THE WINNERS
THE FINALISTS
AND VIDEOS OF READINGS AND LECTURES

On Wednesday morning, the JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL announced its 2020 NATION­AL JEW­ISH BOOK AWARDS, and the Everett Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Book of the Year was awarded to Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (z”l) for his book on MORALITY: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times. Rabbi Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the UK sadly succumbed to cancer in 2020. Lau­ra Arnold Leib­man received three awards for The Art of the Jew­ish Fam­i­ly: A His­to­ry of Women in Ear­ly New York in Five Objects; and Colum McCann received the award for Fiction for his novel, Apeirogon.

MORALITY draws on his own expe­ri­ences, as well as texts by Jew­ish philoso­phers and schol­ars, to illus­trate the impor­tance of chang­ing our world by shift­ing our focus to the col­lec­tive good.

The sec­ond Jane and Stu­art Weitz­man Fam­i­ly Award for Food Writ­ing and Cook­books was conferred on Now for Some­thing Sweet by the Mon­day Morn­ing Cook­ing Club, high­light­ing sto­ries from the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in Australia.

Top hon­ors for fic­tion went to Colum McCann’s Apeirogon (Ran­dom House), which was giv­en the JJ Green­berg Memo­r­i­al Award for Fic­tion; Max Gross’s The Lost Shtetl (Harper­Via), the recip­i­ent of the The Miller Fam­i­ly Book Club Award in Mem­o­ry of Helen Dunn Wein­stein and June Keit Miller; and Rachel Beanland’s Flo­rence Adler Swims For­ev­er (Simon & Schus­ter), the win­ner of the Gold­berg Prize for Debut Fiction.

The win­ner of the Holo­caust Award in Mem­o­ry of Ernest W. Michel – the celebrated witness and leader of the UJA in New York City – is The Unan­swered Let­ter: One Holo­caust Fam­i­ly’s Des­per­ate Plea for Help by Faris Cas­sell (Reg­n­ery His­to­ry). Nau­tilus and Bone by Lisa Richter (Fron­tenac House) received the Berru Poet­ry Award in Mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash.

Rabbi Arthur Green, the celebrated writer of Hasidism and Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, was award­ed his first Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award for Judaism for the World: Reflec­tions on God, Life, and Love (Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press) in the cat­e­go­ry of Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Life and Prac­tice in Mem­o­ry of Myra H. Kraft.

In addi­tion to being select­ed as the Everett Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Book of the Year, Rab­bi Sacks’s Moral­i­ty: Restor­ing the Com­mon Good in Divid­ed Times also receives the Mod­ern Jew­ish Thought & Expe­ri­ence Dorot Foun­da­tion Award in Mem­o­ry of Joy Unger­lei­der May­er­son.

The Krauss Fam­i­ly Auto­bi­og­ra­phy & Mem­oir Award in Mem­o­ry of Simon & Shu­lamith (Sofi) Gold­berg is pre­sent­ed to Ari­ana Neu­mann for her mem­oir, When Time Stopped: A Mem­oir of My Father’s War and What Remains (Scrib­n­er). The third annu­al Biog­ra­phy Award in Mem­o­ry of Sara Beren­son Stone is giv­en to From Left to Right: Lucy S. Daw­id­ow­icz, the New York Intel­lec­tu­als, and the Pol­i­tics of Jew­ish His­to­ry (Wayne State Uni­ver­si­ty Press) by Nan­cy Sinkoff, which was also named a Natan Notable Book from Natan Fund and Jew­ish Book Coun­cil in fall 2020.

For the sec­ond year in a row, Lesléa New­man has won the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award in the Children’s Pic­ture Book cat­e­go­ry. This year, the award was giv­en to her new book Wel­com­ing Eli­jah: A Passover Tale with a Tail illus­trat­ed by Susan Gal (Charles­bridge). Gavriel Sav­it receives the Young Adult Award for The Way Back (Ran­dom House Chil­dren’s Books), his sec­ond Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award. For the first time, Jew­ish Book Coun­cil is proud to present a Mid­dle Grade Lit­er­a­ture Award, with this year’s prize going to Anne Blankman for The Black­bird Girls (Viking Chil­dren’s Books, Penguin/Random House).

