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New York University Literary Award Presented to Israeli Novelist

Israel’s foremost novelist, Shmuel Yosef Agnon, was today awarded the Irving and Bertha Neuman Award of New York University for his book, “The Fire and the Trees,” Presentation of the $1,000 prize was made at the Hebrew University here by Dr. James McNaughton Hester, president of New York University.

Professor Abraham Katsh, head of the NYU Institute of Jewish Studies and a member of the judges committee for the prize, said during the presentation ceremonies that the award also commemorated the 13th year since the introduction of courses in modern Hebrew in American universities, and the 15th anniversary of the first attempt by an American university to create a cultural bridge between Israel and the United States, in the form of NYU’s seminars in Israel.

He said the U.S. Government deserved tribute for support of the NYU project which offered American Christian professors an opportunity to pursue Bible study in Israel, A message from former Premier David Ben-Gurion expressed gratification that the Institute, located in the city with the largest Jewish community in the world, reveals the deep appreciation of the significance of the Hebrew language.

In another ceremony at the President’s residence, the Israeli writer Haim Hazaz was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, President Shazar was present at the ceremony in which Professor Saul Lieberman, rector of the Seminary, conferred the degree.

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