New York, Jan­u­ary 15, 2020—Jew­ish Book Coun­cil announced the win­ners of the 2019 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards, now in its six­ty-ninth year. The win­ners include Pamela S. Nadell, the recip­i­ent of the Everett Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Book of the Year for her enthralling America’s Jew­ish Women: A His­to­ry from Colo­nial Times to Today (W. W. Nor­ton & Com­pa­ny). Robert Alter receives a Life­time Achieve­ment Award for his mon­u­men­tal and decades-long project The Hebrew Bible: A Trans­la­tion with Com­men­tary (W. W. Nor­ton & Company).

The inau­gur­al Jane and Stu­art Weitz­man Fam­i­ly Award for Food Writ­ing and Cook­books goes to Jew­ish Cui­sine in Hun­gary: A Cul­tur­al His­to­ry with 83 Authen­tic Recipes by András Koern­er, a com­pre­hen­sive and unique con­tri­bu­tion to the field. This year’s cel­e­bra­tion din­ner will fea­ture a food-and-drink-themed silent auc­tion to high­light this new award and raise funds to sup­port the year-round work of Jew­ish Book Council. 

Top fic­tion hon­ors have been giv­en to nov­els writ­ten by authors receiv­ing their first Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards. The win­ners include: Fly Already: Sto­ries (River­head Books) by Etgar Keret for the JJ Green­berg Memo­r­i­al Award Michael for Fic­tion; Alice Hoffman’s The World That We Knew (Simon & Schus­ter), the recip­i­ent of the The Miller Fam­i­ly Book Club Award in Mem­o­ry of Helen Dunn Wein­stein and June Keit Miller; and Sarah Blake’s Naamah (River­head Books), the win­ner of the Gold­berg Prize for Debut Fiction. 

Two impor­tant and time­ly 2019 works focused on anti­semitism have been rec­og­nized by the judg­ing com­mit­tees. Deb­o­rah Lip­stadt has been award­ed the Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion and Iden­ti­ty Award in Mem­o­ry of Dorothy Krip­ke for her work Anti­semitism: Here and Now (Schock­en), and Bari Weiss takes home her first Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award, for Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Life and Prac­tice in Mem­o­ry of Myra H. Kraft, for How to Fight Anti-Semi­tism (Crown).

The Krauss Fam­i­ly Auto­bi­og­ra­phy & Mem­oir Award is award­ed to Dani Shapiro for her mem­oir Inher­i­tance: A Mem­oir of Geneal­o­gy, Pater­ni­ty, and Love (Alfred A. Knopf). The sec­ond annu­al Biog­ra­phy Award in Mem­o­ry of Sara Beren­son Stone is giv­en to Touched with Fire: Mor­ris B. Abram and the Bat­tle against Racial and Reli­gious Dis­crim­i­na­tion (Potomac Books) by David E. Lowe. 

The win­ner of the 2019 Holo­caust Award in Mem­o­ry of Ernest W. Michel is Michael Dobbs, for his work The Unwant­ed: Amer­i­ca, Auschwitz, and a Vil­lage Caught In Between (Pen­guin Ran­dom House). Daniel Okrent is the win­ner of the Ger­rard and Ella Berman Memo­r­i­al Award for His­to­ry for his book The Guard­ed Gate: Big­otry, Eugen­ics and the Law That Kept Two Gen­er­a­tions of Jews, Ital­ians, and Oth­er Euro­pean Immi­grants Out of Amer­i­ca (Scrib­n­er).

Deaf Repub­lic by Ilya Kamin­sky (Gray­wolf Press) wins the Berru Award in Mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Wein­flash in the Poet­ry category.

In the Children’s Lit­er­a­ture cat­e­go­ry, we are pleased to rec­og­nize Gittel’s Jour­ney: An Ellis Island Sto­ry writ­ten by Lesléa New­man and illus­trat­ed by Amy June Bates (Abrams Books). Rachel DeWoskin is award­ed the Young Adult Award for her book Some­day We Will Fly (Viking, an imprint of Pen­guin Young Readers).

