Journalists book wins prestigious literary award

Journalist Gal Beckerman has won the $100,000 Jewish Book Council’s Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for his 2010 book, “When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry.”

The prize recognizes the important role of emerging writers in examining the Jewish experience. The award of $100,000 — one of the largest literary prizes in the world — honors a specific work as well as the author’s potential to make significant contributions to Jewish literature.

Beckerman’s book — his first — is a comprehensive chronicle of the history of the Soviet Jewry movement. Beckerman, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is an opinion editor at The Forward.  

The runner-up is Oxford University lecturer Abigail Green, for her biography, “Moses Montefiore:  Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero.” She received a $25,000 prize.

The authors will be honored at an awards ceremony April 11 in Jerusalem.