|Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature|
|Awarded for||recognising the unique role of contemporary writers in the transmission and examination of the Jewish experience, and to encourage and promote outstanding writing of Jewish interest.|
|Presented by||Jewish Book Council|
The $100,000 prize is among the richest literary prizes in the world. The runner-up award is called the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Choice Award, and is worth $25,000.
The Prize is coordinated and administered by the Jewish Book Council. Works are sought and nominated by an advisory panel, and the finalists, runner-up and winner are selected by an independent panel of judges.
The gold medal () marks the winner, while the silver medal () marks the runner-up.
The winners were announced on February 15, 2012.
The winners were announced on March 24, 2011.
The winners were announced on January 26, 2010. The judges were unable to decide on the top honour, so the prize was shared and the runner-up prize eliminated.
Anne Landsman (born 14 April 1959) is an award-winning novelist. She was born in Worcester, the daughter of a country doctor, and is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and Columbia University. Until 2001, she lectured at The New School university in New York, where she still lives with her husband, architect James Wagman, and children.She is the author of the novels The Devil's Chimney and The Rowing Lesson. The first novel developed from one of her short stories published in the American Poetry Review; the second is more autobiographical, telling the story of a Jewish South African woman.Her novels have been published in the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, as well as the U.S. She has contributed essays to the anthologies Touch, An Uncertain Inheritance and The Honeymoon’s Over and has written for numerous publications including The Washington Post, The American Poetry Review, The Believer, The Guardian and The Telegraph. She has taught writing at Columbia University, Brooklyn College and The New School for Social Research. Landsman is on the Board of Trustees at The Writers Room in New York City.Ayelet Tsabari
Ayelet Tsabari is an Israeli-Canadian writer. She was born in Israel into a large family of Yemeni descent. She studied at the Simon Fraser University Writers' Studio and the University of Guelph MFA program in Creative Writing. Her collection of short stories The Best Place on Earth was published by HarperCollins Canada in 2013, and by Penguin Random House in the USA in March 2016.The book was the recipient of the 2015 Sami Rohr Prize.Danya Ruttenberg
Danya Ruttenberg (born February 6, 1975) is an American rabbi, editor, and author. She was named one of The Jewish Week's "36 Under 36" in 2010 (36 most influential leaders under age 36), and the same year was named one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis by The Jewish Daily Forward. When she was in college her mother died of breast cancer, and Ruttenberg practiced Jewish mourning rituals, which she said allowed her to "make friends with Judaism, to be open to it"; in 2008 she published a memoir of her spiritual awakening titled "Surprised by God: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Religion" (Beacon Press). This memoir was a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. She was ordained in 2008 by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. In 2016, she published Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting with Flatiron Books, which was named a National Jewish Book Award finalist and a PJ Library Parents' Choice selection.
Ruttenberg is the editor of the 2001 anthology "Yentl's Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism," and the 2009 anthology "The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism." She is also a contributing editor to Lilith and Women in Judaism. She and Rabbi Elliot Dorff are co-editors of three books for the Jewish Publication Society’s Jewish Choices/Jewish Voices series: "Sex and Intimacy", "War and National Security", and "Social Justice".
