This morn­ing, Jew­ish Book Coun­cil announced the win­ners of the 72nd Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards live at the Mar­lene Mey­er­son JCC Man­hat­tan as part of their inau­gur­al Books That Changed My Life festival. 

The win­ning books include Kosher­Soul: The Faith and Food Jour­ney of an African Amer­i­can Jew by Michael W. Twit­ty (HarperCollins/​Amistad Books) which was named the Everett Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Book of the Year. Kosher­Soul explores the con­nec­tions between the Jew­ish and African dias­po­ras through food, mak­ing a case that the links between the cui­sine and iden­ti­ty of the two com­mu­ni­ties form a deep con­nec­tive tis­sue. This eye-open­ing book includes Twitty’s con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple from dif­fer­ent demo­graph­ics with­in both com­mu­ni­ties, as well as deep dives into the­ol­o­gy, iden­ti­ty, and, of course, food — giv­ing read­ers the impe­tus to reflect on their her­itage and reli­gion in a new way.

Michael Frank is the win­ner of both the new Holo­caust Mem­oir cat­e­go­ry and the Sephardic Cul­ture cat­e­go­ry Mimi S. Frank Award in mem­o­ry of Becky Levy with his book One Hun­dred Sat­ur­days: Stel­la Levi and the Search for a Lost World (Avid Read­er Press). He was also recent­ly named a Natan Notable Book from Natan Fund and Jew­ish Book Coun­cil in Octo­ber 2022

Dani Shapiro wins her sec­ond Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award, and her first JJ Green­berg Memo­r­i­al Award for Fic­tion, for her nov­el Sig­nal Fires (Alfred A. Knopf). Ash­ley Gold­berg wins the Gold­berg Prize for Debut Fic­tion with his nov­el Abom­i­na­tion (Pen­guin Ran­dom House Aus­tralia) and Miri­am Ruth Black 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 Shay­na (Kirk House). The inau­gur­al Hebrew Fic­tion in Trans­la­tion Jane Weitz­man Award goes to Mayan Eitan for her book Love (Pen­guin Press), which is self-translated.

Jonathan Freed­land is the recip­i­ent of both the Biog­ra­phy Award in Mem­o­ry of Sara Beren­son Stone and the Holo­caust Award in Mem­o­ry of Ernest W. Michel for his book The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World (Harper­Collins Pub­lish­ers), and Ken­neth B. Moss wins the Ger­rard and Ella Berman Memo­r­i­al Award in His­to­ry for his book An Uncho­sen Peo­ple: Jew­ish Polit­i­cal Reck­on­ing in Inter­war Poland (Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press).

Shoshana Nam­bi has won the inau­gur­al Children’s Pic­ture Book Tra­cy and Lar­ry Brown Fam­i­ly Award for The Very Best Sukkah: A Sto­ry from Ugan­da, illus­trat­ed by Moran Yogev (Kalan­iot Books). Susan Wider receives the Young Adult Lit­er­a­ture Award for It’s My Whole Life: Char­lotte Salomon: An Artist in Hid­ing Dur­ing World War II (Nor­ton Young Read­ers), and the Mid­dle Grade Lit­er­a­ture Award goes to The Prince of Steel Pier by Sta­cy Nock­owitz (Kar-Ben Publishing).

The Jane and Stu­art Weitz­man Fam­i­ly Award for Food Writ­ing and Cook­books goes to Cook­ing alla Giu­dia by Benedet­ta Jas­mine Guet­ta (Arti­san Books) and Sean Singer wins the Berru Poet­ry Award in Mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Wein­flash for Today in the Taxi (Tupe­lo Press).

Danya Ruttenberg’s On Repen­tance and Repair (Bea­con Press) receives the Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Life and Prac­tice Myra H. Kraft Memo­r­i­al Award, and Stephen Mills is award­ed the The Krauss Fam­i­ly Award In Mem­o­ry of Simon & Shu­lamith (Sofi) Gold­berg for Auto­bi­og­ra­phy & Mem­oir for his mem­oir, Cho­sen: A Mem­oir of Stolen Boy­hood (Met­ro­pol­i­tan Books).

This year, we are pleased to present the Men­tor­ship Award in Hon­or of Car­olyn Star­man Hes­sel to Ellen Frankel. Frankel served as the Edi­tor in Chief and CEO of The Jew­ish Pub­li­ca­tion Soci­ety for eigh­teen years. Dur­ing her tenure, she men­tored both authors, staff, and stu­dents; cham­pi­oned many women schol­ars start­ing with Avi­va Zorn­berg; brought to life the Folk­tales of the Jews project, which made the sto­ries of for­got­ten Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties acces­si­ble to a larg­er audi­ence; in addi­tion to her unwa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to make obscure texts acces­si­ble to lay audi­ences. For­mer JPS employ­ee Arielle Levites shares, Her spe­cial con­tri­bu­tion has been in telling unknown and under-explored sto­ries and nur­tur­ing first-time authors who oth­er­wise might have been over­looked.” Frankel is also a Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award-win­ning author, teacher, sto­ry­teller, and lecturer.

