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Journalist Gal Beckerman wins Rohr Prize

JTA

February 15, 2012 | 10:48 am

When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, by Gal Beckerman

When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, by Gal Beckerman

Journalist Gal Beckerman has been awarded the 2012 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for his first book.

Beckerman will receive the Jewish Book Council’s first prize award of $100,000 for “When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry.” The non-fiction book is a comprehensive chronicle of the history of the Soviet Jewry movement.

The judges said that Beckerman’s work shows “his clear commitment to becoming a storyteller for the Jewish people.”

The Rohr prize has been given annually since 2007 and considers works of fiction and non-fiction in alternating years.

The runner-up is Oxford lecturer Abigail Green, for her biography, “Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero.” She will receive a $25,000 prize.

Other finalists were Jonathan B. Krasner for “The Benderly Boys and American Jewish Education”; James Loeffler for “The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire”; and Ruth Franklin for “A Thousand Darknesses:  Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction.”

The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature honors the contribution of contemporary writers in exploring and transmitting Jewish values. The prize is intended to encourage and promote the writing of Jewish interest. Fiction and nonfiction books are considered in alternate years.

The award ceremony will be held in Jerusalem on April 11.

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