Berg wins National Jewish Book Award

Nancy E. Berg, professor of Hebrew language and literature in the Department of Jewish, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has won a National Jewish Book Award for best anthology for the 2018 book “What We Talk About When We Talk About Hebrew (and What It Means to Amer­i­cans).”


Co-edited with Naomi Sokoloff of the University of Washington, “What We Talk About” presents a dozen essays by a diverse group of distinguished contributors exploring urgent questions about the past, present and future of the Hebrew language. To what extent is that status affected by evolving Jewish identities and shifting attitudes toward Israel and Zionism? Will Hebrew programs survive the current crisis in the humanities on university campuses? And how can the vibrancy of Hebrew literature be conveyed to a larger audience?

Berg is the author of Exile from Exile,” which explores the writings of Israeli Jews from Iraq, and of “More and More Equal,” which analyzes the literary career of Sami Michael. “Since 1948: Israeli Literature in the Making,” also co-edited with Sokoloff, is forthcoming from SUNY Press in fall 2020.

The National Jewish Book Awards, inau­gu­rat­ed in 1950, are the longest-run­ning North Amer­i­can awards pro­gram of their kind. The awards are intend­ed to rec­og­nize authors, and encour­age read­ing, of out­stand­ing Eng­lish-lan­guage books of Jew­ish interest.

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