This year’s winners of the Jewish Book Council’s 69th annual National Jewish Book Awards are a diverse group. Among them are Etgar Keret, a writer of fabulist tales set in Israel, memoirist Dani Shapiro, who discovered a family secret that upended her life, and Bari Weiss, who wrote a manifesto on fighting antisemitism.
Scholars who won the prestigious award included Pamela S. Nadell, who received the Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year for her critically acclaimed “America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today.” Robert Alter, the renowned professor of Hebrew, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his masterwork “The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary.” The honor further recognizes Alter for his decades-long work in translating sacred Jewish books. Deborah Lipstadt won the Jewish Education and Identity Award in Memory of Dorothy Kripke for her volume “Antisemitism: Here and Now.” Other nonfiction categories included awards for food writing and cookbooks, biography and Holocaust history.
In addition to Keret, who won the JJ Greenberg Memorial Award for Fiction for his short story collection “Fly Already: Stories,” Alice Hoffman won the Miller Family Book Club Award in Memory of Helen Dunn Weinstein and June Keit Miller for “The World That We Knew,” a novel set during World War II. Sarah Blake received the Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction for “Naamah,” a novel in which Noah’s wife tells the story of Noah’s ark.
Massachusetts-based writer Lesléa Newman and illustrator Amy June Bates won in the Children’s Literature category for “Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story,” and Rachel DeWoskin was awarded the Young Adult Award for “Someday We Will Fly.”
Winners of the 2019 Jewish Book Awards will be feted at an awards dinner in Manhattan on March 17, 2020. Click here for a full list of winners and finalists.