City of Promises: A History of Jews in New York, edited by U-M Professor of History Deborah Dash Moore has won the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award. Given each year by the National Jewish Book Council, the Everett award recognizes the best book of Jewish non-fiction.
“City of Promises is an unparalleled and essential study of one of the most significant Jewish communities in the modern world?and the largest in Jewish history,” attested the award committee.
Deborah Dash Moore served as general editor for the three-volume set. Each volume,includes a visual essay by art historian Diana L. Linden, an unusual feature in history books. The series begins with Haven of Liberty. Howard Rock traces the first Jews’ arrival in New Amsterdam in 1654 up through the end of the Civil War in 1865. In Emerging Metropolis, the second volume, Annie Polland and Daniel Soyer chronicle the metamorphosis of New York into a “Jewish city,” exploring the impact of immigration on New York Jewish life. The third volume, Jews in Gotham by Jeffrey Gurock highlights the neighborhood as a cornerstone of New York Jewish life.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” acknowledged Deborah Dash Moore, director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies and Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of History, “because it recognizes the importance of collaboration in writing history. The sprawling complex history of Jews in New York City has eluded scholars. Its size—more Jews lived in New York than in most western and central European countries—and its centrality for American Jewish history proved daunting,” she acknowledged. Now, however, New
York Jews have a history of their own.
The National Jewish Book Awards program began in 1950 when the Jewish Book Council presented awards to authors of Jewish books at its annual meeting. Past notable literary winners include Chaim Grade, Deborah Lipstadt, Bernard Malamud, Michael Oren, Chaim Potok, Philip Roth, and Elie Wiesel.
Awards are presented in over 18 categories. In addition, since 2003, one non-fiction book has been selected as the winner of the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award. Last year, Simon Montefiore’s Jerusalem: A Biography was chosen.
A complete list of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award winners and finalists is available at the Jewish Book Council's website, www.JewishBookCouncil.org.