The Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards are the first annual book award program to be offered by the Association for Jewish Studies, made possible by funding from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation of Portland, Oregon. These awards recognize and promote outstanding scholarship in the field of Jewish Studies and honor scholars whose work embodies the best in the field: rigorous research, theoretical sophistication, innovative methodology, and excellent writing. The awards are structured to recognize all areas of Jewish Studies research, paying tribute to both the breadth and depth of AJS members’ scholarship.
Launched in 2008, the AJS awarded two $5,000 Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards on an annual basis for four years. Beginning in 2012, the AJS will recognize books in three subject areas per year, for a total of nine categories over a three-year cycle. The nine categories are:
- Philosophy and Jewish Thought
- Biblical Studies, Rabbinics, and Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity
- Jewish Literature and Linguistics
- Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History
- Modern Jewish History—European Countries
- Modern Jewish History—Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania
- Social Science, Anthropology, and Folklore
- Jews and the Arts (visual, performance, music)
- Cultural Studies and Media Studies
Only AJS members in good standing may submit their books for consideration or be nominated for consideration by a third party (publisher, etc.). Any book published in English from 2009 – 2012 is eligible for consideration. Translations, edited works, and reference works are eligible for submission, as long as the book’s translator/editor meets the submission requirements (AJS member, book published within past four years, etc). A book may be submitted up to two times within a three-year cycle. Scholars at all stages of their careers are eligible to apply. A committee of scholars who represent excellence in the year's designated fields will serve as judges. Scholars may submit their book to more than one category, but no book may be awarded the prize in more than one category, whether in the same year or in any subsequent year.
Recipients of the Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards will be recognized at a reception held each year in their honor at the AJS conference; the award will also be announced in AJS publications and other professional and national media.
Information about the 2013
competition will be posted in April.