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The Sami Rohr Prize For Jewish Literature Announces Its Nominees

On April 1 the Jewish Book Council announced the finalists for the 2019 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Awarded since 2007, the Rohr Prize recognizes early career English-language writers whose work reflects the Jewish experience.

The five finalists in contention for the top $100,000 prize include two past National Jewish Book Award winners — Rachel Kadish, author of 2017’s “The Weight of Ink” and Michael David Lukas, author of 2018’s “The Last Watchman of Old Cairo.”

The Book Council is also recognizing Dalia Rosenfeld, author of the 2017 story collection “The Words We Think We Know”; Mark Sarvas, author of 2017’s “Memento Park” about a father and son brought together to reclaim a piece of Nazi-looted art; and Margot Singer, author of 2017’s “Underground Fugue,” which chronicles the aftermath of 2005’s London subway bombings in the lives of Jewish and Muslim neighbors.

“It is thrilling to experience the extraordinary depth and range of the works of this year’s fiction finalists,” George Rohr, the businessman and philanthropist who, with his sisters, established the prize in honor of his father, Sami, said in a statement. “It is deeply gratifying for our family to be able to recognize these emerging writers, and to play a role in their futures.”

The winner of the award, the runner up and the three finalists, all of whom will receive a cash prize, will be announced in early May at the Moise Safra Center in New York.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at




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