Westchester Jewish Center

2017 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Fellows Announced

Posted on April 24th, 2017
Jewish Book Council


Join Jewish Book Council Wednesday, May 3rd for the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Award Ceremony and Author Discussion.


The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature has announced the five Fellows who are eligible for the 2017 Prize of $100,000, the largest award of its kind. In addition, the second prize of $18,000 and three remaining presentations of $5,000 each will all be announced on May 3rd at a program open to the public to be held at the Jewish Museum.

The Sami Rohr Prize honors emerging writers who explore the Jewish experience in a specific work of non-fiction and fiction. Please join the Jewish Book Council in celebrating the 11th year of the Sami Rohr Prize and meet the 2017 Fellows at the award ceremony following a literary discussion with the authors, moderated by Rabbi David Wolpe as part of the Jewish Book Council Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation series. (RSVP requested.)

The 2017 Sami Rohr Prize Fellows are:

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Here and there: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family by Chaya Deitsch

Posted on April 17th, 2017
Gloria Goldreich for Hadassah Magazine


The plethora of books about life in various Hasidic communities, written by self-described “escapees,” largely seethe with pain, anger and rejection. Chaya Deitsch’s chronicle of her life in the Lubavitch community, however, throbs with love and reveals an undisguised, wistful nostalgia for the culture she turned her back on. Perhaps that is because the Lubavitch, known for their outreach to secular Jews, are more open to the larger world than other Hasidic groups. 

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David Grossman, Amos Oz named on Man Booker longlist

Posted on April 10th, 2017
By Viva Sarah Press for Israel21c


13 novels are in contention for the prestigious 2017 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world.


Israeli authors David Grossman and Amos Oz are among the contenders for this year’s Man Booker International Prize. There are 13 novels up for the 2017 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world.

Grossman’s A Horse Walks Into a Bar and Oz’s Judas are the two Israeli entries. 

The literary prize is awarded every year for a single book — novels or short-story collections – which have been translated in English.

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Passover guides serve up a side of social justice for the seder table

Posted on April 3rd, 2017
BY RENEE GHERT-ZAND for The Times of Israel


From a fifth cup of wine to 11 spilled drops — and a call to action for dessert — Jewish organizations publish readings on refugees, immigration, converts and the settlements


Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers? For some Jews focused on social justice issues, it’s because of the world’s greatest refugee crisis since World War II. For others, it’s because this June marks the 50th anniversary of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank. And for some it’s the mere fact that Donald Trump is president of the United States.

The themes of political freedom, refugees, immigration and racial justice have long figured prominently at seder table discussions. This year, in the weeks leading up to Passover, which starts on the evening of April 10, Jewish social justice organizations have published new haggadahs and hagaddah supplements for use at seders.

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For more great Passover ideas, check out our Passover Resource Kit.

The Good at Heart by Ursula Werner

Posted on March 27th, 2017
Jewish Book Council    


Based on the author’s discoveries about her great-grandfather, this stunning debut novel takes place over three days when World War II comes to the doorstep of an ordinary German family living in an idyllic, rural village near the Swiss border.

When World War II breaks out, Edith and Oskar Eberhardt move their family—their daughter, Marina; son-in-law, Franz; and their granddaughters—out of Berlin and into a small house in the quiet town of Blumental, near Switzerland. A member of Hitler’s cabinet, Oskar is gone most of the time, and Franz begins fighting in the war, so the women of the house are left to their quiet lives in the picturesque village.

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