(JTA) – Journalist Gal Beckerman won the 2012 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for his first book.
Beckerman will receive the Jewish Book Council’s first prize award of $100,000 for "When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry." The non-fiction book is a comprehensive chronicle of the history of the Soviet Jewry movement.
Beckerman’s work shows “his clear commitment to becoming a storyteller for the Jewish people,” the judges said.
The award ceremony will be held in Jerusalem on April 11.
The runner-up was Oxford lecturer Abigail Green for her biography "Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero." She will receive a $25,000 prize.
Other finalists were Jonathan B. Krasner for “The Benderly Boys and American Jewish Education"; James Loeffler for “The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire"; and Ruth Franklin for “A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction."
The Rohr prize has been given annually since 2007 and considers works of fiction and non-fiction in alternating years. It honors the contribution of contemporary writers in exploring and transmitting Jewish values.