Matti Friedman’s ‘Aleppo Codex’ narrative wins Rohr literary prize

NEW YORK (JTA) — Matti Friedman, author of “The Aleppo Codex,” won the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.

Friedman takes home $100,000 for winning the prize, which was announced Thursday.

“The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible,” chronicles the thousand-year history of the eponymous codex, a copy of the Bible written circa 930 and preserved in Jewish communities throughout the Middle East.

The runner-up was Sarah Bunin Benor for her book “Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language of Orthodox Judaism.” Benor receives a prize of $25,000.

The Rohr Prize, which has been given annually since 2007, considers works of fiction and nonfiction in alternating years.

It was created by the late businessman and philanthropist Sami Rohr to recognize emerging writers who articulate the Jewish experience as determined by a specific work, as well as the author’s potential to make significant ongoing contributions to Jewish literature.

Francesca Segal won the prize last year for her novel “The Innocents.”

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