This year, we are pleased to present the Men­tor­ship Award in Hon­or of Car­olyn Star­man Hes­sel to Dena W. Neusner in hon­or of her men­tor­ship of authors, artists, and pub­lish­ing pro­fes­sion­als through­out her career. Ms. Neusner has worked with a wide spec­trum of books in the field, includ­ing children’s books, Jew­ish text­books, and Hag­gadot. Addi­tion­al­ly, under her lead­er­ship, Behrman House Pub­lish­ers devel­oped a new imprint, Apples & Hon­ey Press, specif­i­cal­ly focused on Jew­ish children’s books, which allowed her to help expand the field and have a new out­let to nur­ture Jew­ish lit­er­ary tal­ent. We are proud to hon­or her con­tin­ued con­tri­bu­tions to the field of Jew­ish literature.

Jew­ish Book Coun­cil is also pleased to announce Shi­mon Adaf and his work Mox Nox as the 2020 win­ner of the Paper Brigade Award for New Israeli Fic­tion in Hon­or of Jane Weitz­man. An excerpt of Mox Nox, trans­lat­ed by Philip Simp­son, will be fea­tured in the 2020 issue of Paper Brigade, which will be pub­lished this spring. 

A com­plete list of the 2019 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award win­ners and final­ists can be found below, and addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion is avail­able below.

JBC’s new web­site fea­tures a data­base of cur­rent and past Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award win­ners and final­ists; judges’ remarks on the 2019 win­ners and final­ists book pages will also be avail­able after the March 17, 2020 din­ner celebration. 

The win­ners of the 2019 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards will be hon­ored on March 17, 2020 at an awards din­ner and cer­e­mo­ny to be held at the Bohemi­an Nation­al Hall in Man­hat­tan, host­ed by Jef­frey Yoskowitz, of The Gefilte Man­i­festo.

To pur­chase tick­ets, please vis­it njba​.gives​mart​.com.

If press is inter­est­ed in attend­ing the awards cer­e­mo­ny, please con­tact Evie Saphire-Bern­stein, Pro­gram Direc­tor at Jew­ish Book Coun­cil (evie@​jewishbooks.​org).

About Jew­ish Book Coun­cil: Jew­ish Book Coun­cil is a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to pro­mot­ing Jew­ish-inter­est lit­er­a­ture and edu­cat­ing and enrich­ing the com­mu­ni­ty through these works. With over 250 tour­ing authors each year, 1,900 book clubs, 1,100 events, the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards, Natan Notable Books, its pop­u­lar lit­er­ary series Unpack­ing the Book: Jew­ish Writ­ers in con­ver­sa­tion, a vibrant dig­i­tal pres­ence, and an annu­al print pub­li­ca­tion, Paper Brigade, JBC ensures that Jew­ish-inter­est authors have a plat­form, and that read­ers are able to find these books and have the tools to dis­cuss them with their community.

About the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards: The Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards were estab­lished by the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil in 1950 in order to rec­og­nize out­stand­ing works of Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture. It is the longest-run­ning awards pro­gram of its kind.

Jew­ish Book of the Year
Everett Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Award


Amer­i­ca’s Jew­ish Women: A His­to­ry from Colo­nial Times to Today
Pamela S. Nadell 
W. W. Nor­ton & Company

Life­time Achieve­ment Award

The Hebrew Bible: A Trans­la­tion with Com­men­tary 
Robert Alter 
W. W. Nor­ton & Company

Men­tor­ship Award in Hon­or of Car­olyn Star­man Hessel

Dena W. Neusner

Dena Neusner is Exec­u­tive Edi­tor at Behrman House and its children’s book imprint, Apples & Hon­ey Press. She has been with Behrman House for eleven years, hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly worked as a children’s book edi­tor at Puf­fin Books, Scholas­tic, and Para­chute Press. Dena has ded­i­cat­ed her career to sup­port­ing com­pelling children’s sto­ries that reflect Jew­ish expe­ri­ence and values. 

