New and Noteworthy Books

February 6, 2024

Some sunny book news to offset a grey winter

man on bike


AJS Schnitzer Awards

Join us in celebrating three past fellows who won recognition for their books by the 2023 Jordan Schnitzer Book award committee of the AJS.

Winner in the category of Modern Jewish History and Culture: Africa, Americas, Asia, and Oceania

Nathaniel Deutsch and Michael Casper (Fellow 2020–2021)

A Fortress in Brooklyn: Race, Real Estate, and the Making of Hasidic Williamsburg (Yale University Press, 2023) 


The most exciting news came in the category of Philosophy and Jewish Thought, where not only did the Center make a clean sweep of winner and finalist prizes, but both recipients earned their doctorates from Penn’s History Department, and both were trained under the Center’s founding director David Ruderman.

The winner of the prize was:

 J. H. (Yossi) Chajes (fellow (2003–2004; 2013–2014; 2017–2018) 

The Kabbalistic Tree / האילן הקבלי (Penn State University Press, 2023)


We are especially delighted to celebrate the finalist in this category:

Anne O. Albert (Fellow 2010–2011; 2013–2014; Anne is currently executive editor of JQR and is also the Klatt Family Directory of Public Programs at the Katz Center. 

 Jewish Politics in Spinoza’s Amsterdam (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2023) 


Finalist in the category of Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History and Culture, the Schnitzer prize committee honored a work published by our partner, the University of Pennsylvania Press: 

Poisoned Wells: Accusations, Persecution, and Minorities in Medieval Europe, 1321–1422 by Tzafrir Barzilay (part of the Middle Ages Series).



ALSO we are proud to announce the fellows who won notice from the 73rd National Jewish Book Awards



Winner in the category of Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice (Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award)

Julia Watts Belser (Fellow 2017-2018)

Loving Our Own Bones: Disability Wisdom and the Spiritual Subversiveness of Knowing Ourselves Whole (Beacon Press, 2023)


Winner in the category American Jewish Life

Deborah Dash Moore (Fellow 1996–1997; 2020–2021)

Walkers in the City: Jewish Street Photographers of Midcentury New York (Three Hills/Cornell University Press, 2023)


Finalist in the category History

Shmuel Feiner (Fellow 1998–1999; 2009–2010)

The Jewish Eighteenth Century, Volume 2: A European Biography, 17501800 (Indiana University Press, 2023)


Finalist in the category Holocaust

Ari Joskowicz (Fellow 2009–2010)

Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust (Princeton University Press, 2023)


Finalist in the category Modern Jewish Thought and Experience

Derek J. Penslar (Fellow 2008–2009)

Zionism: An Emotional State (Rutgers University Press, 2023)


Finalist in the category Scholarship

J. H. Chajes (Fellow 2003–2004; 2013–2014; 2017–2018)

The Kabbalistic Tree / האילן הקבלי (Penn State University Press, 2023)


Finalist in the category Women’s Studies

Ayelet Brinn (Fellow 2020–2021)

A Revolution in Type: Gender and the Making of the American Yiddish Press (NYU Press, 2023)



Penn Press 

And look out for two new works in our book series Jewish Culture and Contexts that will come out in January 2024: 

Christian Images and Their Jewish Desecrators: The History of an Allegation, 400–1700 by Katherine Aron-Beller

An Economy of Strangers: Jews and Finance in England, 1650–1830 by Avinaom Yuval-Naeh