Natan Fund and the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil are thrilled to announce the Fall 2022 Natan Notable Book: Feed­ing Women of the Tal­mud, Feed­ing Our­selves: Uplift­ing the Voic­es of Tal­mu­dic Hero­ines and Hon­or­ing Them with Sim­ple, Veg­an Recipes by Kenden Alfond (Turn­er Press, Sep­tem­ber 2022).

Twice a year, Natan Notable Books rec­og­nizes recent­ly pub­lished or about-to-be-pub­lished non-fic­tion books that promise to cat­alyze con­ver­sa­tions aligned with the themes of Natan’s grant­mak­ing: rein­vent­ing Jew­ish life and com­mu­ni­ty for the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry, shift­ing notions of indi­vid­ual and col­lec­tive Jew­ish iden­ti­ty, the his­to­ry and future of Israel, under­stand­ing and con­fronting con­tem­po­rary forms of anti­semitism, and the evolv­ing rela­tion­ship between Israel and world Jewry.

In Feed­ing Women of the Tal­mud, Kenden Alfond, along with 129 Jew­ish women from around the world, have come togeth­er to cre­ate what is both a com­mu­ni­ty cook­book and an explo­ration of Tal­mud. Pair­ing each of six­ty-nine med­i­ta­tions and retellings of sto­ries of women from the Tal­mud with a recipe, the book cre­ates true food for thought while cel­e­brat­ing the knowl­edge, schol­ar­ship, and exper­tise of its con­trib­u­tors. As the book itself explains, Six­ty rab­bis, rab­bini­cal stu­dents, Jew­ish teach­ers, and emerg­ing thought lead­ers con­tributed to the Tal­mu­dic nar­ra­tives, and six­ty female pro­fes­sion­al chefs and pas­sion­ate home cooks con­tributed to the recipes.”

Natan Notable Book com­mit­tee mem­ber Feli­cia Her­man described the book as, a refresh­ing, acces­si­ble, and thor­ough­ly cre­ative approach to expos­ing peo­ple to the many won­der­ful, strange, sur­pris­ing, and thought-pro­vok­ing sto­ries of women in the Tal­mud. There’s so much going on in the book that it is sure to engage dif­fer­ent kinds of audi­ences, includ­ing both those who are new to the Tal­mud and those who are look­ing for a fresh (pun intend­ed) take on famil­iar texts.”

In choos­ing this title, a book whose for­mat sets it apart from oth­er Natan Notable Book win­ners, the com­mit­tee wel­comed the oppor­tu­ni­ty to intro­duce this holis­tic approach to learn­ing and new ways of think­ing about tra­di­tions and texts. As Feli­cia said, We select Natan Notable Books because they can open up new con­ver­sa­tions in Jew­ish life, and this book will do that, whether those con­ver­sa­tions are about Tal­mu­dic sto­ries that might be new to read­ers; mod­ern inter­pre­ta­tions of those sto­ries that take the clas­sic text in unex­pect­ed direc­tions; an impres­sive­ly eclec­tic group of con­trib­u­tors who span ages, geo­gra­phies, pro­fes­sions, per­spec­tives, and reli­gious back­grounds; or recipes drawn from across the diverse reper­toire of Jew­ish food. That all those recipes are also veg­an is a con­ver­sa­tion-starter in itself!”

The author will receive a $5,000 cash prize, as well as cus­tomized sup­port for pro­mot­ing the book and its ideas, draw­ing on Natan’s and Jew­ish Book Council’s exten­sive net­works through­out the Jew­ish phil­an­thropic and com­mu­nal worlds.

Sub­mis­sions are now open for the Spring 2023 award for those inter­est­ed in sub­mit­ting a recent or soon-to-come non-fic­tion title. The dead­line for sub­mis­sion for Spring 2023 Natan Notable Books is March 31, 2023. Titles must have a pub­li­ca­tion date between Sep­tem­ber 1, 2022 and August 31, 2023. Inquiries can be direct­ed to natannotable@​jewishbooks.​org. For more infor­ma­tion on the award and eli­gi­bil­i­ty or to sub­mit a title, go to https://​www​.jew​ish​book​coun​cil​.org/​a​w​a​r​d​s​/​n​a​t​a​n​-​n​o​t​a​b​l​e​-​books.

Natan Notable Books at the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil has pre­vi­ous­ly been award­ed to Bari Weiss’ How to Fight Anti-Semi­tism (2019), Susie Linfield’s The Lion’s Den (2019), Ilan Sta­vans’ The Sev­enth Heav­en (2020), Nan­cy Sinkoff’s From Left to Right (2021), Dara Horn’s Peo­ple Love Dead Jews (2021), and Michael Frank’s One Hun­dred Sat­ur­days: Stel­la Levi and the Search for a Lost World (2022) . Natan Notable Books is an evo­lu­tion of the Natan Book Award, which was pre­vi­ous­ly award­ed to Mat­ti Friedman’s Spies of No Coun­try (2018) and Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land (2013).