The Jewish Children’s Book Awards for Writing and Illustration 2022/2023
Green Bean Books and Jewish Book Week are delighted to announce the second year of The Jewish Children’s Book Awards, a prize for Jewish writers and illustrators living in the UK and Europe. The awards were established last year to discover inspiring and relevant stories for young children based on Jewish history, values and traditions. One author and one illustrator will each receive a separate £1000 prize and their work will be considered for publication by specialist Jewish children’s book publisher Green Bean Books. The awards will be judged by author and chair of the book selection committee of PJ Library Chris Barash; publisher of Green Bean Books Michael Leventhal; director of the Children’s and YA department at Kinneret-Zmora-Dvir Yael Molchadsky; award-winning author Eric Kimmel; and translator and author Lawrence Schimel.
Remarking on the second year of the prize, Michael Leventhal said “we were bowled over by the range and high quality of the entries that were submitted for the inaugural award and, as word spreads, we have high expectations for this year’s awards”. Director of Jewish Book Week Claudia Rubinstein added “the quality of the submissions for the first iteration was extremely high and the winners joined us for a fantastic, full-house workshop at our Family Day. We can’t wait to see the stories and illustrations that this year’s entrants come up with!”
On joining the jury this year, the renowned children’s author Eric Kimmel added: “I have always felt that Jewish writers have the duty to create stories for Jewish children as well as all children. If we don’t, who will?” Kimmel is the multi award-winning author of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, Gershon’s Monster and The Chanukkah Guest, among many other titles. On being a judge, Yael Molchadsky, who leads the Children’s and Young Adults (YA) department at leading Israeli publisher Kinneret-Zmora-Dvir, said: “Good literature needs nurture, and even more so in a world that is growing global, with one dominating language and culture. The nurture and celebration of a heritage that belongs to a small nation, is a cultural need and duty.” Chris Barash, author and chair of the book selection committee of PJ Library, summed up by saying “Children’s literature thrives through the encouragement and recognition of creative people entering the fields of authorship and illustration. This is the goal of the JCBA – to give voice to, and celebrate, fresh Jewish stories and the writers and artists who create them.”
The winners of the inaugural Jewish Children’s Book Awards were Sharon Spitz (illustration) for S.Y. Agnon and Carol Isaacs (writing) with Samira’s Stars. See more about the Jewish Children’s Book Awards 2021 here.