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Brandeis names competition winner

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Brandeis University selected a Harvard graduate student as the winner in its competition for a visiting professorship and book deal, JTA has learned.

Yehuda Kurtzer, who is finishing his doctorate in Jewish history at Harvard University, won for his proposal, “Shuva: the Sacred Task of Rebuilding Jewish Memory.”

Brandeis and the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies offered a two-year visiting professorship and a book deal to the person who could come up with the best proposal for a book that would transform the way Jews think about themselves and Judaism.

Kurtzer’s book would be a combined history, theological statement and prescription for programming that can help Jews access their history through text study to create meaningful Jewish experiences, Kurtzer said Sunday at a Brandeis symposium for the five finalists in the competition. The open competition garnered 231 applicants.

The school would not comment on the selection until after the official announcement.

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