She served as the Senior Jewish Educator at Tufts University Hillel, and subsequently Campus Rabbi at Northwestern Hillel and Director of Education for the campus dialogue program Ask Big Questions. She is currently serving as Rabbi-in-Residence.Disobedience (novel)
Disobedience is the debut novel by British author Naomi Alderman. First published in the UK in March 2006, the novel has since been translated into ten languages. Disobedience follows a rabbi's lesbian daughter as she returns from New York to her Orthodox Jewish community in Hendon, London. Although the subject matter was considered somewhat controversial, the novel was well received and earned Alderman the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers and the 2007 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award.Francesca Segal
Francesca Segal (born 1980) is a British author and journalist. She was brought up in a Jewish community in north-west London where she still lives today. She is best known for her novel, The Innocents, which won several book awards. She is the daughter of American author, Erich Segal.George Rohr
George Rohr is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and President of NCH Capital Inc, a private equity firm.Idra Novey
Idra Novey is an American novelist, poet, and translator. She translates from Portuguese, Spanish, and Persian and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.Ilana Kurshan
Ilana Kurshan is an American-Israeli author who lives in Jerusalem. She is best known for her memoir of Talmud study amidst life as a single woman, a married woman, and a mother, If All the Seas Were Ink.Jewish Book Council
The Jewish Book Council (Hebrew: הפרס הלאומי לספרים יהודיים) founded in 1944, is an organization encouraging and contributing to Jewish literature. The goal of the council, as stated on its website, is "to promote the reading, writing and publishing of quality English language books of Jewish content in North America". The council sponsors the National Jewish Book Awards, the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, the JBC Network, JBC Book Clubs, the Visiting Scribe series, and Jewish Book Month. It publishes an annual literary journal called Paper Brigade.As of January 1, 1994 the Jewish Book Council broke off from the JCC Association and became an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in the State of New York. Its primary support is from individuals, and from organizations and foundations in the Jewish community.Joseph Skibell
Joseph Skibell (born October 18, 1959) is a novelist and essayist living in Atlanta, Georgia and Tesuque, New Mexico.
Skibell is the author of three novels, which use elements of history and fantasy, a collection of true stories, and a forthcoming mythopoetic study of the tales in the Talmud:
A Blessing on the Moon (1997)
The English Disease (2003)
A Curable Romantic (2010)
My Father's Guitar & Other Imaginary Things (2015)
Six Memos from the Last Millennium: A Novelist Reads the Talmud (2016).Lucette Lagnado
Lucette Lagnado is an Egyptian-born American journalist and memoirist. She is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal.Matti Friedman
Matti Friedman (Hebrew: מתי פרידמן) is an Israeli Canadian journalist and author. He is an op-ed contributor for the New York Times.Michael Lavigne
Michael Lavigne is the author of two books of fiction. His first novel, Not Me, published by Random House, was the recipient of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Choice Award for emerging Jewish writers, was an American Library Association Sophie Brodie Honor Book, a Book of the Month Club Alternate, and was translated into three languages. Lavigne's second novel, The Wanting, was published by Pantheon under the Schocken imprint early in 2013. He has a third novel that will be published by Simon & Schuster's Gallery Books imprint in October 2016 under a pseudonym.
Molly Antopol is an American fiction and nonfiction writer. In 2013 the National Book Foundation named her a 5 under 35 honoree. In 2014 she was longlisted for the National Book Award.Sana Krasikov
Sana Krasikov (born Ukraine) is a writer living in the United States. She grew up in the Republic of Georgia, as well as the United States. She graduated from Cornell University in 2001 where she lived at the Telluride House, and from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 2017 she was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists.Shani Boianjiu
Shani Boianjiu (Hebrew: שני בוינג'ו; born 1987) is an Israeli author. Her debut novel, The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, was released in 2012, and has been published in 23 countries. In 2011 the National Book Foundation named her a 5 under 35 honoree.Tamar Yellin
Tamar Yellin is an author and teacher who lives in Yorkshire. Her first novel, The Genizah at the House of Shepher, won the 2007 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.The Aleppo Codex
The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible is a 2012 book by Matti Friedman published by Algonquin.
The book tells the story of how the Aleppo codex, one of the world's oldest extant Bibles , was saved from destruction during the 1947 Aleppo pogrom, how it was smuggled into Israel, and what became of the missing pages. The Wall Street Journal calls Friedman's book "a detective thriller," noting that, "not everything about the codex is as it seems."The Septembers of Shiraz
The Septembers of Shiraz (2007) is a debut novel by Iranian American author Dalia Sofer.It narrates the lives of a well-to-do Iranian family during and after the Iranian revolution which additionally overthrew the Shah and ushered in the Islamic republic. There is also a subplot involving a Hasidic family in New York.
The book's new cover is designed by Claire Vaccaro.