Jew­ish Book Coun­cil announced the win­ners of the 2021 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards, now in its sev­en­ty-first year. In all but one cat­e­go­ry, this year’s win­ning authors are all receiv­ing their first Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award.

The win­ning books include To Repair a Bro­ken World: The Life of Hen­ri­et­ta Szold, Founder of Hadas­sah by Dvo­ra Haco­hen (Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press), which was named the Everett Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Book of the Year as well as the Biog­ra­phy Award in Mem­o­ry of Sara Beren­son Stone. Through diaries, archival doc­u­ments, and let­ters, his­to­ri­an Devo­rah Haco­hen presents a fas­ci­nat­ing biog­ra­phy of Hen­ri­et­ta Szold — writer, edi­tor, edu­ca­tor, and founder of Hadas­sah. Haco­hen por­trays the relent­less pas­sion of Szold, who devot­ed her life to cre­at­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties both for Jew­ish women and the dis­ad­van­taged, as she sought to not only empow­er women, but also to fos­ter a spir­it of social cohe­sion and equality.

Joshua Cohen wins the JJ Green­berg Memo­r­i­al Award for Fic­tion for his nov­el The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ulti­mate­ly Even Neg­li­gi­ble Episode in the His­to­ry of a Very Famous Fam­i­ly (New York Review Books). Jai Chakrabar­ti wins the Gold­berg Prize for Debut Fic­tion with his nov­el A Play For the End of the World (Knopf) and Helene Weck­er is rec­og­nized as the recip­i­ent of the The Miller Fam­i­ly Book Club Award in Mem­o­ry of Helen Dunn Wein­stein and June Keit Miller for her nov­el The Hid­den Palace (Harper­Collins Publishers).

The Jane and Stu­art Weitz­man Fam­i­ly Award for Food Writ­ing and Cook­books goes to Bene Appétit: The Cui­sine of Indi­an Jews (Harper­Collins Pub­lish­ing India) by Esther David and Joy Ladin wins the Berru Poet­ry Award in Mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Wein­flash for The Book of Anna (EOAGH Books).

Dara Horn’s Peo­ple Love Dead Jews receives the Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Life and Prac­tice Myra H. Kraft Memo­r­i­al Award, and was also recent­ly named a Natan Notable Book from Natan Fund and Jew­ish Book Coun­cil in Octo­ber 2021.

Nan­cy Churnin has won the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award in the Children’s Pic­ture Book cat­e­go­ry for Dear Mr. Dick­ens, illus­trat­ed by Bethany Stan­cliffe (Albert Whit­man & Co). Lori Banov Kauf­mann receives the Young Adult Lit­er­a­ture Award for Rebel Daugh­ter (Dela­corte Press/​RHCB), and the Mid­dle Grade Lit­er­a­ture Award goes to Gor­don Kor­man for Linked (Scholas­tic Press, an imprint of Scholas­tic Inc.).

This year, we are pleased to present the Men­tor­ship Award in Hon­or of Car­olyn Star­man Hes­sel to Bon­ny V. Fet­ter­man. As senior edi­tor and direc­tor of Judaica at Schock­en Books in the 1980s and 90s, Bon­ny devel­oped a list of influ­en­tial books on the Bible, Jew­ish his­to­ry, Holo­caust stud­ies, and Hebrew and Yid­dish lit­er­a­ture in trans­la­tion, and ear­ly works of Jew­ish fem­i­nism. Her titles appeared on uni­ver­si­ty cur­ricu­lums in the bur­geon­ing field of Jew­ish stud­ies, and became sta­ples in syn­a­gogue libraries and on home book­shelves. Fol­low­ing her time at Schock­en, Bon­ny went on to serve as lit­er­ary edi­tor of Reform Judaism mag­a­zine for twelve years and to work inde­pen­dent­ly with authors as a free­lance edi­tor, agent, and pub­lish­ing con­sul­tant, a role which she con­tin­ues today. Her com­mit­ment to her authors and to the enhance­ment of Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture over four decades has been excep­tion­al and exemplary.

Jew­ish Book Coun­cil is also pleased to announce Oren Gaz­it as the 2021 win­ner of the Paper Brigade Award for New Israeli Fic­tion in Hon­or of Jane Weitz­man. An excerpt of The First End­ing, Then the Sec­ond, trans­lat­ed byJes­si­ca Rut­man Set­bon, is fea­tured in the 2022 issue of Paper Brigade.

A com­plete list of the 2021 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award win­ners and final­ists can be found below, and addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion is avail­able at www​.Jew​ish​Book​Coun​cil​.org/.

JBC’s web­site fea­tures a data­base of cur­rent and past Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award win­ners and final­ists; judges’ remarks on the 2021 win­ners and final­ists will also be avail­able after the April 2022 vir­tu­al celebration.

The win­ners of the 2021 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards will be hon­ored on Wednes­day April 6, 2022 at 7:00 PM ET at a vir­tu­al cer­e­mo­ny. To buy tick­ets for the awards cer­e­mo­ny, click here!

