Book awards finalists named


Five authors of nonfiction books have been selected as finalists for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.


The award, administered by the Jewish Book Council, includes a $100,000 prize, the largest of its kind in the Jewish literary world. The prize honors an emerging author in the field of Jewish literature who has written a book of exceptional literary merit that stimulates an interest in Jewish themes.


The finalists, announced Thursday, are Ilana M. Blumberg for “Houses of Study: A Jewish Woman Among Books”; Eric L. Goldstein for “The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race and American Identity”; Lucette Lagnado for “The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World”; Michael Makovsky for “Churchill’s Promised Land: Zionism and Statecraft”; and Haim Watzman for “A Crack in the Earth: A Journey Up Israel’s Rift Valley.”

The inaugural Rohr Prize, which considers fiction and nonfiction in alternating years, was awarded last year to fiction writer Tamar Yellin for “The Genizah at the House of Shepher.”


The prize was created by the family of philanthropist Sami Rohr to honor his love of Jewish writing and encourage emerging Jewish writers.

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