This year, we are pleased to present the Men­tor­ship Award in Hon­or of Car­olyn Star­man Hes­sel to Deb­o­rah Har­ris. Har­ris is Israel’s pre­mier lit­er­ary agent. She has dis­cov­ered and nur­tured authors for decades, and her ros­ter ranges from Israel’s acknowl­edged lumi­nar­ies to up-and-com­ing writ­ers in every genre and for every age. Beyond her work with­in Israel, Har­ris is tire­less in her effort to put Israeli books in trans­la­tion into inter­na­tion­al mar­kets, many of which are dif­fi­cult to pen­e­trate. She has said that the “trans­la­tor is the gate­way to learn­ing about the world.”

The win­ners of the 2020 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards will be hon­ored on Mon­day, April 12, 2021 at 7:00PM ET at a vir­tu­al awards cer­e­mo­ny.

Jew­ish Book of the Year
Everett Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Award

Win­ner: Moral­i­ty: Restor­ing the Com­mon Good in Divid­ed Times. Rab­bi Jonathan Sacks (Basic Books)

Amer­i­can Jew­ish Studies – Cel­e­brate 350 Award

Win­ner:
The Art of the Jew­ish Fam­i­ly: A His­to­ry of Women in Ear­ly New York in Five Objects. Lau­ra Arnold Leibman — Bard Grad­u­ate Center

Final­ists:
Hid­den Heretics: Jew­ish Doubt in the Dig­i­tal Age. Ayala Fad­er – Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press
Well Worth Sav­ing: Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ties’ Life-and-Death Deci­sions on Refugees from Nazi Europe. Lau­rel Leff – Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press
The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902: Immi­grant House­wives and the Riots That Shook New York City. Scott D. Seligman – Potomac Books

Auto­bi­og­ra­phy and Memoir
The Krauss Fam­i­ly Award in Mem­o­ry of Simon & Shu­lamith (Sofi) Goldberg

Win­ner:
When Time Stopped: A Mem­oir of My Father’s War and What Remains. Ari­ana Neumann — Scrib­n­er (Simon & Schuster)

Final­ists:
Friend­ly Fire: How Israel Became Its Own Worst Ene­my and the Hope for Its Future. Ami Ayalon and Antho­ny David. — Steer­forth Press
I Want You to Know We’re Still Here. Esther Safran Foer — Crown Pub­lish­ing Group
Here We Are: My Friend­ship with Philip Roth. Ben­jamin Taylor — Pen­guin Books

Biog­ra­phy
In Mem­o­ry of Sara Beren­son Stone

Win­ner:

From Left to Right: Lucy S. Daw­id­ow­icz, the New York Intel­lec­tu­als, and the Pol­i­tics of Jew­ish History. Nan­cy Sinkoff — Wayne State Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ists:
Andrea Dworkin: The Fem­i­nist as Revolutionary. Mar­tin Duberman — The New Press
Rab­bi Leo Baeck: Liv­ing a Reli­gious Imper­a­tive in Trou­bled Times. Michael A. Meyer — Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia Press
The Sun and Her Stars: Sal­ka Vier­tel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Gold­en Age of Hol­ly­wood Don­na Rifkind — Oth­er Press

Book Club
The Miller Fam­i­ly Award in Mem­o­ry of Helen Dunn Wein­stein and June Keit Miller

Win­ner:
The Lost Shtetl: A Novel. Max Gross — Harper­Via

Final­ists:
Han­nah’s War: A Novel. Jan Elias­berg — Lit­tle, Brown (Back Bay)
The Book of Lost Names. Kristin Harmel — Gallery Books
The Yel­low Bird Sings: A Novel. Jen­nifer Rosner — Flat­iron Books
The Tun­nel. A. B. Yehoshua, trans­lat­ed by Stu­art Schoffman — Houghton Mif­flin Harcourt

