and he is obsessed with questions of Jewish identity and life in Europe.
With the runaway success of the novel The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, a television adaptation was all but inevitable, and the decision of Yes Studios to invest record amounts of cash in the show, while eyebrow raising, is also unsurprising.
It may come as a surprise that there is an entirely different Catskills, a Catskills that doesn't involve Grossinger's, bungalow colonies, or Jews, in the words of Billy Crystal, eating "like Vikings."