A com­plete list of the 72nd 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 2022 win­ners and final­ists will also be avail­able after the March 2023 celebration. 

The win­ners of the 72nd Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards will be hon­ored on Wednes­day March 1, 2023 at 6:30 PM ET at an in-per­son cer­e­mo­ny. To buy tick­ets for the awards din­ner cer­e­mo­ny, click here! If you are a mem­ber of the press and would like to attend, please email Evie at evie@​jewishbooks.​org.

About Jew­ish Book Coun­cil: Jew­ish Book Coun­cil is a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to edu­cat­ing, enrich­ing, and strength­en­ing the com­mu­ni­ty through Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture. Each year, JBC reach­es over half a mil­lion read­ers with its vibrant dig­i­tal pres­ence, in addi­tion to work­ing with over 250 tour­ing authors each year, cre­at­ing resources for over 2,500 book clubs, facil­i­tat­ing over 1,400 events, pre­sent­ing the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards and Natan Notable Books, co-host­ing the pop­u­lar lit­er­ary series Unpack­ing the Book: Jew­ish Writ­ers in Con­ver­sa­tion, and pub­lish­ing its 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

Win­ner:

Kosher­Soul: The Faith and Food Jour­ney of an African Amer­i­can Jew 

Michael W. Twitty

HarperCollins/​Amistad Books

Men­tor­ship Award in Hon­or of Car­olyn Star­man Hessel

Ellen Frankel

Ellen Frankel served for eigh­teen years as Edi­tor in Chief and CEO of The Jew­ish Pub­li­ca­tion Soci­ety. She is the author of ten books, includ­ing The Illus­trat­ed Hebrew Bible, which won a Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award. Most recent­ly, she is the author of the new thriller series, The Jerusalem Mys­ter­ies. Frankel has taught writ­ing and lit­er­a­ture at Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty, Franklin and Mar­shall Col­lege, and Drex­el Uni­ver­si­ty as well as lead­ing writ­ing work­shops for edu­ca­tors, busi­ness­peo­ple, and teens. 

Amer­i­can Jew­ish Studies

Cel­e­brate 350 Award

Win­ner: 

Amer­i­can Shtetl: The Mak­ing of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Vil­lage in Upstate New York 

Nomi M. Stolzen­berg and David N. Myers

Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ists:

The Lit­er­ary Mafia Jews, Pub­lish­ing, and Post­war Amer­i­can Literature

Josh Lam­bert 

Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press 

Jew­ish Sol­diers in the Civ­il War: The Union Army 

Adam D. Mendelsohn

New York Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Auto­bi­og­ra­phy and Memoir

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

Win­ner:

Cho­sen: A Mem­oir of Stolen Boyhood 

Stephen Mills

Met­ro­pol­i­tan Books

Final­ists:

The Adven­tures of Her­bie Cohen: World’s Great­est Negotiator 

Rich Cohen

Far­rar, Straus and Giroux

Like a Drop of Ink in a Down­pour: Mem­o­ries of Sovi­et Russia 

Yele­na and Gali­na Lembersky

Aca­d­e­m­ic Stud­ies Press 

Lost & Found: Reflec­tions on Grief, Grat­i­tude, and Happiness 

Kathryn Schulz

Ran­dom House 

Biog­ra­phy

In Mem­o­ry of Sara Beren­son Stone

Win­ner:

The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World

Jonathan Freed­land

Harper­Collins Publishers

Final­ists:

Pro­fes­sor of Apoc­a­lypse: The Many Lives of Jacob Taubes 

Jer­ry Z. Muller

Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Book Club 

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

Win­ner:

Shay­na

Miri­am Ruth Black

Kirk House

Final­ists:

Moon­shot: Inside Pfizer’s Nine Month Race to Make the Impos­si­ble Possible 

Albert Bourla

Harper­Collins 

Cov­er Me With My Izar 

Nora Houri Haim

Raven Like a Writ­ing Desk 

Tomor­row, and Tomor­row, and Tomorrow 

Gabrielle Zevin

Pen­guin Ran­dom House 

The Incan­des­cent Threads

Richard Zim­ler

Parthi­an Books

Children’s Pic­ture Book

Tra­cy and Lar­ry Brown Family

Win­ner:

The Very Best Sukkah: A Sto­ry from Uganda 

Shoshana Nam­bi, Moran Yogev, illus.

Kalan­iot Books

Final­ists:

Tía Fortuna’s New Home: A Cuban Journey

Ruth Behar, Devon Holzwarth, illus.