Children’s Pic­ture Book

Win­ner:
Wel­com­ing Eli­jah: A Passover Tale with a Tail. Lesléa New­man, illus­trat­ed by Susan Gal — Charles­bridge

Final­ists:
Judah Touro Did­n’t Want to Be Famous. Audrey Ades, illus­trat­ed by Vivien Mildenberger — Kar-Ben Pub­lish­ing
No Steps Behind: Beate Siro­ta Gor­don’s Bat­tle for Wom­en’s Rights in Japan. Jeff Gottes­feld, illus­trat­ed by Shiel­la Witanto — Cre­ston Books

Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Life and Practice
Myra H. Kraft Memo­r­i­al Award

Win­ner:
Judaism for the World: Reflec­tions on God, Life, and Love. Rabbi Arthur Green — Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ists:
The Mus­sar Torah Com­men­tary: A Spir­i­tu­al Path to Liv­ing a Mean­ing­ful and Eth­i­cal Life. Rab­bi Bar­ry H. Block — CCAR Press
Pre­pare My Prayer: Recipes to Awak­en the Soul. Rab­bi Dov Singer — Koren Pub­lish­ers Jerusalem

Debut Fic­tion
Gold­berg Prize

Win­ner:

Flo­rence Adler Swims For­ev­er: A Novel. Rachel Bean­land — Simon & Schuster

Final­ists:
The Orchard: A Novel. David Hopen — Harper­Collins
The Yel­low Bird Sings: A Novel. Jen­nifer Rosner — Flat­iron Books

Edu­ca­tion and Jew­ish Identity
In Mem­o­ry of Dorothy Kripke

Win­ner:
Hebrew Infu­sion: Lan­guage and Com­mu­ni­ty at Amer­i­can Jew­ish Sum­mer Camps. Sarah Bunin Benor, Jonathan Kras­ner, and Sharon Avni — Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ist:
The Unstop­pable Start­up: Mas­ter­ing Israel’s Secret Rules of Chutzpah. Uri Adoni — Harper­Collins Leadership

Fic­tion
JJ Green­berg Memo­r­i­al Award

Win­ner:
Apeirogon: A Novel. Colum McCann — Ran­dom House

Final­ists:
House on End­less Waters. Emu­na Elon — Atria Books
The Last Inter­view: A Novel. Eshkol Nevo, trans­lat­ed by Son­dra Silverston — Oth­er Press
Evening: A Novel. Nes­sa Rapoport — Coun­ter­point Press
The Mem­o­ry Monster. Yishai Sarid, trans­lat­ed by Yardenne Greenspan — Rest­less Books

Food Writ­ing & Cookbooks
Jane and Stu­art Weitz­man Fam­i­ly Award

Win­ner:
Now for Some­thing Sweet Mon­day Morn­ing Cook­ing Club — Harper­Collins

Final­ist:
The Dairy Restaurant. Ben Katchor — Schock­en Books

His­to­ry
Ger­rard and Ella Berman Memo­r­i­al Award

Win­ner:
The Art of the Jew­ish Fam­i­ly: A His­to­ry of Women in Ear­ly New York in Five Objects Lau­ra Arnold Leibman — Bard Grad­u­ate Center

Final­ists:
Stepchil­dren of the Shtetl: The Des­ti­tute, Dis­abled, and Mad of Jew­ish East­ern Europe, 1800–1939. Natan M. Meir — Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press
Res­cue the Sur­viv­ing Souls: The Great Jew­ish Refugee Cri­sis of the Sev­en­teenth Century. Adam Teller — Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Holo­caust
In Mem­o­ry of Ernest W. Michel

Win­ner:
The Unan­swered Let­ter: One Holo­caust Fam­i­ly’s Des­per­ate Plea for Help. Faris Cas­sell — Reg­n­ery History


