Rabin is nominated for “Jews on the Frontier: Religion and Mobility in Nineteenth-Century America,” which was released in December and was named the winner of the Jewish Book Council’s Celebrate 350 Award in American Jewish studies in January.
“So excited about this news!!” Rabin tweeted.
One of the finalists Rabin beat for the Celebrate 350 Award, Sara Yael Hirschhorn’s “City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement,” also is a Sami Rohr Prize finalist. The others are Ilana Kurshan for “If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir,” Yair Mintzker for “The Many Deaths of Jew Süss: The Notorious Trial and Execution of an Eighteenth-Century Court Jew” and Chanan Tigay for “The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World’s Oldest Bible.”
“The five 2018 fellows will join our growing Sami Rohr Prize literary community of authors who are the current and future voices of Jewish literature. We welcome them and look forward to nurturing their growth,” said Carolyn Starman Hessel, the director emeritus of the Jewish Book Council and the director of the Sami Rohr Prize.
Rabin follows the stories of Jews who moved south and west through the 19th century, a movement she argues was pivotal to the development of American Judaism. She presented some of her research during the 2016 conference of the Southern Jewish Historical Society in Natchez, Miss.
Rabin, who went to high school locally after moving to Cobb County from Wisconsin, is an assistant professor of Jewish studies at the College of Charleston, where she directs the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture. She got her undergraduate degree from Boston University and her doctorate in 2015 from Yale.
“Jews on the Frontier” is her first book.
The Jewish Book Council will announce the Sami Rohr Prize winner in July during a ceremony in Jerusalem. In addition to the $100,000 first prize, $18,000 goes to the runner-up, and the other three finalists get $5,000 each.
“Our family is delighted to see that the Sami Rohr Prize is serving as the provider of much-needed oxygen to outstanding emerging writers who might otherwise not have been able to move on to their next work and as a catalyst for the development of a vibrant, growing Jewish literary community,” George Rohr said.