Brandeisians win recognition for Jewish literature

A Brandeis alumnus and five authors affiliated with the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) have won recognition from the National Jewish Book Council for writing outstanding Jewish literature.

The critically acclaimed “FDR and the Jews,” an examination of Roosevelt's policy toward the Jews of Hitler's Europe, won in the category of American Jewish studies. “I am very proud to win this prestigious national award with my coauthor Richard Breitman,” says Allan Lichtman ’67, a professor of history at American University in Washington, D.C. “The award came as independent recognition of our hard work and efforts to provide a balanced and nuanced account of FDR’s response to Jewish issues during the Nazi era.”

“Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools,” written by Chaya Rosenfeld Gorsetman and Elana Maryles Sztokman, won in the category of education and Jewish identity. The book was published by Brandeis University Press in the HBI Series on Jewish Women and edited by Shulamit Reinharz, director of the HBI and Women’s Studies Research Center, and Sylvia Barack Fishman, co-director of the HBI and chair of Near Eastern and Judaic studies.

A former HBI scholar in residence, Melissa Klapper wrote “Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 1890-1940,” which won in the category of women’s studies. “Her time here was spent researching this book,” says Amy Powell, HBI’s director of communications.

Elissa Bemporad received an HBI research award in 2007 for her book  “Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk.” She won an award for writing based on archival material. Nina S. Spiegel, a scholar-in-residence at HBI three years ago, was a finalist in the same category for her book, “Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine.”

“Gender and Timebound Commandments in Judaism,” by Elizabeth Shanks Alexander, was a finalist in women's studies. Alexander received a research award from HBI in 2009 for her book.

Categories: Alumni, General, Humanities and Social Sciences, Research

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