Alumni Awards

The National Jewish Book Awards and the AJS’s Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards are the Oscars and Golden Globes of Judaica publishing. This awards season, scholars in the Katz Center’s network have much to brag about.

The National Jewish Book Awards, just announced yesterday, recognized no less than six scholars affiliated with the Center:

  • In the category of Sephardic Culture, Jonathan Decter won the Mimi S. Frank Award in Memory of Becky Levy for Dominion Built of Praise: Panegyric and Legitimacy among Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean, published by Penn Press in the Katz Center’s Jewish Culture and Contexts series. Decter worked on this project while he was a fellow during the 2006–2007 fellowship year on premodern Jewish life in Islamic contexts.
  • Note, too, that the finalist in the same category was The Holocaust and North Africa (Stanford University Press) by Aomar Boum and Sarah Abrevaya Stein. This book’s subject ties in with this year’s fellowship theme and the Katz Center will welcome Stein here in Philadelphia to speak in our public lecture series later this month
  • Another winner was Marcin Wodziński, who received the Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in the category of Scholarship, together with cartographer Waldemar Spallek, for their Historical Atlas of Hasidism (Princeton University Press). Wodziński was a fellow in 2008–2009 (Commerce & Culture) and related work of his has appeared in the pages of JQR, in 2005 and again in 2016.
  • Also in the category of Scholarship, Vered Noam, a member of the Katz Center’s international advisory council, was recognized as a finalist for her Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature (Oxford University Press).
  • Michael Brenner (2009–2010: Secularism), was a finalist in the category of History for In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea (Princeton University Press).
  • Finally, Samuel Brody’s Martin Buber's Theopolitics (Indiana University Press) also got a nod as a finalist in the category of Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. Brody was a fellow during the year on political thought (2016–2017).

The Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards were given last month at the annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies.

  • David Stern, a longtime member of Penn’s Jewish Studies faculty and a fellow in 2001–2002 (Biblical Exegesis), 2007–2008 (Late Antiquity), and 2005–2006 (The Book), won in the category of Jews and the Arts for his book The Jewish Bible: A Material History (University of Washington Press).
  • And Eva Mroczek piled on another award for The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity (Oxford University Press). Mroczek, who was a fellow in 2015–2016 (Beyond Reason), was a finalist in the category of Biblical Studies, Rabbinics, and Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity, for, after previously winning the DeLong Book History Book Prize administered by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, and the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise from the University of Heidelberg’s Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology.

Congratulations to all! The Katz Center is honored to support the work of such talented researchers, and gratified to see such recognition our friends’ and colleagues’ work.