The Jewish Book Council presented Lucette Lagnado with the 2008 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature on April 24, 2008 during a gala ceremony at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, a fitting location as we celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary. Lagnado won the $100,000 prize for her memoir The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World (HarperCollins/Ecco), a work that The New York Times Book Review called "brilliant". Lagnado is a senior special writer and investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal and her selection was based on her demonstration of a fresh vision and the evidence of her future potential to further contribute to the Jewish literary community.
The Sami Rohr Prize is the largest monetary prize of its kind in the Jewish literary world and one of the largest literary prizes worldwide. In 2006, in celebration of Sami Rohr's 80th birthday, his children and grandchildren inaugurated the Sami Rohr Prize to honor his lifelong love of Jewish literature.
Along with this prestigious award, the Jewish Book Council also presented authors Ilana M. Blumberg and Eric L. Goldstein with the 2008 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Choice Award. The Choice Award is a monetary award in the amount of $7,500. Ilana M. Blumberg, Assistant Professor of Humanities at James Madison College at Michigan State University won for her work, Houses of Study: A Jewish Woman Among Books (University of Nebraska Press). Eric L. Goldstein, Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Emory University, won for his work, The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race and American Identity (Princeton University Press).
About Sami Rohr:
After spending his early years in post WWII Europe, Sami Rohr moved to Bogota, Colombia, where he was a leading real estate developer for over 30 years. He currently lives in Florida and continues to be very active in various business endeavors internationally. His philanthropic commitment to Jewish education and community building throughout the world is renowned. This prize is a gift by his family to honor his love of Jewish writing, and to encourage the continuation of the magnificent legacy of the People of the Book.
About The Jewish Book Council:
The Jewish Book Council is a non-profit organization devoted exclusively to the promotion of Jewish-interest literature. Through an ever-growing list of projects and programs, including the National Jewish Book Awards, the Jewish Book Network, and the quarterly publication, Jewish Book World, the Jewish Book Council serves as a catalyst for the reading, writing, and publishing of books of Jewish interest.
For more information about the Jewish Book Council and the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature visit www.jewishbookcouncil.org