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Samuel Heilman's Book, The Rebbe, Wins a National Jewish Book Award

2010 National Jewish Book Awards Announced

Cynthia Ozick to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Harold Grinspoon to receive IMPACT Award

David Grossman, Gal Beckerman, Martin Fletcher among honorees

60TH Annual Awards Ceremony to be Held March 9 in NYC

New York, January 11, 2011-The Jewish Book Council today announced the winners of the 2010 National Jewish Book Awards, the longest-running North American awards program of its kind in the field of Jewish literature. Given annually since 1948, the awards are designed to recognize outstanding books on Jewish topics each year. Awards are given in sixteen different categories, including debut fiction, scholarship, biography and Holocaust.

In addition to the sixteen category awards, special awards will be bestowed this year upon Cynthia Ozick, Gal Beckerman, and Harold Grinspoon. The winners of the 2010 National Jewish Book Awards will be honored on March 9 at a gala awards ceremony to be held at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan, located at 15 West 16th Street. The awards ceremony, which begins at 8:00 p.m., is free and open to the public. Masters of ceremony for the event are Ari. L. Goldman, author and professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and Alana Newhouse, editor-in-chief of Tablet Magazine.

Acclaimed for her many works of fiction and criticism, Cynthia Ozick will be honored with the Jewish Book Council Lifetime Achievement Award. Ozick was a National Book Award Finalist for her novel The Puttermesser Papers. Her essay collection, Quarrel & Quandary, won the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and her novel, Heir to the Glimmering World, was a New York Times Notable Book. Her classic novella, The Shawl, was produced for the stage in New York, directed by Sidney Lumet. Her stories have won four O. Henry first prizes, and in 2008 Ozick was awarded the PEN/Nabokov Award and the PEN/Malamud Award. Her sixth novel, Foreign Bodies, was published in fall 2010.

This year, the Jewish Book Council will bestow the IMPACT Award on Harold Grinspoon, for his commitment to Jewish literacy and growth through the PJ Library Program, which he created to introduce children to Jewish literature and support them and their families on their Jewish journey. The PJ Library program sends nearly 70,000 Jewish children’s books free to families with young children each month in 130 communities in North America. Through the PJ Library program, Grinspoon has established a rich foundation of Jewish literature that will influence today’s youth in the years ahead.

The Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award will be given to journalist and author Gal Beckerman for his book, When They Come For Us, We’ll Be Gone: the Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which tells the story behind the rescue of three million Jews trapped inside the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.

Other notable winners this year include Oxford historian Ruth Harris for Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century; Martin Fletcher, long-time NBC news correspondent in Israel for his moving memoir, Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation; and Jerusalem-born novelist David Grossman for his new work of fiction, To the End of the Land. A complete list of winners follows.  

2010 National Jewish Book Awards

Everett Family Foundation
Jewish Book of the Year Award
When They Come For Us, We'll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Gal Beckerman

Jewish Book Council
Harold Grinspoon

Jewish Book Council
Lifetime Achievement Award
Cynthia Ozick

American Jewish Studies
Celebrate 350 Award

The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson (Princeton University Press) Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman

Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora
(Indiana University Press)
Rebecca Kobrin

Anthologies and Collections

The Cambridge Guide to Jewish History, Religion, and Culture (Cambridge University Press)
Judith R. Baskin and Kenneth Seeskin, eds.

Promised Lands: New Jewish American Fiction on Longing and Belonging (Brandeis University Press/UPNE)
Derek Rubin, ed.
Jewish Cultural Studies, Volume 2, Jews at Home: The Domestication of Identity (The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization)
Simon J. Bronner, ed.

Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir
In Memory of Simon & Shulamith (Sofi) Goldberg

Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company)
Ruth Harris

The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership (The Toby Press)
Yehuda Avner Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press)
Abigail Green

Backing Into Forward (Nan A. Talese/Random House)
Jules Feiffer

Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania (Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Haya Leah Molnar

Rabbi Harvey vs. The Wisdom Kid: A Graphic Novel of Dueling Jewish Folktales in the Wild West (Jewish Lights Publishing)
Steve Sheinkin

The Orphan Rescue (Second Story Press)
Anne Dublin

An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group)
Elaine Marie Alphin

Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice

Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press)
Martin Fletcher

The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time (Random House)
Judith Shulevitz

Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary (The Alban Institute)
Isa Aron, Steven M. Cohen, Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ari Y. Kelman

Education and Jewish Identity

Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary (The Alban Institute)
Isa Aron, Steven M. Cohen, Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ari Y. Kelman

Ramah at 60: Impact and Innovation (National Ramah Commission)
Mitchell Cohen, Jeffrey S. Kress, eds.

