2016 National Jewish Book Awards Winners and Finalists


Read the press release here or download the press release and full list of winners and finalists here.

Jewish Book of the Year 

Everett Family Foundation Award

Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn
Daniel Gordis
Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

JBC Modern Jewish Literary Achievement Award

Michael Chabon is the winner of JBC’s Modern Literary Achievement Award for his general contribution to modern Jewish literature, including his most recent work, Moonglow (Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), described by Jewish Book Council’s committee as “a moving panorama of Jewish experience. Chabon serves up his colossal tale of darkness and light in fabulous language, as befits this modern fable.”

American Jewish Studies

Celebrate 350 Award

Winner:

Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food
Roger Horowitz
Columbia University Press

Finalists:

Who Rules the Synagogue?: Religious Authority and the Formation of American Judaism
Zev Eleff
Oxford University Press

The Salome Ensemble
Alan Robert Ginsberg
Syracuse University Press

Anthologies and Collections

Winner:

Makers of Jewish Modernity: Thinkers, Artists, Leaders, and the World They Made
Jacques Picard, Jacques Revel, Michael P. Steinberg, Idith Zertal, eds
Princeton University Press

Finalists:

Love Finer Than Wine: The Writings of Matthew Eisenfeld and Sara Duker
Edward C. Bernstein
Createspace

Love, Marriage, and Jewish Families: Paradoxes of a Social Revolution
Sylvia Barack Fishman
Brandeis University Press

Have I Got a Story for You: More Than a Century of Fiction from the Forward
Ezra Glinter
W.W. Norton & Company


Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir

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

Winner:

But You Did Not Come Back
Marceline Loridan-Ivens; Sandra Smith, trans.
Grove Atlantic

Finalists:

In the Darkroom
Susan Faludi
Metropolitan Books


Book Club Award

The Debby and Ken Miller Award

Winner:

And After the Fire
Lauren Belfer
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Finalists:

Two She-Bears
Meir Shalev, Stuart Schoffman, trans.
Schocken Books

Beauty Queen of Jerusalem
Sarit Yishai-Levy, Anthony Berris, trans.
St. Martin's Press

Children's Literature


Winner:

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Debbie Levy; Elizabeth Baddeley, illus.
Simon & Schuster

Finalists:

Dreidels on the Brain
Joel ben Izzy
Dial Books

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog
Adam Gidwitz
Dutton Books for Young Readers

Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice

Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award

Winner:

Changing the World from the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal and Social Change
Rabbi David Jaffe
Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Finalists:

The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods
Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz.
Flatiron Books

The Heart of Loneliness: How Jewish Wisdom Can Help You Cope and Find Comfort
Rabbi Marc Katz
Jewish Lights Publishing

Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting
Danya Ruttenberg
Flatiron Books


Debut Fiction

Goldberg Prize

Winner:

Anna and the Swallow Man
Gavriel Savit
Knopf Books for Young Readers

Finalists:

The Yid
Paul Goldberg
Picador/Macmillan

The Beautiful Possible
Amy Gottlieb
Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Education and Jewish Identity

In Memory of Dorothy Kripke


Winner:
Next Generation Judaism: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations
Mike Uram
Jewish Lights Publishing

Finalist:
Judaisms: A Twenty-First-Century Introduction to Jews and Jewish Identities
Aaron J. Hahn Tapper
University of California Press

Fiction

JJ Greenberg Memorial Award

Winner:

The Gustav Sonata
Rose Tremain
W.W. Norton & Company

Finalists:

Carry Me
Peter Behrens
Pantheon Books

Charlotte: A Novel
David Foenkinos
The Overlook Press

History

Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award

Winner:

The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel
Uri Bar-Joseph
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Finalist:

Dreams Deferred: A Concise Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Movement to Boycott Israel
Cary Nelson, ed.
Indiana University Press

East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity"
Philippe Sands
Knopf

Holocaust

Winner:
Holocaust, Genocide, and the Law: A Quest for Justice in a Post-Holocaust World
Michael Bazyler
Oxford University Press

Finalists:
The Holocaust in Croatia

Ivo Goldstein and Slavko Goldstein
University of Pittsburgh Press

A History of the Grandparents I Never Had
Ivan Jablonka, Jane Kuntz, trans.
Stanford University Press

Lessons of the Holocaust
Michael R. Marrus
University of Toronto Press

East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity"

Philippe Sands
Knopf

Modern Jewish Thought and Experience

Dorot Foundation Award in Memory of Joy Ungerleider Mayerson

Winner:

Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque
Miriam Udel
University of Michigan Press

Finalists:


Modern Orthodox Judaism: A Documentary History
Zev Eleff
Jewish Publication Society

Poetry

Berru Award in Memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash

Winner:

Almost Complete Poems
Stanley Moss
Seven Stories Press

Finalists:

Two Worlds Exist
Yehoshua November
Orison Books

Go On

Ethel Rackin
Parlor Press

Scholarship

Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award

Winner:

Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response 1391-1392
Benjamin R. Gampel
Cambridge University Press

Finalists:

Clepsydra: Essay on the Plurality of Time in Judaism
Sylvie Anne Goldberg; Benjamin Ivry, trans.
Stanford University Press

The Zohar: Reception and Impact
Boaz Huss
Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

Sexuality in the Babylonian Talmud: Christian and Sasanian Contexts in Late Antiquity
Yishai Kiel
Cambridge University Press

Sephardic Culture

Mimi S. Frank Award in Memory of Becky Levy

Winner:

Extraterritorial Dreams: European Citizenship, Sephardi Jews, and the Ottoman Twentieth Century
Sarah Abrevaya Stein
University of Chicago Press

Finalist:

Homeless Tongues: Poetry and Languages of the Sephardic Diaspora
Monique Rodrigues Balbuena
Stanford University Press

Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response 1391-1392
Benjamin R. Gampel
Cambridge University Press

Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece
Devin Naar
Stanford University Press

Women’s Studies

Barbara Dobkin Award

Winner:

The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate
Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr, Rabbi Alysa Mendelson Graf, eds.
CCAR Press

Writing Based on Archival Material

The JDC-Herbert Katzki Award

Winner:

Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece
Devin E. Naar
Stanford University Press

Finalist:


Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response 1391-1392
Benjamin R. Gampel
Cambridge University Press

Young Adult

The Posner Award

Winner:

On Blackberry Hill
Rachel Mann
CreateSpace

Finalists:

Anna and the Swallow Man
Gavriel Savit
Knopf Books for Young Readers

Another Me
Eva Wiseman
Tundra Books