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National Jewish Book Award Winners Announced

National Jewish Book Award Winners Announced

Sandee is the arts and culture editor at the Jewish Week.

In this season of awards, the Jewish Book Council announced the winners of its 2012 National Jewish Book Awards, recognizing a range of new and established authors.

Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel was named the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Columbia University professor is the author of “In Search of Memory” (Norton).

A trilogy of books about New York City, “City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York,” by Howard B. Rock, Annie Polland and Daniel Soyer, and Jeffrey S. Gurock, with a visual essay by Diana L. Linden, edited by Deborah Dash Moore (New York University Press) was named “Jewish Book of the Year.”

The winning publishers include large and small publishing houses, university presses and self-publishers too. Brandeis University Press and Jewish Lights were the only publishers to receive two awards for their books.

Other winners include, in Fiction, Francesca Segal for “The Innocents” (Voice/Hyperion); in Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice, Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi with Joel Segel for “Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer” (Jewish Lights); in Anthologies and Collections, Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy, editors, for “ Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame” (Twelve).

Anita Shapira was named the winner in history for “Israel: A History” (Brandeis University Press); Gerald Sorin won in Biography for “Howard Fast: Life and Literature in the Left Lane” (Indiana University Press); and Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld was awarded the prize in Sephardic Culture for “Poverty and Welfare among the Portuguese Jews of Early Modern Amsterdam” (The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization). In the Illustrated Children’s Book category, Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso won for “The Shema in the Mezuzah: Listening to Each Other,” illustrated by Joani Keller Rothenberg (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is the winner in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience for “Koren Talmud Bavli” (Koren Publishers).

Other categories include American Jewish Studies, Education and Jewish Identity, Holocaust and others, for a total of 17 awards. A full listing, including finalists is at

The awards will be presented on March 14th at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan. The ceremony, which begins at 8:00 pm, is free and open to the public.

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