Amer­i­can Jew­ish Studies

Cel­e­brate 350 Award


The Foun­da­tions of Amer­i­can Jew­ish Liberalism
Ken­neth D. Wald 
Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Amer­i­can Jew­Bu: Jews, Bud­dhists, and Reli­gious Change
Emi­ly Sigalow
Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Antholo­gies and Collections


What We Talk about When We Talk about Hebrew (and What It Means to Amer­i­cans) 
Nao­mi B. Sokoloff, Nan­cy E. Berg, eds. 
Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton Press


Colo­nial­ism and the Jews 
Ethan B. Katz, Lisa Moses Leff, Maud S. Man­del, eds. 
Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Writ­ing in Wit­ness: A Holo­caust Reader
Eric J. Sundquist 
SUNY Press

The Zion­ist Ideas: Visions for the Jew­ish Home­land — Then, Now, Tomor­row 
Gil Troy
The Jew­ish Pub­li­ca­tion Society

Auto­bi­og­ra­phy and Memoir

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


Inher­i­tance: A Mem­oir of Geneal­o­gy, Pater­ni­ty, and Love
Dani Shapiro 
Alfred A. Knopf


Shores Beyond Shores: From Holo­caust to Hope, My True Story
Irene But­ter, John D. Bid­well, Kris Holloway 

Every­one is Present: Essays On Pho­tog­ra­phy, Mem­o­ry And Family
Ter­ry Kurgan 
Fourth­wall Books

The Auto­bi­og­ra­phy of Solomon Mai­mon: The Com­plete Translation
Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Abra­ham Socher, eds.; Paul Reit­ter, trans. 
Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press


In Mem­o­ry of Sara Beren­son Stone


Touched with Fire: Mor­ris B. Abram and the Bat­tle against Racial and Reli­gious Dis­crim­i­na­tion
David E. Lowe 
Potomac Books


The Noto­ri­ous Ben Hecht: Icon­o­clas­tic Writer and Zion­ist Mil­i­tant 
Julien Gorbach 
Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Vasi­ly Gross­man and the Sovi­et Cen­tu­ry 
Alexan­dra Popoff 
Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press

A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Guri­on 
Tom Segev; Haim Watz­man, trans. 
Far­rar, Straus and Giroux

Book Club 
The Miller Fam­i­ly Award in Mem­o­ry of Helen Dunn Wein­stein and June Keit Miller 


The World That We Knew 
Alice Hoffman 
Simon & Schuster


The Guest Book 
Sarah Blake 
Flat­iron Books

The Third Daughter
Talia Carner 
William Mor­row Paperbacks

The Last Train to Lon­don 
Meg Waite Clayton 
Harper­Collins Publishers

The City Game: Tri­umph, Scan­dal, and a Leg­endary Bas­ket­ball Team
Matthew Goodman 
Bal­lan­tine Books 

Children’s Lit­er­a­ture


Gittel’s Jour­ney: An Ellis Island Story
Lesléa New­man; Amy June Bates, illus. 
Abrams Books for Young Read­ers, an imprint of ABRAMS


Once Upon an Apple Cake: A Rosh Hashanah Sto­ry 
Elana Rubinstein 
Apples & Hon­ey Press

Sur­vivors of the Holo­caust: True Sto­ries of Six Extra­or­di­nary Chil­dren 
Kath Shackleton
Source­books Explore

Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Life and Practice
Myra H. Kraft Memo­r­i­al Award


How to Fight Anti-Semi­tism 
Bari Weiss 


The Newish Jew­ish Ency­clo­pe­dia: From Abra­ham to Zabar’s and Every­thing in Between
Stephanie But­nick, Liel Lei­bovitz, Mark Oppenheimer
Arti­san Books

