The Sami Rohr Prize is a relatively new Jewish literature prize, established by the Jewish Book Council. Here's a press release I received from them about the finalists they've named this year.
Five Fiction Authors Selected as Finalists for $100,000 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature
New York, NY – The Jewish Book Council, administrator of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, is pleased to announce the selection of five finalists for the prestigious Sami Rohr Prize. This year, the $100,000 prize will be awarded to an emerging writer of fiction. This is the largest prize of its kind in the Jewish literary world, and one of the largest literary prizes worldwide. In 2006, in celebration of Sami Rohr’s 80th birthday, his children and grandchildren inaugurated the Sami Rohr Prize to honor his lifelong love of Jewish literature.
Previous winners of the Sami Rohr Prize are Lucette Lagnado in 2008 for her non-fiction work The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World (Ecco) and Tamar Yellin in 2007 for her work of fiction, The Genizah at the House of Shepher (Toby Press). The Sami Rohr Prize considers fiction and non-fiction in alternating years, honoring an emerging author in the field of Jewish literature who has written a book of exceptional literary merit that stimulates an interest in themes of Jewish concern.
THE 2009 FICTION FINALISTS:The five finalists for the 2009 Sami Rohr Prize have been selected by a panel of distinguished judges drawn from the literary and academic community. Authors were selected based on their demonstration of a fresh vision and evidence of future potential to further contribute to the Jewish literary community. “This year’s finalists reflect the complexities of the collective Jewish experience through different cultural lenses and illustrate the varied and changing nature of the American Jewish tapestry,” said Geri Gindea, Director of the Sami Rohr Prize.
Elisa Albert for The Book of Dahlia (Free Press)
Sana Krasikov for One More Year (Spiegel & Grau)
Anne Landsman for The Rowing Lesson (Soho Press)
Dalia Sofer for The Septembers of Shiraz (Ecco)
Anya Ulinich for Petropolis (Viking Penguin)
A Winner will be named in the spring; a Choice Award winner who will receive a $25,000 award will also be announced at that time. A gala awards ceremony will be held in May, 2009 at The Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan.
ABOUT SAMI ROHR:
After spending his early years in post-WWII Europe, Sami Rohr moved to Bogota, Colombia, where he was a leading real estate developer for over 30 years. He currently lives in Florida and continues to be very active in various business endeavors internationally. His philanthropic commitment to Jewish education and community-building throughout the world is renowned. This Prize is a gift by his family to honor his love of Jewish literature, and to help encourage the continuation of the magnificent legacy of the People of the Book.
ABOUT THE JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL:
The Jewish Book Council is a not-for-profit organization devoted exclusively to the promotion of Jewish-interest literature. Through an ever-growing list of projects and programs, including the National Jewish Book Awards, the Jewish Book NETWORK, and the quarterly publication Jewish Book World, the Jewish Book Council serves as a catalyst for the reading, writing, publication, distribution and public awareness of books that reflect the rich variety of the Jewish experience.
Adam Teeter, Publicist, 404-409-4103, firstname.lastname@example.org
Geri Gindea, Director, Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, 212-786-5158, email@example.com