Announcing 2022 Award Winners
Toronto, Sept. 20, 2022 — The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards is honouring eight outstanding books for 2022. Now in its eighth year, the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards recognizes and rewards the finest Canadian writing on Jewish themes and subjects.
Award Winners 2022
Fiction: Cary Fagan for Great Adventures for the Faint of Heart (Freehand Books)
Biography/Memoir: Charlotte Schallié for But I Live: Three Stories of Child Survivors of the Holocaust (University of Toronto Press)
History: Jeffrey Veidlinger for In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)
Holocaust: Mark Celinscak for Kingdom of Night: Witnesses to the Holocaust (University of Toronto Press)
Poetry: Adam Sol for Broken Dawn Blessings (ECW Press)
Scholaship: Gregg E. Gardner for Wealth, Poverty, and Charity in Jewish Antiquity (University of California Press)
Yiddish: Justin D. Cammy, translator and editor, for From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg: Memoir and Testimony by Abraham Sutzkever (McGill-Queen's University Press)
Youth Literature: Joanne Levy for Sorry for Your Loss (Orca Book Publishers)
Award Winners 2021
Fiction: Gary Barwin for Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy (Random House Canada)
Biography: Menachem Kaiser for Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Poetry: Lisa Richter for Nautilus and Bone (Frontenac House)
Children and Youth: Sigal Samuel for Osnat and Her Dove (Levine Querido)
Scholarship Rebecca Clifford for Survivors: Children’s Lives After the Holocaust (Yale University Press)
Holocaust: Judy Batalion for The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos (William Morrow)
Award Winners 2020
Fiction: Abraham Boyarsky for Through Shadows Slow (8th House Publishing)
Jewish Thought and Culture Tanhum Yoreh for Waste Not: A Jewish Environmental Ethic (SUNY Press)
Biography: Hernan Tesler-Mabé for Mahler’s Forgotten Conductor: Heinz Unger and His Search for Jewish Meaning, 1895–1965 (Yale University Press)
History: Derek Penslar for Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader (Yale University Press)
Children/Youth: Edeet Ravel for A Boy is Not a Bird (Groundwood Books)
Yiddish: Ilan Stavans and Josh Lambert, editors for How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish (Restless Books)
Scholarship: David Novak for Athens and Jerusalem: God, Humans, and Nature (University of Toronto Press
Poetry: Elana Wolff for Swoon (Guernica Editions)
Holocaust: Laurent Sagalovitsch for Le Temps des orphelins (Buchet/Chastel)
Award Winners 2019
Holocaust: Leonard and Edith Ehrlich, Carl S. Ehrlich, editor for Choices Under Duress of the Holocaust: Benjamin Murmelstein and the Fate of Viennese Jewry Volume I: Vienna (Texas Tech University Press)
Award Winners 2018
Award Winners 2017
Fiction: Gary Barwin, for Yiddish for Pirates (Vintage Canada).
Holocaust Literature: Myrna Goldenberg, editor, for Before All Memory Is Lost: Women's Voices from the Holocaust (Azrieli Foundation)
Memoir/Biography: Matti Friedman, for Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story (Signal/McClelland & Stewart).
Children and Youth Fiction: Eva Wiseman, for Another Me (Tundra Books)
Poetry: Stuart Ross, for A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent (Wolsak & Wynn)
History: Roger Frie, for Not In My Family: German Memory and Responsibility After the Holocaust (Oxford University Press)
Yiddish: Rachel Seelig, for Strangers in Berlin: Modern Jewish Literature Between East and West 1919-1933 (University of Michigan Press).
Jewish Thought and Culture: Chantal Ringuet and Gérard Rabinovitch, editors, for Les révolutions de Leonard Cohen (Presses de l'Université du Québec).
Scholarship: Joel Hecker, for The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, Vol 11 (Stanford University Press).
Award Winners 2016
Fiction: Sigal Samuel, for The Mystics of Mile End (Freehand Books).
Holocaust Literature: Agata Tuszyńska, for A Family History of Fear (Knopf Canada)
Memoir/Biography: Howard Akler, for Men of Action (Coach House Press).
Children and Youth Fiction: Anne Dublin, for 44 Hours or Strike! (Second Story Press)
History: Michael Marrus, for Lessons of the Holocaust (University of Toronto Press)
Yiddish: Helen Mintz, translator, for Vilna, My Vilna: Stories by Abraham Karpinowitz (Syracuse University Press).
Jewish Thought and Culture: Julia Creet, Sara R. Horowitz and Amira Bojadzija-Dan, editors, for H.G. Adler: Life, Literature, Legacy (Northwestern University Press).