Get­ting Good at Get­ting Old­er 
Richard Siegel (z’l), Rab­bi Lau­ra Geller 
Behrman House

Here All Along: Find­ing Mean­ing, Spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, and a Deep­er Con­nec­tion to Life — in Judaism (After Final­ly Choos­ing to Look There) 
Sarah Hurwitz
Spiegel & Grau

Debut Fic­tion
Gold­berg Prize


Sarah Blake 
River­head Books


Fleish­man Is in Trou­ble 
Taffy Brodesser-Akner 
Ran­dom House

Nick Bones Under­ground 
Phil M. Cohen
Koehler Books

Willa & Hes­per 
Amy Feltman
Grand Cen­tral Publishing

Love Is a Rebel­lious Bird
Elayne Klasson 
She Writes Press

Edu­ca­tion and Jew­ish Identity
In Mem­o­ry of Dorothy Kripke 


Anti­semitism: Here and Now
Deb­o­rah Lipstadt


Here All Along: Find­ing Mean­ing, Spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, and a Deep­er Con­nec­tion to Life — in Judaism (After Final­ly Choos­ing to Look There) 
Sarah Hurwitz
Spiegel & Grau

Sarah Schenir­er and the Bais Yaakov Move­ment 
Nao­mi Seidman
The Littman Library of Jew­ish Civilization

JJ Green­berg Memo­r­i­al Award 


Fly Already: Sto­ries 
Etgar Keret 
River­head Books


Immi­grant City: And Oth­er Stories 
David Bezmozgis 
Harper­Collins Pub­lish­ers Ltd (Cana­da)

The Tenth Muse: A Nov­el 
Cather­ine Chung 
Harper­Collins Publishers

Food Writ­ing & Cookbooks
Jane and Stu­art Weitz­man Fam­i­ly Award


Jew­ish Cui­sine in Hun­gary: A Cul­tur­al His­to­ry with 83 Authen­tic Recipes 
András Koerner 
Cen­tral Euro­pean Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Shuk: From Mar­ket to Table, the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking
Einat Admo­ny, Jan­na Gur 
Arti­san Books

Sav­age Feast: Three Gen­er­a­tions, Two Con­ti­nents, and a Din­ner Table (a Mem­oir with Recipes)
Boris Fishman
Harper­Collins Publishers

Saba­ba: Fresh, Sun­ny Fla­vors From My Israeli Kitchen
Adeena Sussman 

Ger­rard and Ella Berman Memo­r­i­al Award


The Guard­ed Gate: Big­otry, Eugen­ics and the Law That Kept Two Gen­er­a­tions of Jews, Ital­ians, and Oth­er Euro­pean Immi­grants Out of America
Daniel Okrent 


Spies of No Coun­try: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel
Mat­ti Friedman
Algo­nquin Books of Chapel Hill

Shad­ow Strike: Inside Israel’s Secret Mis­sion to Elim­i­nate Syr­i­an Nuclear Power 
Yaakov Katz 
St. Mar­t­in’s Press

Masa­da: From Jew­ish Revolt to Mod­ern Myth
Jodi Magness
Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

The World of Auf­bau: Hitler’s Refugees in America
Peter Schrag 
Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin Press

In Mem­o­ry of Ernest W. Michel 


The Unwant­ed: Amer­i­ca, Auschwitz, and a Vil­lage Caught In Between
Michael Dobbs 
Alfred A.Knopf in asso­ci­a­tion with the Unit­ed States Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al Museum


Bit­ter Reck­on­ing: Israel Tries Holo­caust Sur­vivors as Nazi Collaborators 
Dan Porat 
Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press

The Yid­dish His­to­ri­ans and the Strug­gle for a Jew­ish His­to­ry of the Holocaust
Mark L. Smith
Wayne State Uni­ver­si­ty Press