About Jew­ish Book Coun­cil: Jew­ish Book Coun­cil is a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to edu­cat­ing, enrich­ing, and strength­en­ing the com­mu­ni­ty through Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture. With over 250 tour­ing authors each year, 2,000 book clubs, 1,300 events, the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards, Natan Notable Books, the pop­u­lar lit­er­ary series Unpack­ing the Book: Jew­ish Writ­ers in Con­ver­sa­tion, a vibrant dig­i­tal pres­ence, and an annu­al print pub­li­ca­tion, Paper Brigade, JBC ensures that the authors of Jew­ish-inter­est books have a plat­form, and that read­ers are able to find these books and have the tools to dis­cuss them with their communities.

About the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards: The Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards were estab­lished by Jew­ish Book Coun­cil in 1950 in order to rec­og­nize out­stand­ing works of Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture. They are the old­est awards of their kind.

Jew­ish Book of the Year

Everett Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Award


To Repair a Bro­ken World: The Life of Hen­ri­et­ta Szold, Founder of Hadassah 

Dvo­ra Haco­hen, Fore­word by Ruth Bad­er Ginsburg 

Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Men­tor­ship Award in Hon­or of Car­olyn Star­man Hessel

Bon­ny V. Fetterman

Amer­i­can Jew­ish Studies

Cel­e­brate 350 Award


A Fortress in Brook­lyn: Race, Real Estate, and the Mak­ing of Hasidic Williamsburg

Nathaniel Deutsch and Michael Casper

Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Beyond the Syn­a­gogue: Jew­ish Nos­tal­gia as Reli­gious Practice 

Rachel B. Gross

NYU Press

Once We Were Slaves 

Lau­ra Arnold Leibman

Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press USA

Auto­bi­og­ra­phy and Memoir

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


The Empa­thy Diaries: A Memoir 

Sher­ry Turkle



Afterlight: In Search of Poet­ry, His­to­ry, and Home 

Isa Mil­man

Her­itage House Publishing


Seth Rogen

Viking Cana­da, an imprint of Pen­guin Ran­dom House Canada

In the Shad­ows of Paris: The Nazi Con­cen­tra­tion Camp That Dimmed the City of Light

Anne Sin­clair

Kales Press


In Mem­o­ry of Sara Beren­son Stone


To Repair a Bro­ken World: The Life of Hen­ri­et­ta Szold, Founder of Hadassah 

Dvo­ra Haco­hen, Fore­word by Ruth Bad­er Ginsburg 

Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Unstop­pable: Sig­gi B. Wilzig’s Aston­ish­ing Jour­ney from Auschwitz Sur­vivor and Pen­ni­less Immi­grant to Wall Street Legend 

Joshua M. Greene

Insight Edi­tions

Book Club

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


The Hid­den Palace 

Helene Weck­er

Harper­Collins Publishers


The Last Rose of Shanghai 

Weina Dai Randel

Lake Union

The Slaugh­ter­man’s Daughter 

Yaniv Iczkovits, trans­lat­ed from the Hebrew by Orr Scharf


How to Find Your Way in the Dark 

Derek B. Miller

Mariner Books, an imprint of Harper­Collins Publishers

Children’s Pic­ture Book


Dear Mr. Dickens 

Nan­cy Churnin, illus­trat­ed by Bethany Stancliffe

Albert Whit­man & Co.


Bar­tal­i’s Bicycle 

Megan Hoyt, illus­trat­ed by Iacopo Bruno

Harper­Collins Chil­dren’s Quill Tree Books Imprint

Soosie: The Horse That Saved Shabbat 

Tami Lehman-Wilzig, illus­trat­ed by Mena­hem Halberstadt

Kalan­iot Books

The Peo­ple’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Jus­tice with Art 

Cyn­thia Levin­son, illus­trat­ed by Evan Turk


The Singer and the Scientist 

Lisa Rose, illus­trat­ed by Isabel Muñoz

Kar-Ben Pub­lish­ing

Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Life and Practice

Myra H. Kraft Memo­r­i­al Award


Peo­ple Love Dead Jews 

Dara Horn

W. W. Nor­ton & Company


Becom­ing a Soul­ful Par­ent: A Path to the Wis­dom Within 

Dasee Berkowitz

Kas­va Press LLC

The Jew­ish Fam­i­ly Ethics Textbook 

Neal Scheindlin

Jew­ish Pub­li­ca­tion Society

Debut Fic­tion

Gold­berg Prize


A Play for the End of the World 

Jai Chakrabar­ti

Alfred A. Knopf


Jerusalem Beach

Iddo Gefen, trans­lat­ed by Daniel­la Zamir

Astra House

Some­thing Wild: A Novel 

Han­na Halperin


Edu­ca­tion and Jew­ish Identity

In Mem­o­ry of Dorothy Kripke


Jew­ish Cul­tur­al Studies 

Simon J. Bronner

Wayne State Uni­ver­si­ty Press


JJ Green­berg Memo­r­i­al Award


The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ulti­mate­ly Even Neg­li­gi­ble Episode in the His­to­ry of a Very Famous Family 