Scholarship: Sarah Phillips Casteel, for Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination (Columbia University Press).
Award Winners 2015
Novel: Nora Gold, for Fields of Exile (Dundurn Press).
Scholarship: James A. Diamond, for Maimonides and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon (Cambridge University Press).
Biography/Memoir: Alison Pick, for Between Gods: A Memoir (Doubleday Canada).
History: Joseph Hodes, for From India to Israel: Identity, Immigration, and the Struggle for Religious Equality (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
Youth Literature: Suri Rosen, for Playing with Matches (ECW Press)
Poetry: Robyn Sarah, for My Shoes Are Killing Me (Biblioasis).
Holocaust Literature: Beverley Chalmers, for Birth, Sex and Abuse: Women's Voices Under Nazi Rule (Grosvenor House)
Short Fiction: Mireille Silcoff, for Chez l’Arabe (House of Anansi).
Yiddish: Ruth Panofsky, for The Collected Poems of Miriam Waddington: A Critical Edition (University of Ottawa Press).
The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards recognizes the finest books with Jewish themes and subjects by Canadian authors in a variety of genres. It enriches and promotes Canadian Jewish writing and culture, enabling us to better understand our collective past, our shared present, and the world of the future. The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards does more than reward winning authors with a cash prize and a moment in the spotlight. It builds pride, not only in the individuals being honoured, but in the creative achievements that reflect Jewish themes and ideas.
Celebrating Literature CJN Canadian Jewish Literary Awards Supplement 2016
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Book about Her Majesty’s wedding gown wins Jewish Canadian literary award Royal Central, Oct. 8, 2019
Book about The Queen’s wedding gown wins Canadian Jewish literary award Jewish News (Britain), Oct. 4, 2019
Winners of the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards Announced Canadian Jewish News, Oct. 3, 2019
Canadian Jewish Literary Awards Handed Out in Toronto Canadian Jewish News, Oct. 25, 2018
Canadian Jewish Literary Awards 2018 Winners The Canadian Children's Book Centre, Sept. 26, 2018
2017 Winners Announced September 27, 2016
Winners of the 2016 National Jewish Book Awards Announced The Jewish Book Council, Jan. 11, 2017
Montreal-Born Writer Wins Fiction Prize at Canadian Jewish Literary Awards Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 2, 2016
Professor Tells a Different Story of Black-Jewish Relations Canadian Jewish News, Oct. 27, 2016
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Sigal Samuel honored with Canadian literary prize Forward, September 28, 2016
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Code of Conduct
Conflicts of Interest
When a Juror has other connections/conflicts with a book being considered for an Award:
- The jurors’ expertise and connection to others in their field will likely and understandably result in friendships with authors, professional connections, as well as the writing of reviews and blurbs for books under consideration. These should not automatically preclude jurors from participating.
- Jurors will declare any potential conflicts at the outset of deliberations. The expectation is that fairness and integrity will guide the jurors on whether or not to recuse themselves from the evaluation or decision-making regarding any particular book.
When a Juror has a book that is being considered for an Award:
- No one shall serve on the jury when their own books are under consideration.
- When a juror has co-authored, edited, or has made a significant contribution to a book, the juror will declare this potential conflict as soon as possible and the Jury will decide if the connection is too close for the Juror to remain on the Jury.
What is a Jewish Book?
Canadian Jewish Literary Award Juror Andrea Knight spoke at Tikkun Leil Shavout, May 19, 2018, at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre about what exactly makes a book Jewish
CJL Awards chairman Edward Trapunski and juror Andrea Knight
What I’ve learned — and I speak only for myself, not for the whole jury — is that is it possible for a Jewish author to bring a je ne sais quoi, what I would call a Jewish sensibility to her or his writing, regardless of the quantifiable Jewish content. It might be the rhythms of the language, a smattering of Yiddish or Yiddish syntax, a certain sense of humour.
On Jewish writing
Former Canadian Jewish Literary Award juror Sara Horowitz, professor of literature at Israel And Golda Koschitzky Centre For Jewish Studies At York University, delivered this speech at the Canadian Jewish News Prize for Young Writers awards ceremony, Feb. 10, 2016
Benefactors and Supporters, 2016-2022
The Gerald Sheff and Shanitha Kachan Foundation
First Narayever Foundation
The Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski Charitable Foundation
The Asper Foundation
The Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation
The ShaRna Foundation
The Yiddish Committee of the UJA Federation
Great Gulf Charitable Foundation
Tikkun 18 Foundation
Michael Ghert and Sarah Rosenfeld
Lony and Ruth Gropper
Michael Hirsh and Kay Rosenfeld