Winner of the 2019 National Jewish Book Award
Author: The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies
Posted: January 29, 2020

2019 National Jewish Book Award winner

What We Talk About When We Talk About Hebrew (And What It Means To Americans), edited by Naomi Sokoloff and Nancy Berg is the winner of the 2019 National Jewish Book Award for best collection/anthology. The book includes a chapter by Professor Michael Weingrad on Hebrew writing in the United States.


"Cel­e­brat­ing the vital­i­ty of mod­ern Hebrew, this book address­es the chal­lenges and joys of being a Hebraist in Amer­i­ca in the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry. Togeth­er these essays explore ways to rekin­dle an inter­est in Hebrew stud­ies, focus­ing not just on what Hebrew means―as a glob­al phe­nom­e­non and long-lived tradition―but on what it can mean to Americans.


"The vol­ume fea­tures a diverse group of dis­tin­guished con­trib­u­tors, includ­ing Sarah Bunin Benor, Dara Horn, Adri­ana Jacobs, Alan Mintz, Han­nah Press­man, Adam Rovn­er, Ilan Sta­vans, Michael Wein­grad, Robert White­hill-Bashan, and Wendy Zier­ler. With live­ly per­son­al insights, their essays give fel­low Amer­i­cans a glimpse into the rich­ness of an excep­tion­al language."

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Professor Michael Weingrad


Professor of Judaic Studies, Michael Weingrad

Michael Weingrad is the author of American Hebrew Literature: Writing Jewish National Identity in the United States and the editor and translator of Letters to America: Selected Poems of Reuven Ben-Yosef.  His essays and reviews, on topics ranging from Israeli fantasy and science fiction to the Jews of Baghdad, have appeared in the Jewish Review of Books, Mosaic, and a range of other magazines and scholarly journals.  He has been a Fulbright Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Montague Burton Fellow in Jewish Studies at the University of Leeds, and a Harry Starr Fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard.  A selection of his recent writing can be found at

Professor Weingrad teaches courses listed under PSU departments of Judaic Studies, English, and Film. 

Learn more about Professor Weingrad: