The Jewish Book Council has announced the 2014 finalists for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, among them a study of how newcomers learn to become Orthodox; a look at Jewish culture in pre-state Palestine and the story of the struggle over the Aleppo Codex.
The prize, which includes a purse of $100,000, switches off every year between non-fiction and fiction and honors philanthropist Sami Rohr.
This year’s list: Sarah Bunin Benor’s “Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism;” Marni Davis’ “Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition;” Matti Friedman’s “The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible;” Nina S. Spiegel’s “Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine” and Eliyahu Stern’s “The Genius, Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism.”
Last year, “The Innocents” by Francesca Segal, a modern version of Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence,” won the prize for fiction.
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