2012 National Jewish Book Award Winners

Read the press release here

Lifetime Achievement Award

Eric R. Kandel

Jewish Book of the Year 

Everett Family Foundation Award

City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York, With a Visual Essay by Diana L. Linden

Howard B. Rock, Annie Polland and Daniel Soyer, Jeffrey S. Gurock
Deborah Dash Moore, ed.
New York University Press

American Jewish Studies

Celebrate 350 Award


Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life
Laura Arnold Leibman
Vallentine Mitchell Publishers


When General Grant Expelled the Jews
Jonathan D. Sarna
Schocken Books/Nextbook Press

Sundays at Sinai: A Jewish Congregation in Chicago
Tobias Brinkmann
The University of Chicago Press

Anthologies and Collections


Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame
Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy, eds.


Science in Medieval Jewish Cultures
Gad Freudenthal, ed.
Cambridge University Press

I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow
Jonathan Goldstein
Penguin Canada

Jewish Theology and World Religions
Alon Goshen-Gottstein and Eugene Korn, eds.
The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

Biography, Autobiography, Memoir

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


Howard Fast: Life and Literature in the Left Lane
Gerald Sorin
Indiana University Press


Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders
Joy Ladin
University of Wisconsin Press

Menachem Begin: A Life
Avi Shilon; Danielle Zilberberg and Yoram Sharett, trans.
Yale University Press

Children’s and Young Adult Literature


Meet at the Ark at Eight
Ulrich Hub; Jörg Mühle, illus.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers


Rescuing The Children
Deborah Hodge
Tundra Books

When The Hurricane Came
Nechama Liss-Levinson

Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice

Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award


Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer
Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi with Joel Segel; Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, fwd.
Jewish Lights Publishing


Paths of Torah: An Anthology of Torah Commentary
Members of Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, CA
Congregation Netivot Shalom

Education and Jewish Identity

In Memory of Dorothy Kripke


Development, Learning, and Community: Educating for Identity in Pluralistic Jewish High Schools
Jeffrey S. Kress
Academic Studies Press


Make Yourself a Teacher: Rabbinic Tales of Mentors and Disciples
Susan Handelman
University of Washington Press

Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning
Goldie Milgram and Ellen Frankel, eds.
Reclaiming Judaism Press

Esau's Blessing: How the Bible Embraces Those with Special Needs
Ora Horn Prouser
Ben Yehuda Press


JJ Greenberg Memorial Award


The Innocents
Francesca Segal
Voice/Hyperion Books


The World Without You
Joshua Henkin
Pantheon Books

The Lawgiver
Herman Wouk
Simon & Schuster

Rav Hisda's Daughter: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery
Maggie Anton
Plume Books/Penguin


Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award


Israel: A History
Anita Shapira
Brandeis University Press


The First Modern Jew: Spinoza and the History of an Image
Daniel B. Schwartz
Princeton University Press

On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War
Bernard Wasserstein
Simon & Schuster

Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion
Steven Gimbel
The Johns Hopkins University Press



Collect and Record: Jewish Holocaust Documentation in Early Postwar Europe
Laura Jockusch
Oxford University Press


At the Edge of the Abyss: A Concentration Camp Diary, 1943-1944
David Koker; Robert Jan von Pelt, ed.; Michiel Horn and John Irons, trans.
Northwestern University Press

Isaac's Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland
Matthew Brzezinski
Random House

Illustrated Children’s Book

Louis Posner Memorial Award


The Shema in the Mezuzah: Listening to Each Other
Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso; Joani Keller Rothenberg, illus.
Jewish Lights Publishing


The Schmutzy Family
Madelyn Rosenberg; Paul Meisel, illus.
Holiday House

Modern Jewish Thought and Experience

Dorot Foundation Award in Memory of Joy Ungerleider Mayerson


Koren Talmud Bavli
Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz
Koren Publishers Jerusalem


The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search For Meaning
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Schocken Books/Random House

Rereading Israel: The Spirit of the Matter
Bonna Devora Haberman
Urim Publications

There Was A Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream
Ben Sidran
Nardis Books/Unlimited Media

Outstanding Debut Fiction

Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Goldberg Prize


The Sensualist: A Novella
Daniel Torday


All That I Am
Anna Funder

Adam Wilson
Harper Perennial/HarperCollins


Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award


The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492
Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein
Princeton University Press


A Mahzor From Worms: Art and Religion in a Medieval Jewish Community
Katrin Kogman-Appel
Harvard University Press

Pledges of Jewish Allegiance: Conversion, Law, and Policymaking in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Orthodox Responsa
David Ellenson and Daniel Gordis
Stanford University Press

The En Yaaqov: Jacob ibn Habib's Search for Faith in the Talmudic Corpus
Marjorie Lehman
Wayne State University Press

Sephardic Culture

Mimi S. Frank Award in Memory of Becky Levy


Poverty and Welfare among the Portuguese Jews of Early Modern Amsterdam
Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld
The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization


A Jewish Voice from Ottoman Salonica: The Ladino Memoir of Sa’adi Besalel a-Levi
Aron Rodrigue and Sarah Abrevaya Stein, eds.; Isaac Jerusalmi, trans.
Stanford University Press

Stella's Sephardic Table: Jewish family recipes from the Mediterranean island of Rhodes
Stella Cohen; Marc Hoberman, photographer
The Gerald & Marc Hoberman Collection

Women’s Studies

Barbara Dobkin Award


The Men’s Section: Orthodox Jewish Men in an Egalitarian World
Elana Maryles Sztokman
The Hadassah Brandeis Institute, University Press of New England


Hadassah: American Women Zionists and the Rebirth of Israel
Mira Katzburg-Yungman
The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

Writing Based on Archival Material

The JDC-Herbert Katzki Award


The History of the Holocaust in Romania
Jean Ancel; Yaffah Murciano, trans.; Leon Volovici, ed.
University of Nebraska Press and Yad Vashem


Emerging Metropolis: New York Jews in the Age of Migration 1840-1920
Annie Polland and Daniel Soyer
New York University Press