Mid­dle Grade Literature

Win­ner:
The Black­bird Girls. Anne Blankman — Viking Chil­dren’s Books, Penguin/Random House

Final­ists:
No Vacan­cy. Tzi­po­rah Cohen — Ground­wood Books
Anya and the Nightingale. Sofiya Paster­nack — Houghton Mif­flin Harcourt
Chance: Escape from the Holocaust. Uri Shule­vitz — Far­rar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan

Mod­ern Jew­ish Thought and Experience
Dorot Foun­da­tion Award in Mem­o­ry of Joy Unger­lei­der Mayerson

Win­ner:
Moral­i­ty: Restor­ing the Com­mon Good in Divid­ed Times. Rab­bi Jonathan Sacks — Basic Books

Final­ists:
Esther: Pow­er, Fate, and Fragili­ty in Exile. Dr. Eri­ca Brown — Koren Pub­lish­ers Jerusalem
The New Jew­ish Canon: Ideas & Debates 1980–2015. Yehu­da Kurtzer and Claire E. Sufrin — Aca­d­e­m­ic Stud­ies Press

Poet­ry
Berru Award in Mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash

Win­ner:
Nau­tilus and Bone. Lisa Richter — Fron­tenac House

Final­ists:
How to Love the World. Elvi­ra Basevich — Pank Books
Asy­lum: A per­son­al, his­tor­i­cal, nat­ur­al inquiry in 103 lyric sections. Jill Bialosky — Alfred A. Knopf
Seder. Adam Kam­mer­ling — Out-Spo­ken Press

Schol­ar­ship
Nahum M. Sar­na Memo­r­i­al Award

Win­ner:
Time and Dif­fer­ence in Rab­binic Judaism. Sar­it Kat­tan Gribetz — Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ists:
Nah­manides: Law and Mysticism. Moshe Hal­ber­tal, trans­lat­ed by Daniel Tabak — Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press
Demons, Angels, and Writ­ing in Ancient Judaism. Annette Yoshiko Reed — Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Sephardic Cul­ture
Mimi S. Frank Award in Mem­o­ry of Becky Levy

Win­ner:

Forg­ing Ties, Forg­ing Pass­ports: Migra­tion and the Mod­ern Sephar­di Diaspora. Devi Mays — Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ists:
The Jews of Ottoman Izmir: A Mod­ern History. Dina Danon — Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press
The Con­vert. Ste­fan Hert­mans, trans­lat­ed by David McKay — Alfred A. Knopf
The Con­ver­so’s Return: Con­ver­sion and Sephar­di His­to­ry in Con­tem­po­rary Lit­er­a­ture and Culture. Dalia Kandiy­oti — Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Women Stud­ies
Bar­bara Dobkin Award

Win­ner:
The Art of the Jew­ish Fam­i­ly: A His­to­ry of Women in Ear­ly New York in Five Objects. Lau­ra Arnold Leibman — Bard Grad­u­ate Center

Final­ists:
Her Sto­ry, My Sto­ry? Writ­ing About Women and the Holocaust. Edit­ed by Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz and Dalia Ofer — Peter Lang Publishers
The Rebel­lion of the Daugh­ters: Jew­ish Women Run­aways in Hab­s­burg Galicia. Rachel Manekin — Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Writ­ing Based on Archival Material
The JDC-Her­bert Katz­ki Award

Win­ner:
Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Anti­se­mit­ic Myth. Mag­da Teter — Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ists:
The Lost Archive: Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue. Mari­na Rustow — Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press
Leav­ing Zion: Jew­ish Emi­gra­tion from Pales­tine and Israel after World War II. Ori Yehu­dai — Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Young Adult Literature

Win­ner:
The Way Back. Gavriel Sav­it — Ran­dom House Chil­dren’s Books

Final­ists:
What I Like About You. Marisa Kan­ter — Simon & Schus­ter Chil­dren’s Publishing
Today Tonight Tomorrow. Rachel Lynn Solomon — Simon & Schus­ter Chil­dren’s Publishing

About the author

larry

Leave a Comment