Joshua Cohen

New York Review Books


More Than I Love My Life 

David Gross­man, trans­lat­ed by Jes­si­ca Cohen

Alfred A. Knopf

How to Find Your Way in the Dark 

Derek B. Miller

Mariner Books, an imprint of Harper­Collins Publishers

Food Writ­ing & Cookbooks

Jane and Stu­art Weitz­man Fam­i­ly Award


Bene Appétit: : The Cui­sine of Indi­an Jews 

Esther David

Harper­Collins Pub­lish­ers India


Bav­el: Mod­ern Recipes Inspired by the Mid­dle East 

Ori Menashe and Genevieve Ger­gis with Les­ley Suter

Ten Speed Press


Ger­rard and Ella Berman Memo­r­i­al Award


The House of Frag­ile Things 

James McAuley

Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Belong­ing and Betray­al: How Jews Made the Art World Modern 

Charles Dell­heim

Bran­deis Uni­ver­si­ty Press

In the Midst of Civ­i­lized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918 – 1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust 

Jef­frey Veidlinger

Met­ro­pol­i­tan Books


In Mem­o­ry of Ernest W. Michel


The Ravine: A Fam­i­ly, a Pho­to­graph, a Holo­caust Mas­sacre Revealed 

Wendy Low­er

Mariner Books (pre­vi­ous­ly Houghton Mif­flin Harcourt)


A Promise of Sweet Tea: Mem­oirs of a Sur­vivor

Pin­chas Eliyahu Blitt

The Azrieli Foundation 

Into the For­est: A Holo­caust Sto­ry of Sur­vival, Tri­umph, and Love

Rebec­ca Frankel

St. Mar­t­in’s Press 

From the Vil­na Ghet­to to Nurem­berg: Mem­oir and Tes­ti­mo­ny

Abra­ham Sutzkev­er (19132010). Edit­ed, trans­lat­ed and with an after­word by Justin D. Cammy

McGill-Queen’s Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Mid­dle Grade Literature



Gor­don Korman

Scholas­tic Press, an imprint of Scholas­tic Inc.


The Unfin­ished Corner 

Dani Col­man


How to Find What You’re Not Look­ing For 

Veera Hiranan­dani

Kok­i­la; Pen­guin Young Readers

Mod­ern Jew­ish Thought and Experience

Dorot Foun­da­tion Award in Mem­o­ry of Joy Unger­lei­der Mayerson


Torah in a Time of Plague: His­tor­i­cal and Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Responses 

Erin Leib Smok­ler, ed.

Ben Yehu­da Press


The Telling: How Judais­m’s Essen­tial Book Reveals the Mean­ing of Life 

Mark Ger­son

St. Mar­t­in’s Essentials

It Could Lead to Danc­ing: Mixed-Sex Danc­ing and Jew­ish Modernity 

Sonia Gol­lance

Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Can We Talk About Israel?: A Guide for the Curi­ous, Con­fused, and Conflicted 

Daniel Sokatch; illus­trat­ed by Christo­pher Noxon

Blooms­bury Publishing


Berru Award in Mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash


The Book of Anna 

Joy Ladin



If This is the Age We End Discovery 

Rose­bud Ben-Oni

Alice James Books

Town Crier

Sarah Matthes

Persea Books, Inc.

City of Skypapers

Marcela Sulak

Black Lawrence Press


Nahum M. Sar­na Memo­r­i­al Award


Jews and Their Roman Rivals: Pagan Rome’s Chal­lenge to Israel 

Katell Berth­elot

Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Seek­ers of the Face: Secrets of the Idra Rab­ba (The Great Assem­bly) of the Zohar

Melila Hell­ner-Eshed

Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Pow­er and Emo­tion in Ancient Judaism: Com­mu­ni­ty and Iden­ti­ty in Formation 

Ari Mer­mel­stein

Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Sephardic Cul­ture

Mimi S. Frank Award in Mem­o­ry of Becky Levy


The Mem­o­ry Work of Jew­ish Spain 

Daniela Flesler and Adrián Pérez Melgosa

Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Osnat and her Dove 

Sigal Samuel

Levine Queri­do

Women Stud­ies

Bar­bara Dobkin Award


The Light of Days 

Judy Batal­ion

William Mor­row


Jew­ish Wom­en’s His­to­ry from Antiq­ui­ty to the Present 

Fed­er­i­ca Francesconi and Rebec­ca Lynn Win­er, editors

Wayne State Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Writ­ing Based on Archival Material

The JDC-Her­bert Katz­ki Award


Inter­na­tion­al Jew­ish Human­i­tar­i­an­ism in the Age of the Great War 

Jaclyn Granick

Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press


Invis­i­ble Enlight­en­ers: The Jew­ish Mer­chants of Mod­e­na, from the Renais­sance to the Emancipation 

Fed­er­i­ca Francesconi

Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia Press

Young Adult Literature


Rebel Daugh­ter

Lori Banov Kaufmann

Dela­corte Press/​RHCB


The City Beautiful 

Aden Poly­doros

Har­le­quin Trade Publishing/​Inkyard

When the World Was Ours 

Liz Kessler

Simon & Schus­ter Chil­dren’s Publishing