Jewish Book Council

National Jewish Book Awards for 2013 Announced



It is a big day for the Jewish publishing world today as The Jewish Book Council announces the winners of the 2013 National Jewish Book Awards.  Like Dreamers by Yossi Klein Halevi has won Jewish Book of the Year.  It is worth looking at the list of all the winners. There are some surprises (in my opinion) and a very solid list of great books that have received great reviews over the past year.



2012 National Jewish Book Award Winners Announced….


Mazel tov! The Jewish Book Council has announced the 2012 winners of the National Jewish Book Awards.

Two quick comments:

One – Interesting that one of kids books (When the Hurricane Came) is a self published work.  What does it mean? Not sure. It is not earth shattering news but worthy of attention. I did have a client win a National Jewish Book Award a number of years ago  and I was shocked (the book was very good, but was far from confident a self published book would be considered). I was sure they were going to call me and say a mistake had been made.

Two – It seems so logical that the Koren Talmud would win something. How could it not?


Info on all the winners is here.




Important thoughts from author Sherri Mandell…….10 ways to help Newtown’s grieving families: from a mother who knows

The Blessing of a Broken Heart (Toby Press) by Sherri Mandell  is the heartbreaking story of Sherri’s life during and after the murder of her son Koby by Palestinian terrorists. The book touched thousands and continues to do so. It was a winner of the National Jewish Book Award in 2004. I had the honor of being the publicist for this book when it was released.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Sherri has shared some thoughts in The Times of Israel on how to be of assistance to the mourning families.  While working with Sherri I quickly learned that she is a wise woman and her ideas are worth reading and sharing.

A few excerpts:

“The grieving families no doubt are receiving a lot of help right now. But eventually that help will go away. The families will be left alone. Stay with them for the long run.”

“I would give anything not to have learned the vital importance of loving words, helpful deeds and the embrace of community. But I hope my experience can provide guidance that will help ease the pain of others.”

“Keep calling. Don’t tell the person that they should call you if they need you. You are responsible for calling them. You are there to support them. Don’t expect anything back from them.”

“Don’t ask them if they need anything. Say, I will be by on Monday to take you to the doctor or to bring you a meal or to help you with the wash.”


A Helpful Seminar from the Jewish Book Council

Yesterday I was a guest at the Jewish Writers Seminar: Writing for Adult Readers held by the Jewish Book Council in NYC.

I have attended all sorts of seminars, workshops and publishing universities over the years. This JBC event was one of the useful events.  The panels included agents, editors, authors and publicists.  The information shared was, for the most part, the information I find so many authors need. I wish more authors were able to hear this information before they set out on their publishing journey.

The audience was made up of authors, some published and some not yet published. They asked good questions & the answers were usually spot on. There was very little fluff (OK, there was some….we are dealing with publishing here folks!).

Some helpful info:

– be part of a writing community, connect with other authors from your genre. Don’t be alone.

– Be an expert in the subject you are writing on: start speaking publicly and writing for the media on your topic, and don’t wait until your book is out to do it!