The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

2018 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Winner and Finalists »

In 2006, in celebration of Sami Rohr's 80th birthday, his children and grandchildren inaugurated the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature to honor his lifelong love of Jewish writing.  

The annual award recognizes the unique role of contemporary writers in the transmission and examination of the Jewish experience. It is intended to encourage and promote outstanding writing of Jewish interest.  Each year, the prize of $100,000 aims to reward an emerging writer whose work has demonstrated a fresh vision and evidence of further growth.  Recipients must have written a book of literary merit that stimulates an interest in themes of Jewish concern.  Fiction and non-fiction books are considered in alternate years. 

In conjunction with this award, the Rohr family has established the Sami Rohr Jewish Literary Institute, a forum devoted to the continuity of Jewish literature. 

The Prize and Institute are coordinated and administered under the exclusive auspices of the Jewish Book Council. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges.

Jewish Books: The Building Blocks of Jewish Life

Submissions are not accepted.

An advisory panel is charged with searching for eligible works and presents nominations to an independent panel of renowned judges. They convene annually to select the finalists, winner and runner-up. A gala award ceremony is held annually in the Spring.

  Translations are acceptable. For the fiction prize, short story collections are eligible. The subject matter of non-fiction works is limited to:

  • History: a work about the Jewish historical experience;
  • Biography/ Autobiography/ Memoir: as related to a Jewish experience;
  • Contemporary Jewish Life: a book about issues facing modern Jewish communities;
  • Jewish Scholarship: a selection that makes a valuable contribution to Jewish thought and learning;
  • Current Affairs: a work that focuses on a political or cultural Jewish issue of the times.

For more information, contact the Jewish Book Council by e-mail at