(May 19, 2022 / JNS) The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, in association with the National Library of Israel, announces Menachem Kaiser, author of Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure as the winner of its 2022 award for nonfiction.
The story recounts the author’s Holocaust-survivor grandfather’s battle to reclaim the family’s apartment building in Sosnowiec, Poland. It is a deeply immersive adventure story and daring interrogation of inheritance—material, spiritual, familial and emotional.
“What an extraordinary honor!” said Menachem Kaiser. “The Sami Rohr Prize represents a deep and continuing commitment to Jewish literature, and I’m beyond humbled and gratified to have been selected as this year’s recipient.”
This year’s finalists are Ayala Fader, author of Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in the Digital Age, a look at Jewish men and women who secretly explore the outside world while remaining in their Orthodox religious communities.
Danny Adeno Abebe, author of From Africa to Zion, an insider’s perspective on the Ethiopian Israeli-immigrant experience.
Eylon Levy, translator of From Africa to Zion, is the first translation finalist in the history of the Sami Rohr Prize. As such, he will join Kaiser, Abebe and Fader as a fellow of the Sami Rohr Jewish Literary Institute.
“Our family is thrilled to honor Menachem Kaiser together with Ayala Fader, Danny Abebe and Eylon Levy, for their important contributions to Jewish literature, culture and community,” said George Rohr. “Each of their books expresses the spirit of the Sami Rohr Prize by focusing on central issues facing the Jewish people.”
The winner and finalists will be honored at a virtual ceremony this summer.
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