The Jewish Book Council announced today the winners of the 2018 National Jewish Book Awards, now in its 68th year. The winners include the Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year recipients Beate and Serge Klarsfeld for their work Hunting the Truth (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
This year, JBC is pleased to award the inaugural Biography Award in Memory of Sara Berenson Stone. Mrs. Stone was a devoted philanthropist and voracious reader who moved to New Orleans in 1935, where she began her 80-year-long advocacy for Jewish causes. The first winner of the prize is Ariel Burger for his work Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
Prime Minister Ehud Barak wins the Krauss Family Autobiography/Memoir Award for My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace (St. Martin’s Press) and the Barbara Dobkin Award in Women’s Studies is given to Never a Native by Alice Shalvi (Halban Publishers).
Three novels take top fiction honors. The winners include The Last Watchman of Old Cairo (Spiegel & Grau), Michael David Lukas’ first National Jewish Book Award. Ronald Balson’s The Girl From Berlin (St. Martin’s Press) is the recipient of The Miller Family Book Club Award in Memory of Helen Dunn Weinstein and June Keit Miller. Bram Presser’s The Book of Dirt (Text Publishing) is the winner of the Goldberg Prize for debut fiction.
The winner of the 2018 Holocaust Award in Memory of Ernest W. Michel is Omer Bartov for his work Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz (Simon & Schuster) and Ronen Bergman is the winner of the Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award for history for his book Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations (Random House).
Holy Moly Carry Me by Erika Meitner (BOA Editions) wins the Berru Award in Memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash in the poetry category.
This year, we are pleased to present the Mentorship Award in Honor of Carolyn Starman Hessel to Susan Shapiro, bestselling author, award-winning writing professor, and journalist who has worked with over 25,000 students throughout her impressive career. This award recognizes her mentorship and support of Jewish authors, a number of whom have participated in the JBC network.
The American Jewish Studies Celebrate 350 Award goes to The New American Judaism: How Jews Practice Their Religion Today by Jack Wertheimer (Princeton University Press).
In the children’s literature category, we are pleased to recognize All Three Stooges written by Erica Perl (Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books).
In addition to the 2018 National Jewish Book Award winners, Jewish Book Council is proud to acknowledge the first recipient of the Paper Brigade Award for New Israeli Fiction in Honor of Jane Weitzman: Maya Arad for her work Our Lady of Kazan, selected by guest judge and translator Jessica Cohen. An excerpt from Our Lady of Kazan has been translated into English and appears in the 2019 issue of JBC’s literary journal Paper Brigade, publishing this month.
A complete list of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award winners and finalists can be found below, and additional information is available at www.JewishBookCouncil.org.
The winners of the 2018 National Jewish Book Awards will be honored on March 5, 2019, at a gala awards dinner and ceremony to be held at the Bohemian National Hall in Manhattan, hosted by Stephanie Butnick of Tablet magazine’s Unorthodox podcast. To purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/68th-annual-national-jewish-book-awards-dinner-and-ceremony-tickets-53708921831 or call 212-201-2920.