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Wasserman Prize.

The American Jewish Historical Society is pleased to announce this year's winner of the Wasserman Prize, awarded for the best article published in the 2018 volume of American Jewish History.

Jason Lustig, "Building a Home for the Past: Archives and the Geography of American Jewish History," 102, no. 3 (2018): 375-399.

The article's creative interrogation into how ideological differences, regional considerations, and administrative practicalities shaped the ways that scholars have and continue to produce American Jewish history speaks to the core goal of this prize. It asks the journal's readers to think about the pillars of the field and the broader materiality of historiography, as it demands all historians to pay attention to the forces that condition how we research the American Jewish past.

Honorable Mention: Judah Bernstein, "Preacher in Exile: Shemaryahu Levin and the Making of American Zionism, 1914-1919," 102, no. 3 (2018): 323-350.

This biographical excavation of the life and work of one preacher, Shemaryahu Levin, demonstrates the need for more in-depth research into the early years of American Zionism. As the article demonstrates, the movement took its shape in the early-twentieth century from many different voices, currents in American culture, and trends. Bernstein intervenes in the growing historiography on Zionism by raising questions about the role America played in shaping American Zionism.

Special Recognition: Ellen Eisenberg, "State of the Field: Jews and Others," 102, no. 2, (2018): 283-301.

While the committee only considered articles based on primary source and archival research for the prize, we nonetheless wanted to recognize the excellence of Ellen Eisenberg's article. Bringing together scholarship from the subfields of Jewish/African-American relations, whiteness studies, and immigration and ethnic history, this essay enjoins American Jewish historians to move "away from a black-white dichotomy and toward a multilateral approach to intergroup relations." Eisenberg also notes the importance of geography within this historiography, raising the profile of California-based studies that have proved especially likely to consider Jewish encounters with Mexican and Asian Americans, in addition to their relationships with African Americans.

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Publication:American Jewish History
Date:Apr 1, 2019
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