Learning and Community: Jewish Supplementary Schools in the Twenty-First Century (Brandeis University Press/UPNE)
Jack Wertheimer

JJ Greenberg Memorial Award

To the End of the Land (Knopf/Random House)
David Grossman; Jessica Cohen, trans.

The Invisible Bridge (Knopf/Random House)
Julie Orringer

The Instructions (McSweeney’s)
Adam Levin

Nemesis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Philip Roth

Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award

Early Modern Jewry: A New Cultural History (Princeton University Press)
David B. Ruderman

Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex (Jewish Publication Society)
Hayim Tawil and Bernard Schneider


The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership (The Toby Press)
Yehuda Avner

Untold Tales of the Hasidim: Crisis and Discontent in the History of Hasidim (Brandeis University Press/UPNE)
David Assaf




Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp (W. W. Norton & Company)
Christopher R. Browning

The Death Marches: The Final Phase of Nazi Genocide (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press)
Daniel Blatman; Chaya Galai, trans.

The Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of the Ghettos During the Holocaust (Yad Vashem Publishers)
Guy Miron and Shlomit Shulhani, eds.

Illustrated Children’s Books
Louis Posner Memorial Award

The Rooster Prince of Breslov (Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Ann Redisch Stampler; Eugene Yelchin, illus.

Modeh Ani: A Good Morning Book (EKS Publishing)
Adapted by Sarah Gershman; Kristina Swarner, illus.

Feivel's Flying Horses (Kar-Ben Publishing)
Heidi Smith Hyde; Johanna van der Sterre, illus

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

The Koren Mesorat HaRav Kinot: The Complete Tisha B'Av Service with Commentary by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Koren Publishers Jerusalem and the Orthodox Union)
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

The Ten Commandments: How Our Most Ancient Moral Text Can Renew Modern Life (Simon & Schuster)
David Hazony

Silver from the Land of Israel: A New Light On The Sabbath And Holidays From Rabbi Abraham Kook (Urim Publications)
Rabbi Chanan Morrison

Outstanding Debut Fiction
Foundation for Jewish Culture's Goldberg Prize

Rich Boy (TWELVE Books/Hachette)
Sharon Pomerantz

Displaced Persons (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
Ghita Schwarz

Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award

From Continuity to Contiguity: Toward a New Jewish Literary Thinking (Stanford University Press)
Dan Miron

Yehuda Halevi (Schocken Books/Nextbook Press)
Hillel Halkin

Glory and Agony: Isaac's Sacrifice and National Narrative (Stanford University Press)
Yael S. Feldman

The Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, And Ecclesiastes: A Translation With Commentary (W. W. Norton & Company)
Robert Alter

Orthodox by Design: Judaism, Print Politics, and the ArtScroll Revolution (University of California Press)
Jeremy Stolow

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

Yehuda Halevi (Schocken Books/Nextbook Press)
Hillel Halkin

The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (Stanford University Press)
Marc David Baer

Women’s Studies
Barbara Dobkin Award

Memoirs of a Grandmother: Scenes from the Cultural History of the Jews of Russia in the Nineteenth Century, Volume One (Stanford University Press)
Pauline Wengeroff; Shulamit S. Magnus, trans.

In Scripture: The First Stories of Jewish Sexual Identities (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers)
Lori Hope Lefkovitz

A Jewish Feminine Mystique?: Jewish Women in Postwar America (Rutgers University Press)
Hasia Diner, Shira Kohn, Rachel Kranson, eds. Writing Based on Archival Material

The JDC-Herbert Katzki Award

The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Random House)
Jonathan Schneer

Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices (TWELVE Books/Hachette)
Noah Feldman

Syrian Jewry in Transition, 1840–1880 (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization)
Yaron Harel; Dena Ordan, trans.


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