Sophie Brody Award

Sophie Brody Award
About the Sophie Brody Award This award is given to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. Past and current winners can be found here:

Administered by:

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Award and Frequency

A medal for the winner, as well as citations for selected honors books.

This award is given out on an annual basis.


Works for adults published in the United States in the preceding year will be eligible for the award.

Application Instructions

Contact the Committee Chair for instructions.

Contact Information

If you need more information, feel free to contact the ALA Library Reference Desk by telephone: 800-545-2433, extension 2153; fax: 312-280-3255; e-mail:; or regular mail: ALA Library, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795.

Selection Criteria

In the context of this award, Jewish literature will be defined as fiction, nonfiction, or poetry that has as its central purpose the exploration of the Jewish experience. The religious affiliation of the author will not be considered in the awarding of the medal or the honor books. In support of the stated purpose, the following criteria will be used to determine and select the winning title and any honor books:

  1. A book may be selected for at least one, and preferably more than one, of the following reasons:
    • It possesses exceptional literary merit.
    • It presents the many aspects of the Jewish experience through a lens that expands the reader's understanding.
    • It explores Jewish characters, settings, themes, philosophies, or other identifiably Jewish aspects through a literary context.
    • It broadens the understanding of the reader in regards to Jewish history, culture, and identity.
  2. Each book will be considered in relation to the general adult reader. Books requiring highly specialized knowledge for their use will not be eligible. Books will not be excluded on the basis of their unsuitability for younger readers. Books intended for a younger audience but which hold wide appeal for adults and meet the selection criteria may also be considered.
  3. Regarding Honor Books, the Sophie Brody Medal Committee must award the Brody Medal to at least one book annually. There are no requirements for honor books to be awarded if the committee decides that honor books are not appropriate in a given year. Honor books should be chosen based on the same criteria used for the medal winner.