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


Lega­cy of Blood: Jews, Pogroms, and Rit­u­al Mur­der in the Lands of the Soviets
Elis­sa Bemporad 
Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Anti­semitism: Here and Now
Deb­o­rah Lipstadt 

Her­mann Cohen and the Cri­sis of Liberalism
Paul E. Nahme 
Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Berru Award in Mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash


Deaf Repub­lic
Ilya Kaminsky
Gray­wolf Press


Frayed Light
Yonatan Berg; Joan­na Chen, trans.
Wes­leyan Uni­ver­si­ty Press

The Many Names for Moth­er
Julia Kolchin­sky Dasbach 
The Kent State Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Rachel Zucker
Wave Books

Nahum M. Sar­na Memo­r­i­al Award 


Rashi’s Com­men­tary on the Torah: Can­on­iza­tion and Resis­tance in the Recep­tion of a Jew­ish Classic
Eric Lawee 
Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press 


Jew­ish-Chris­t­ian Dia­logues on Scrip­ture in Late Antiq­ui­ty: Heretic Nar­ra­tives of the Baby­lon­ian Tal­mud 
Michal Bar-Ash­er Siegal
Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press

The Rise of the Mod­ern Yid­dish Theater
Alyssa Quint 
Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Prince of the Press: How One Col­lec­tor Built His­to­ry’s Most Endur­ing and Remark­able Jew­ish Library
Joshua Teplitsky 
Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press

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


Lethal Provo­ca­tion: The Con­stan­tine Mur­ders and the Pol­i­tics of French Alge­ria 
Joshua Cole 
Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Dis­si­dent Rab­bi: The Life of Jacob Sas­portas 
Yaa­cob Dweck 
Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Fam­i­ly Papers: A Sephardic Jour­ney Through the Twen­ti­eth Cen­tu­ry  
Sarah Abre­vaya Stein
Far­rar, Straus and Giroux

Liv­ing in Sil­ver­a­do: Secret Jews in the Sil­ver Min­ing Towns of Colo­nial Mex­i­co 
David M. Gitlitz
Uni­ver­si­ty of New Mex­i­co Press

Visu­al Arts


Edith Halpert, the Down­town Gallery, and the Rise of Amer­i­can Art
Rebec­ca Shaykin 
The Jew­ish Muse­um and Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Belong­ing: A Ger­man Reck­ons with His­to­ry and Home 
Nora Krug 

Cha­gall, El Lis­sitzky, Male­vich: The Russ­ian Avant-garde in Viteb­sk (19181922)
Angela Lampe 
Pres­tel Publishing

Cer­e­mo­ni­al Syn­a­gogue Tex­tiles: From Ashke­nazi, Sephar­di, and Ital­ian Communities
Bracha Yaniv 
The Littman Library of Jew­ish Civilization

Women Stud­ies
Bar­bara Dobkin Award


Sarah Schenir­er and the Bais Yaakov Move­ment 
Nao­mi Seidman 
The Littman Library of Jew­ish Civilization

Writ­ing Based on Archival Material
The JDC-Her­bert Katz­ki Award


A Mor­tu­ary of Books: The Res­cue of Jew­ish Cul­ture after the Holo­caust 
Elis­a­beth Gal­las; Alex Skin­ner, trans.
New York Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Tehran Chil­dren: A Holo­caust Refugee Odyssey
Mikhal Dekel 
W. W. Nor­ton & Company

Young Adult Literature


Some­day We Will Fly 
Rachel DeWoskin 
Viking, an imprint of Pen­guin Young Readers


Col­or Me In 
Natasha Díaz 
Ran­dom House Chil­dren’s Books

My Real Name is Han­na 
Tara Lynn Masih 
Man­del Vilar Press

What Makes Us 
Rafi Mittlefehldt 
Can­dlewick Press

What the Night Sings
Ves­per Stamper 
Pen­guin Ran­dom House Chil­dren’s Books