Book Prize: AAJR - Baron Prize Winner

Cheri Thompson Discussion


Congratulations Salo Baron Prize Winner

The American Academy for Jewish Research is pleased to announce the winner of its annual Salo Baron Prize for the best first book in Jewish studies published in 2014. The prize, including a $5,000 award presented at the annual luncheon at the AJS Conference, will honor:

Lital Levy, Poetic Trespass: Writing Between Hebrew and Arabic in Israel/Palestine, Princeton University Press

Poetic Trespass explores the fraught relationship of Arabic and Hebrew in the literature and culture of Israel/Palestine. Employing an eclectic methodology that combines close readings with critical theory, sociolinguistics, and intellectual history, Lital Levy shows how the cultural-political space produced through literary bilingualism, translation and the creative rewriting of Hebrew in dialogue with Arabic – which served as both model and foil for modern Hebrew Literature -- disrupts the norms that define language, identity and belonging in the State of Israel and allows for the transgressive migration of ideas across political and cultural boundaries.

Honorable Mention is awarded to: Julia Phillips Cohen, Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era, Oxford University Press.

The American Academy for Jewish Research ( is the oldest professional organization of Judaica scholars in North America.  Its membership represents the most senior figures in the field.

The Baron Prize honors the memory of the distinguished historian Salo W. Baron, a long-time president of the AAJR, who taught at Columbia University for many decades.  It is, according to Professor Gershon Hundert, current president of the AAJR, one of the signal honors that can be bestowed on a young scholar in Jewish studies and a sign of the excellence, vitality, and creativity in the field.