JTS Professors and Alumni Selected for 2016 National Jewish Book Awards

Press Contact: Tom Hopkins
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: tohopkins@jtsa.edu

January 19, 2017, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is pleased to announce that the Jewish Book Council has chosen several members of the JTS community as 2016 National Jewish Book Awards winners and finalists.

The National Jewish Book Award was established by the Jewish Book Council in 1950 to recognize outstanding works of Jewish literature. As the longest-running North American awards program of its kind in the field of Jewish literature, the National Jewish Book Awards recognizes outstanding books of Jewish interest. Awards were given out this year in fourteen categories.

“I’d like to congratulate The Jewish Theological Seminary’s esteemed faculty member Dr. Benjamin Gampel and alumni who were recipients of this years’ National Jewish Book Awards,” said Arnold Eisen, Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. “These awards serve to validate JTS’s place as a preeminent institution of higher education that trains thoughtful, innovative Jewish leaders.”

JTS congratulates our alumni and faculty among this year’s distinguished winners and finalists:

  • Dr. Benjamin R. Gampel, Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History at JTS, received the 2016 Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award for Scholarship for his Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response 1391-1392 (Cambridge University Press, 2016). This original work treats the riots and forced conversions on the Iberian peninsula, and explores why monarchic authority failed to protect the Jews during these fate-filled months.

    Dr. Gampel is available for interviews.
  • Dr. Daniel Gordis (RS ’84) won the Jewish Book of the Year Everett Family Foundation Award for Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn (Ecco, 2016), a brief but compelling work combining academic and personal writing to tell the story of the state of Israel from its beginnings to the present day.
  • Rabbi David Jaffe (GS ’94) won the Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award in Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice for Changing the World from the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal and Social Change (Shambhala, 2016), an accessible and meaningful guide to sustainable activism as spiritual practice.
  • Rabbi Mike Uram (RS ’05), who won the Award for Education and Identity in Memory of Dorothy Kripke for Next Generation Judaism: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations (Jewish Lights, 2016), draws on his experience as executive director of Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania to chart a new path for Jewish engagement both on campus and off.
  • Love Finer Than Wine: The Writings of Matthew Eisenfeld and Sara Duker (CreateSpace, 2016), by Rabbi Edward C. Bernstein (LC ’93, DS ’99, RS ’99), is a finalist in the Anthologies and Collections category. Bernstein presents the writings of his friends Matthew Eisenfeld, a JTS rabbinical student, and Sara Duker, two young Americans killed in a 1996 Jerusalem bus bombing. Featuring writing on biblical scholarship, philosophy, and Jewish spirituality, Love Finer Than Wine is a moving testament to two idealistic leaders taken too soon.

The full list of winners can be viewed at: http://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/awards/2016-national-jewish-book-award-winners-and-finalists.