Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature salutes non-fiction at virtual award ceremony

The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, in association with the National Library of Israel, announces the winner and three finalists for its 2022 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.

An online ceremony held on Monday was hosted by Rabbi David Wolpe, who spoke about the award created by Sami Rohr’s three children to honor their father and his deep love of Jewish learning. “What sets it apart from other literary prizes,” he said, “is that it’s given to an author as well as the author’s book. It must be someone who is at the beginning of his career and who is also a good spokesperson for Jewish life, culture and literature.

This year’s winners were presented by Sallai Meridor, Chairman of the Board of the National Library of Israel. George Rohr presented the prize to the winner Menachem Kaiser for his book Looting: A memoir of Nazi homestead and treasury after reading an excerpt to the public.

In expressing his gratitude to the Rohr family, the author noted that “the Sami Rohr Prize is an extraordinary commitment to Jewish literature. It goes beyond money. It is to validate. It is recognition. It’s party. It is a gesture, a symbol that proclaims that it matters. I am honored to represent this commitment.

This year’s Sami Rohr Award finalists are:

Ayala Fader, author of Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in the Digital Agea revealing look at Jewish men and women who secretly explore the outside world while remaining within their ultra-Orthodox religious communities.

Danny Adeno Abebe, author of From Africa to Sionan insider’s perspective on the Ethiopian-Israeli immigrant experience.

Eylon Levy, translator of From Africa to Sionis the first finalist in this category in the history of the Sami Rohr Prize.

The 2023 Sami Rohr Prize for Fiction is set to take place next year in the state-of-the-art new home of the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

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