2023 BIAJS Book Prize Results
We are pleased to announce the results of the 2023 BIAJS book prize. This year there are two special mentions and one winner:WINNER: Jan Rybek, for Everyday Zionism in East-Central Europe: Nation-Building in War and Revolution, 1914–1920 (Oxford University Press). 

The judging panel stated that “This deeply researched and highly original study draws on an impressive range of archival sources across eight languages and deftly traces the everyday practices through which Zionism came to have meaning in Jewish lives in east-central Europe during the First World War. The book tells an unfamiliar story, one involving a strikingly broad range of historical actors, from school students in Prague to rabbis in Łódź, and from teachers in Wilno to workers in Warsaw. In doing so, it chronicles how Zionism came to be a major feature of Jewish life in east-central Europe, not just at the level of ideology, but above all, in everyday practices and complex interactions with non-Zionists. Truly, this is a social history of Zionism par excellence. It is also a brilliant and profound contribution to Jewish Studies.”

SPECIAL MENTION: Jaclyn Granick, for International Jewish Humanitarianism in the Age of the Great War (Cambridge University Press).

The judging panel stated that “This is a meticulously researched book, drawing from a wealth of international archives, which sets the story of Jewish humanitarianism into a truly global context. Jaclyn’s pioneering study places a new spotlight on the Great War as a tumultuous and devastating episode for European Jewry, but also one which served as a catalyst for the internationalisation of Jewish humanitarian causes and organisations. Perceptive, expansive and transnational in scope, this volume makes a truly significant contribution to modern Jewish history and to the history of the Great War.”

SPECIAL MENTION: Emily Michelson, for Catholic Spectacle and Rome’s Jews: Early Modern Conversion and Resistance (Princeton University Press).

The judging panel stated that “This excellent book shows vividly and cogently that the spectacle of Catholic conversionary sermons in early modern Rome can only be understood if the Jews who were forced to attend them are seen as agents, whose resistance co-shaped the church’s endeavour to reinvent itself as a global power. The book’s interdisciplinary perspective links church history to Jewish history, theological to social dimensions, and is exemplary in its attention to the porous boundaries between speech and violence. Superbly written, the book invites readers to reflect on the implications of such blurred boundaries in our times too.”

Congratulations to all three! And thank you to everyone who served on the judging panel or submitted work to this year’s competition.

The 2024 BIAJS book prize competition will focus on Jewish studies work related to ancient and medieval contexts. Details of the competition will announced in the autumn.

Previous winners of the BIAJS Book Prize

The 2022 Winner:

Nick Posegay (Cambridge), for Points of Contact: The Shared Intellectual History of Vocalisation in Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew (Open Book Publishers, 2021). Full details about the book are available here.

Honourable mention:

Joan Taylor (KCL), for Philo of Alexandria, On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (Brill, 2020). Full details about the book are available here.

The 2021 Winners:

  • Brendan McGeever (Birkbeck), for Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Full details about the book are available here.

Honourable mentions:

Rebecca Clifford (Swansea University), for Survivors: Children’s Lives After the Holocaust (Yale University Press, 2020). Full details about the book are available here.

Hannah Ewence (University of Chester), for The Alien Jew in the British Imagination, 1881-1905: Space, Mobility and Territoriality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). Full details about the book are available here.

The 2020 Winners:

  • Dr Lindsey Askin (University of Bristol), for Scribal Culture in Ben Sira published with Brill in 2018. Full details about the book are available here.
  • Professor Sacha Stern (University College London), for The Jewish Calendar Controversy of 921/2 CE published with Brill in 2019. Full details about the book are available here.


The 2019 Winner:

  •  Dr Seth Anziska (UCL), Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo published by Princeton University Press. Full details about the book are available here.

Yulia Egorova awarding the 2019 BAJS Book Prize to Seth Anziska and a special mention for Shirli Gilbert for “From Things Lost: Forgotten Letters and the Legacy of the Holocaust”