The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, the largest book prize in the Jewish literary world, announced on Friday the four finalists for its 2020 prize for non-fiction writing.
The four finalists are Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz for his book “Shadow Strike” (St. Martin’s Press), Mikhal Dekel, a professor at City University of New York, for her book “Tehran Children” (W.W. Norton), Sarah Hurwitz, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama for her book “Here All Along” (Spiegel & Grau) and Benjamin Balint, a research fellow at the Van Leer Institute for his book “Kafka’s Last Trial” (W.W.Norton).
Debra Goldberg, the newly-appointed director of the prize said that the winner will be announced in early May, with an awards ceremony scheduled at a future date.
The $100,000 prize was inaugurated in 2007 by the Rohr family as a way to recognize the unique role of contemporary writers in the transmission and examination of the Jewish experience. It is presented to a writer who demonstrates potential for continued contribution to the world of Jewish literature.
The prize is given in memory of Sami Rohr who was raised in Berlin and fled Germany with his parents shortly after Kristallnacht. Taking refuge in Belgium, France and Switzerland, he later moved to Colombia and subsequently to Florida. His children established the prize to salute two of Rohr’s driving values - the importance of encouraging talent and his love of Jewish literature.