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Israeli has poor showing at Eurovision

tel aviv (jta) |
Israel came in next-to-last at the annual Eurovision song contest.

Israel's representative to the May 21 competition in Athens, Black Hebrew community member Eddie Butler, won only four points for his ballad "Zeh Hazman," or "Now Is the Time."The low ranking means that Israel could be knocked out of next year's Eurovision at the semifinal stage.

A Ukrainian Jewish woman, Tanya Liberman, who performs under the name Tina Karol, came in seventh. Another Israeli performed at the contest on behalf of another country: Teenage chanteuse Liel was the lead singer for a six-member chorus put together by Switzerland, which came in 17th.

Book award to be chosen by the people

Readers have been invited to vote in the new Koret International Jewish Book Awards category: The People's Choice Awards.

Readers are invited to visit and note their choice for the best Jewish fiction work of the last decade. The deadline is June 14.

Judges will then review the selections and pick a list of finalists.

Readers may then go to a second time between August and November to vote for a winner, who will receive $5,000.

The People's Choice Award is the first Jewish book award of its type, according to a Koret spokesperson. Awards will be presented at ceremonies in San Francisco and New York in November to kickoff the national celebration of Jewish Book Month. All voters will be entered in a drawing for a $250 gift certificate from

The Koret International Jewish Book Awards are also cosponsored by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and Jewish Family & Life!

New prize for emerging Jewish writers

The largest literary prize ever for a Jewish book has just been announced.

Each year, the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature — worth $100,000 — will be presented to an emerging writer.

Recipients must have written a book "of exceptional literary merit" that stimulates an interest in themes of Jewish concern.

Submissions will not be accepted, but fiction and nonfiction books written in the English language will be considered in alternate years. Translations are acceptable.

For the fiction prize, short story collections are eligible for inclusion, as long as at least 75 percent of the contents were not previously published in periodicals or other books. The subject matter of nonfiction works is limited to history, biography, contemporary Jewish life, Jewish scholarship and current affairs.

The inaugural prize in 2007 will be awarded to a writer of fiction. The winner will be announced in the spring of that year, and an award ceremony will take place that May. The Jewish Book Council will oversee the award's administration.

Sami Rohr, who currently lives in Miami, made his fortune as a real estate developer in Bogota, Colombia, where he settled after World War II. His family foundation supports many causes, with a favorite being the Jewish community in the former Soviet Union.

For further information about the prize, contact Geri Gindea, director of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature at the Jewish Book Council, at (212) 786-5158, or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Reform award open to Jewish novelists

The Union for Reform Judaism is now accepting submissions for the 2006 Reform Judaism Prize for Jewish Fiction, an award designed to recognize and support the work of a promising author of a novel or story collection with a Jewish theme.

To qualify, the writer must have authored a novel or collection of short stories on a Jewish theme published in English in the United States or Canada between Jan. 1, 2005 and May 31, 2006. Also, the writer must not have received a major book award prior to the deadline.

Created in 2003, the inaugural prize was presented to Dara Horn, a 26-year-old Harvard doctoral student, for her novel "In the Image."

This year the Union for Reform Judaism has joined with the Koret Foundation, Jewish Family & Life! and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture to jointly promote Jewish book awards and bring more attention to Jewish literature. The Reform Judaism Prize for Jewish Fiction, the Koret International Jewish Book Awards and the Goldberg Prize for Emerging Writers of Jewish Fiction will be presented in November at a joint ceremony in San Francisco during Jewish Book Month.

In addition to receiving the cash award of $5,000, the winning author will be featured in Reform Judaism magazine.

Applications must be submitted by June 1, and will be accepted from both authors and publishers. Application forms and requirements may be found at, by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or calling (212) 650-4221.


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