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Mazal Tov
to all the Jewish book awards finalists and winners.
Below are nominees and winners of several Awards.

The National Jewish Books Awards is sponsored and administered by the Jewish Book Council. The Awards Ceremony was held in New York City on March 5, 2009, at the Center for Jewish History. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, and to the Jewish Book Council. Please visit their website. [NJBA_winner_logo.jpg]

For the second year in a row, the top prize in the oldest Jewish literary award in the nation goes to a book about the Good Book. Last year, James Kugel won that honor with his book, How to Read the Bible. Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss are the winners of the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award with their pioneering work, The Torah: A Women's Commentary (URJ Press and Women of Reform Judaism).

With distinguished winners in sixteen categories, the 58th Annual National Jewish Book Awards, to be held on March 5th at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, honors a diverse roster of authors and subjects. Winners include rabbis and a priest. The current war in Gaza is contextualized with the help of a groundbreaking work on the history of the first Arab-Israeli War. A book that explores the Jewish history of Greece wins the top award in Sephardic Culture. The Torah is also the subject of the winning entry in the field of Jewish Family Literature.

This year's top honorees include Julian Levinson, author of Exiles on Main Street: Jewish American Writers and American Literary Culture (Indiana University Press), winner of the American Jewish Studies: Celebrate 350 Award; Benny Morris, winner of the Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award in History for 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War (Yale University Press); David Patterson, author of Emil L. Fackenheim: A Jewish Philosopher's Response to the Holocaust (Syracuse University Press), winner of the Modern Jewish Thought and Experience prize; and The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews (Palgrave Macmillan) by Father Patrick Desbois, winner of the award in Holocaust Studies.

The field of Jewish education is enhanced by the winning entry in that category, the exhaustive What We Now Know About Jewish Education: Perspectives on Research for Practice (Torah Aura Productions), edited by Roberta Louis Goodman, Paul A. Flexner and Linda Dale Bloomberg. The esteemed Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in Scholarship goes to The Kuzari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167-1900 (Cambridge University Press) by Adam Shear. Greece: A Jewish History (Princeton University Press) by K.E. Fleming is the winner in the Sephardic Culture category. And rounding out the feminist flavor of this year's winning works, A Jewish Woman's Prayer Book, edited by Aliza Lavie (Spiegel & Grau) takes this year's Barbara Dobkin Award in Women's Studies.

2008 National Jewish Book Award Winners

Everett Family Foundation
Jewish Book of the Year Award
[book] The Torah
A Women's Commentary
Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss
URJ Press and Women of Reform Judaism
"The five daughters of Zelophehad in the Book of Numbers approach Moses, the leaders of the people, and the entire community. They draw near because they see a problem that needs a solution: they have not been given an inheritance that they believe is due to them. They refuse to be left out and demand their rightful share. And so they dare speak to Moses, the priest Eleazar, all the other leaders, and the entire edah (congregation or formally constituted assembly). They say: 'Give us a holding among our father's kin. Give us a share of our heritage, why should we be left out?' They get what they want a share, a large share I should add. Moreover, as a result of their courage, a new Torah law is created, one that intends to benefit future generations long after them. Their story is the story of the WRJ's The Torah: A Women's Commentary. The Women of Reform Judaism said: 'Give us a share among our brothers. We are no longer willing to be left out.' Instead of land, WRJ asks for something even more enduring - 'Give us a share of our Torah.' The result is a Torah commentary that we trust will benefit all of us. With this commentary we will continue as sisters to empower the women - and men - who come after us for generations to come." Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi Professor of Bible, HUC-JIR/LA The Torah: A Women's Commentary will incorporate these perspectives:

American Jewish Studies
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Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir
In Memory of Simon & Shulamith (Sofi) Goldberg
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Children's and Young Adult Literature
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Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice
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Education and Jewish Identity
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Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award
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Illustrated Children's Books
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Jewish Family Literature
In Memory of Dorothy Kripke
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Modern Jewish Thought & Experience
Dorot Foundation Award In memory of Joy Ungerleider Mayerson
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Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award
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Sephardic Culture
Mimi S. Frank Award in Memory of Becky Levy
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Women's Studies
Barbara Dobkin Award
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Writing Based on Archival Material
The JDC-Herbert Katzki Award

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