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April 11, 2003 - Image 105

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-04-11

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Fri., Apr. 25
at 8 pm

Jewish Book Awards Announced

Sat., Apr. 26
at 2 pm & 8 pm

The fifth annual Koret Jewish Book Awards, honoring books in four cate-
gories, were presented in a ceremony in New York City on April 7, where
the first Koret Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award also was announced.
The Korets carry the largest financial prize among Jewish book awards. Each
winner is awarded $10,000.
• Tikva Frymer-Kensky's Reading the Women of the Bible: A New
Intelretation of Their Stories (Schocken Books) won in the Biography,
Autobiography and Literary Studies category.
• The fiction winner is Drohobycz, Drohobycz and Other Stories: True Tales
from the Holocaust and Life After by Henryk Grynberg, translated from Polish
by Alicia Nitecki (Penguin Books).
• In history, the award goes to Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with
Late Imperial Russia by Benjamin Nathans (University of California Press).
• In Philosophy and Thought, the winner is Moshe Idel for Absorbing
Perfirti072S• Kabbalah and Interpretation (Yale University Press).
• Mark Oppenheimer, an essayist and a scholar of American religion
trained at Yale University is the Koret Young Writer on Jewish Themes
Award Winner. The recipient of a $25,000 fellowship at Stanford
University, his upcoming book Knocking on Heaven's Door: Religion in the
Age of Counterculture is forthcoming from Yale University Press, and another
book, At Thirteen, a study of b'nai mitzvah ceremonies' role in American
Jewish culture, is under contract with publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

develop an institute for training nurses. on a personal level with individuals in
But he was told that the money was
Israel's Ethiopian community.
instead needed "for immediate use."
"What we did [in rescuing them]
- Born in Libya, Naim moved to
was a small miracle. The large mira-
Israel with his family soon after his bar cle is how to absorb them and get
mitzvah; they traveled by truck from
them into the mainstream. Their
Tripoli to Suez, and then by
four-hour flight covered
train to Haifa.
a distance of 400 years.
Soon after the success of
If I had one dollar, I'd
Operation Solomon, as he
spend 90 cents for edu-
writes, he represented Israel
in a speech at the United
When asked about the
Nations, against the UN
Falash Mura, many of
resolution equating Zionism
whom are now leaving
with racism. As a Jew born
Ethiopia for Israel, he
in an Arab country, who
mentions a conversation,
had just been instrumental
recounted in the book,
in bringing black Africans to
with Mengistu, in which
Israel, he told Israel's story
the president told him:
and his own. Resolution
"We were all Jews before
3374 was repealed after a
we adopted Christianity
Asher Naim: The for-
subsequent vote.
in the fourth century."
mer Israel ambassador
Naim was recently in the
Although he feels com-
United States in connection describes the miraculous passion for these people,
rescue of .14,000
with an effort he is coordi-
he's worried about an
Ethiopian Jews in
nating in connection with
unlimited stream" of
1991 in "Saving the
five other ex-ambassadors.
people who will want to
Lost Tribe."
Through the organization
come to Israel. "The only
they've founded, the
question I have is how
Scholarship Fund for Ethiopian Jews,
do we control the numbers?"
they are raising funds to help Ethiopian
But, he adds, "If you have a heart,
immigrants in Israel with their academic
you feel for them." Li
studies, both college and graduate school.
Last year, they granted 246 scholar-
Saving the Lost Tribe: The
ships, and all recipients are obligated
Restoration and Redemption of the
to serve the community for four hours
Ethiopian Jews is available
through www.jewish.com .
In addition to his work with the
fund, Naim and his family are involved

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