Rohr literature prize finalists named


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Five nonfiction authors are the finalists for the 2010 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.

The finalists, who represent important emerging voices in Jewish life and thought, are Lila Corwin Berman, author of "Speaking of Jews: Rabbis, Intellectuals, and the Creation of an American Public Identity";  Ari Kelman, author of "Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio in the United States"; Kenneth Moss, author of  "Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution"; Danya Ruttenberg , author of "Surprised by God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion"; and Sarah Abrevaya Stein, author of "Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce."

Established in 2006, the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature honors the contribution of contemporary writers in the exploration and transmission of Jewish values.

The top winner receives $100,000; the first runner-up receives $25,000.

The prize is administered under the auspices of the Jewish Book Council.

The winners will be announced at the end of January.

Jonathan Sarna, a Rohr Prize judge, noted the predominance of books of Jewish history in this year’s group of finalists.

“Increasingly, it seems, young writers are looking to the past to illuminate central issues of contemporary Jewish life,” he said. “Even as our authors seem to be gazing backwards, they have one eye firmly fixed on the present and future."

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