Ran­dom House Chil­dren’s Books 

Alone Togeth­er on Dan Street

Eri­ca Lyons, Jen Jamieson, illus.

Apples & Hon­ey Press, Behrman House 

Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Life and Practice

Myra H. Kraft Memo­r­i­al Award

Win­ner:

On Repen­tance and Repair: Mak­ing Amends in an Unapolo­getic World 

Danya Rut­ten­berg

Bea­con Press

Final­ists:

Stop Look Lis­ten: Cel­e­brat­ing Shab­bos Through a Spir­i­tu­al Lens

Nehemia Polen

Koren Pub­lish­ers

Debut Fic­tion

Gold­berg Prize

Win­ner:

Abom­i­na­tion

Ash­ley Goldberg

Pen­guin Ran­dom House Australia

Final­ists:

The Girl Who Count­ed Numbers 

Roslyn Bern­stein

Ams­ter­dam Publishers

Edu­ca­tion and Jew­ish Identity

In Mem­o­ry of Dorothy Kripke

Win­ner

My Sec­ond-Favorite Coun­try: How Amer­i­can Jew­ish Chil­dren Think About Israel

Sivan Zakai

NYU Press

Final­ists:

Queer­ing Anti-Zion­ism Aca­d­e­m­ic Free­dom, LGBTQ Intel­lec­tu­als, and Israel/​Palestine Cam­pus Activism

Corinne E. Blackmer

Wayne State Uni­ver­si­ty Press 

#anti­semitism: Com­ing of Age Dur­ing the Resur­gence of Hate 

Saman­tha Vinokor-Meinrath

ABC-CLIO

Fic­tion

JJ Green­berg Memo­r­i­al Award

Win­ner:

Sig­nal Fires 

Dani Shapiro

Alfred A. Knopf

Final­ists:

I’d Like to Say Sor­ry, but There’s No One to Say Sor­ry To: Stories 

Mikołaj Gryn­berg

The New Press 

Tomor­row, and Tomor­row, and Tomorrow 

Gabrielle Zevin

Pen­guin Ran­dom House

Food Writ­ing & Cookbooks

Jane and Stu­art Weitz­man Fam­i­ly Award

Win­ner: 

Cook­ing alla Giudia 

Benedet­ta Jas­mine Guetta

Arti­san Books


Final­ist:

Hon­ey Cake & Latkes: Recipes from the Old World by the Auschwitz-Birke­nau Survivors 

Maria Zalews­ka (ed.)

Auschwitz-Birke­nau Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion / Melch­er Media

Hebrew Fic­tion in Translation

Jane Weitz­man Award

Win­ner:

Love

Maayan Eitan

Pen­guin Press

Final­ists:

World Shad­ow

Nir Baram; Jes­si­ca Cohen, trans

Text Pub­lish­ing 

Vic­to­ri­ous

Yishai Sarid; Yardenne Greenspan, trans.

Rest­less Books

His­to­ry

Ger­rard and Ella Berman Memo­r­i­al Award

Win­ner:

An Uncho­sen Peo­ple: Jew­ish Polit­i­cal Reck­on­ing in Inter­war Poland 

Ken­neth B. Moss

Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ists:

In Hitler’s Munich: Jews, the Rev­o­lu­tion, and the Rise of Nazism 

Michael Bren­ner

Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

The Baron: Mau­rice de Hirsch and the Jew­ish Nine­teenth Century 

Matthias B. Lehmann

Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press 

The Shama­ma Case: Con­test­ing Cit­i­zen­ship across the Mod­ern Mediter­ranean Jes­si­ca M. Marglin

Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Holo­caust

In Mem­o­ry of Ernest W. Michel

Win­ner:

The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World

Jonathan Freed­land

Harper­Collins Publishers

Final­ist:

The School that Escaped the Nazis: The True Sto­ry of the School­teacher Who Defied Hitler 

Deb­o­rah Cadbury

Pub­li­cAf­fairs, Hachette Book Group

Holo­caust Memoir

Win­ner:

One Hun­dred Sat­ur­days: Stel­la Levi and the Search for a Lost World

Michael Frank

Simon & Schus­ter / Avid Read­er Press

Final­ists:

Lily’s Promise: Hold­ing On to Hope Through Auschwitz and Beyond―A Sto­ry for All Generations 

Lily Ebert and Dov Forman

Harper­Collins

The Watch­mak­ers: A Sto­ry of Broth­er­hood, Sur­vival, and Hope Amid the Holocaust

Har­ry Lenga & Scott Lenga

Kens­ing­ton Books

The 23rd Psalm: A Holo­caust Mem­oir, The 20th Anniver­sary Edition 

George Salton with Anna Salton Eisen

Man­del Vilar Press

Mid­dle Grade Literature

Win­ner:

The Prince of Steel Pier 

Sta­cy Nockowitz

Kar-Ben Pub­lish­ing

Final­ists:

Detour Ahead

Pamela Ehren­berg and Tra­cy Lopez

PJ Pub­lish­ing 

Alias Anna: A True Sto­ry of Out­wit­ting the Nazis 

Susan Hood and Greg Dawson

Harper­Collins

Mod­ern Jew­ish Thought and Experience

Dorot Foun­da­tion Award in Mem­o­ry of Joy Unger­lei­der Mayerson

Win­ner:

Fig­ur­ing Jerusalem: Pol­i­tics and Poet­ics in the Sacred Center 

Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go Press

Final­ists:

Jacob’s Younger Broth­er: Chris­t­ian-Jew­ish Rela­tions after Vat­i­can II 

Kar­ma Ben-Johanan

Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press 

How the Sovi­et Jew Was Made 

Sasha Senderovich

Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Poet­ry

Berru Award in Mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash

Win­ner:

Today in the Taxi 

Sean Singer 

Tupe­lo Press

Final­ists:

Her Birth and Lat­er Years: New and Col­lect­ed Poems, 1971 – 2021 

Ire­na Klepfisz

Wes­leyan Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Refusenik

Lynn Mel­nick

YesYes Books 

Aunt Bird

Yer­ra Sugarman

Four Way Books 

Schol­ar­ship

Nahum M. Sar­na Memo­r­i­al Award

Win­ner:

The Heresy of Jacob Frank: From Jew­ish Mes­sian­ism to Eso­teric Myth 

Jay Michael­son

Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ists:

Karaism: An Intro­duc­tion to the Old­est Sur­viv­ing Alter­na­tive Judaism

Daniel Lasker

The Littman Library of Jew­ish Civilization 

Trans Tal­mud: Androg­y­nes and Eunuchs in Rab­binic Literature 

Max K. Strassfeld

Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia Press

Sephardic Cul­ture

Mimi S. Frank Award in Mem­o­ry of Becky Levy

Win­ner:

One Hun­dred Sat­ur­days: Stel­la Levi and the Search for a Lost World

Michael Frank

Simon & Schus­ter / Avid Read­er Press

Final­ist:

Jews, Food, and Spain: The Old­est Medieval Span­ish Cook­book and the Sephardic Culi­nary Heritage 

Hélène Jawhara Piñer

Aca­d­e­m­ic Stud­ies Press 

The Sas­soons: The Great Glob­al Mer­chants and the Mak­ing of an Empire 

Joseph Sas­soon

Pan­theon Books, Pen­guin Ran­dom House

Visu­al Arts

Win­ner:

Let There Be Light: The Real Sto­ry of Her Creation

Liana Finck

Ran­dom House

Final­ists:

Malkah’s Note­book: A Jour­ney into the Mys­ti­cal Aleph-Bet

Mira Z. Amiras

Col­lec­tive Book Studio 

Florine Stet­theimer. A Biography 

Bar­bara Bloemink

Hirmer Pub­lish­ers

Women’s Stud­ies

Bar­bara Dobkin Award

Win­ner:

Bib­li­cal Women and Jew­ish Dai­ly Life in the Mid­dle Ages 

Eli­she­va Baumgarten

Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia Press

Final­ist:

The Lives of Jessie Sampter: Queer, Dis­abled, Zionist 

Sarah Imhoff

Duke Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Women Writ­ing Jew­ish Moder­ni­ty, 1919 – 1939 

Alli­son Schachter

North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty Press 

Writ­ing Based on Archival Material

The JDC-Her­bert Katz­ki Award

Win­ner: 

A Jew­ish Mar­shall Plan:” The Amer­i­can Jew­ish Pres­ence in Post-Holo­caust France

Lau­ra Hob­son Faure

Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Final­ist:

Beyond Zion:The Jew­ish Ter­ri­to­ri­al­ist Movement

Lau­ra Almagor

The Littman Library of Jew­ish Civilization 

Yid­dish Paris: Stag­ing Nation and Com­mu­ni­ty in Inter­war France

Nick Under­wood

Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Young Adult Literature

Win­ner:

It’s My Whole Life: Char­lotte Salomon: An Artist in Hid­ing Dur­ing World War II 

Susan Wider

Nor­ton Young Readers

Final­ists:

When the Angels Left the Old Country 

Sacha Lamb

Levine Queri­do 

Salt & Hon­ey: Jew­ish Teens on Fem­i­nism, Cre­ativ­i­ty, and Tradition 

Eliz­a­beth Man­del, editor

Behrman House

The Ghosts of Rose Hill 

M. Romero

Peachtree Teen/​Peachtree