SAN DIEGO – The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has announced its selection for the 2011 Sophie Brody Medal, an annual honor bestowed by the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of RUSA.
The Sophie Brody Medal is funded by Arthur Brody and the Brodart Foundation and is given to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish Literature. Works for adults published in the United States in the preceding year are eligible for the award.
The winner and honor book were selected by the Sophie Brody Medal Committee, including members Carol Gladstein, chair; Jack Forman, San Diego Mesa College; Asia Gross, St. Charles City-County Library District; Andrea Kempf, Johnson County Community College; Edward Kownslar, Texas A&M University; Ellen Loughran, Pratt Institute; Kaite Mediatore Stover, Kansas City Public Library; Katharine Phenix, Rangeview Library District and Miriam Tuliao, The New York Public Library.
The 2011 selections are:
Winner: “The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time” by Judith Shulevitz (Random House)
This book explores the idea and the history of the Sabbath from many perspectives; its development and evolution since the birth of Judaism and Christianity, as well as how each religion has viewed the importance of the Sabbath. Shulevitz discusses how the concept of the Sabbath has played critical roles in religion, history, law and society. Incorporating her own perspectives and experiences with the Jewish Sabbath, she provides a fascinating and thoughtful exploration of the challenges of adhering to the laws of the Sabbath in the modern age.
Honor Book: “Homesick” by Eshkol Nevo (Dalkey Archive)
This novel is told from multiple points of view and set against the backdrop of the assassination of Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It focuses on the population of a small Israeli community where many individuals struggle to define the meaning of their lives. The residents include a family whose oldest son was killed in a military action, a Palestinian whose family lived in the village before Israeli independence, a young couple uncertain about their careers and their future together and a family trying to find accommodation between orthodoxy and secularism. Speaking on personal and universal levels “Homesick” addresses the yearning of the people on both sides of the conflict for an authentic home.
The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Not a member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, preconferences and other events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at www.ala.org/membership
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