New York, June 22, 2022 – On the occasion of the opening of the submission period for the seventy-second National Jewish Book Awards, Jewish Book Council is pleased to announce the establishment of three new National Jewish Book Awards. The awards include the creation of the Jane Weitzman National Jewish Book Award for Hebrew Fiction in Translation, generously supported by Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies (CLSFP) on the occasion of Jane’s 80th birthday; the Tracy and Larry Brown Family National Jewish Book Award for Children’s Picture Book; and a new Holocaust Memoir Award that will honor an account of a Jewish person’s experiences during the Holocaust.
The Jane Weitzman National Jewish Book Award for Hebrew Fiction in Translation is established to honor and amplify the work of contemporary Israeli authors writing fiction originally published in Hebrew and the work of their translators bringing those texts to an English-speaking audience. “I am so proud to establish this prize in honor of Jane’s dedicated service to the Jewish people and, in particular, her commitment to and love for Israel,” says Lynn Schusterman.
The award’s goal is to introduce these works to both JBC’s traditional audience as well as readers who may not typically be exposed to contemporary Israeli literature. Through this award, JBC seeks to illuminate the multifaceted perspectives of the Israeli experience. It is our hope that by expanding the market for these works, we will also expand the audience and celebration of Israeli literature and culture. “It’s a great honor for me to have such a meaningful award created on the occasion of my upcoming 80th birthday. I’m so grateful to Lynn Schusterman for her vision and generosity,” said Jane Weitzman, President of Jewish Book Council, upon learning about the award.
The Tracy and Larry Brown Family National Jewish Book Award for Children’s Picture Book was developed in order to celebrate authors and illustrators of books designed to be read aloud to children ages 3 to 8 years old or board books intended for children 0 – 3 years old. Tracy Brown, a children’s book writer and member of Jewish Book Council’s Board of Directors shares: “Larry and I are thrilled to endow the Children’s Picture Book Award. We are proud to support quality children’s literature that reflects all aspects of Judaism — from life cycle events to holidays to multicultural families. It is important that Jewish children have books that not only act as a mirror of their own lives but a window into other facets of Jewish life outside of their own.”
The Holocaust Memoir Award, which will be given along with the Ernest W. Michel Holocaust Award, will be specifically designated for a book that recounts an individual’s experiences during the Holocaust. While these would typically be memoirs written by survivors, also eligible are co-authored books in which a survivor works with a writer to tell his or her story, and accounts of a survivor’s experiences written by a member of his or her family (such as a child or grandchild), or by another author that has access to and uses primary documents. A recently discovered or recovered diary or memoir written by someone who did not survive the Holocaust is also eligible. While Holocaust scholarship is critical to our comprehensive knowledge of the Shoah, it is especially important for Jewish Book Council to recognize and honor the contributions that individual survivors and diarists add to our understanding of the Holocaust.
Now in its seventy-second year, the National Jewish Book Awards celebrate Jewish literary achievement in a wide range of genres and forms, honoring writers in over twenty different categories each year. You can see our full list of winners and finalists in our database here.
The National Jewish Book Awards is a program of the Jewish Book Council, a nonprofit dedicated to the enrichment of Jewish life and education through literature. Promoting the reading, writing, and publication of books of Jewish interest, Jewish Book Council reaches more than half a million readers annually with weekly reviews and essays; arranges nearly 1,400 Jewish literary programs in partnership with synagogues, JCCs, Federations, among other Jewish nonprofits; publishes the literary journal Paper Brigade; and provides discussion resources to over 2,000 book clubs.
Submissions for the 2022 National Jewish Book Awards are now open! To submit your book or for more information, please visit www.jewishbookcouncil.org or contact Jewish Book Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 201‑2920.