These and 12 other remarkable works will be honored at the 59th Annual National Jewish Book Awards. Many of this year’s honorees are nationally-acclaimed academics, poets and authors. In addition, the iconic Ruth Gruber will be saluted for her groundbreaking body of work, earning the 2009 Jewish Book Council Lifetime Achievement Award.
The winners of the 2009 National Jewish Book Award will be honored on March 9, 2010 at a gala award ceremony to be held at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan,. The awards ceremony, which begins at 7:30 pm, is free and open to the public.
For the second year in a row, the masters of ceremony for the event are Ari L. Goldman and Alana Newhouse. Mr. Goldman, an author and former New York Times writer, is a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Ms. Newhouse, an author and former Forward editor, is the Editor-in-Chief of Tablet Magazine.
This year’s top honorees include Joseph Kertes, author of "Gratitude: A Novel" (Thomas Dunne Books), winner of the Fiction award, recently named in memory of the beloved JJ Greenberg; Hasia R. Diner, author of "We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945-1962" (New York University Press),winner of the American Jewish Studies, Celebrate 350 Award; Melvin I. Urofsky, winner of the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of Year Award for "Louis D. Brandeis: A Life" (Pantheon Books); Daniel Gordis, for "Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End" (John Wiley & Sons), winner of the Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice award. Ellen Frankel and Avi Katz of the Jewish Publication Society won the Louis Posner Memorial Award in Illustrated Children’s Books for the "JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible".
Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of England, wins the Dorot Foundation Award in memory of Joy Ungerleider Mayerson in Modern Jewish Thought & Experience for his brilliant work, "Covenant & Conversation: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible, Genesis: The Beginnings" (Koren Publishers).
The Simon & Shulamith (Sofi) Goldberg Memorial Award in Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir goes to Dina Porat for "The Fall of a Sparrow: The Life and Times of Abba Kovner" (Stanford University Press); and Alicia Soskin Ostriker will take home the top Poetry prize for "The Book of Seventy" (University of Pittsburgh Press). The Children’s and Young Adult Literature award belongs to Kim Ablon Whitney for "The Other Half of Life: A Novel Based on the True Story of the MS St. Louis" (Knopf Books for Young Readers).
Additional winning works focus on such far-ranging topics as the Holocaust in the Soviet Union; innovative Jewish holiday celebrations; a stunning look at American art from 1940-1976, and more.