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Awards and Fellowships

The American Jewish Historical Society encourages interested students and scholars to apply for the following prizes and fellowships. The AJHS Academic Council is responsible for all selections.


AJHS Announces a New Award Title: The Henry L. Feingold Graduate Student Essay Prize (formerly the Wasserman Student Essay Award)

The Henry L. Feingold Graduate Student Essay Prize is awarded biennially for the best paper submitted by a graduate-level researcher and includes a $500 award. At the discretion of the editors, the prize essay may also be considered for publication in the Society's scholarly journal, American Jewish History. The submission deadline for the 2012-2014 period is June 3, 2014. Please submit essays to

Ruth B. Fein Prize

The American Jewish Historical Society awards the Ruth B. Fein Prize, a travel stipend established in honor of a past president of the Society, to a graduate student to help undertake research at the American Jewish Historical Society. The award is up to $1,000. The deadline for submission is April 25, 2014. To apply, please send a 2-page description of your project, a letter of support from your graduate mentor and a budget for your travel expenses to

The Sid and Ruth Lapidus Fellowship

The Sid and Ruth Lapidus Fellowship supports one or more researcher(s) wishing to use the collections of the American Jewish Historical Society. Preference is given to researchers interested in 17th and 18th century American Jewish history. At the discretion of the awards committee, the fellowship funds may also be applied to subsidizing publication of a first book in the field of American Jewish history, again with preference given to works in early American Jewish history. The available amount for the award(s) is $6,000 annually. Submission date: April 25, 2014. Please send proposals of up to 5 pages to:

Pokross/Curhan Family Fund Prize

The American Jewish Historical Society awards the Pokross/Curhan Family Fund Prize, a grant established in honor of two past presidents, David R. Pokross (1976-1979) and Ronald C. Curhan (1990-1993), to an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing an academic degree at an accredited academic institution to help undertake research using the collections held at American Jewish Historical Society New England Archives at 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116. The award is $1,000. The deadline for submission is April 25, 2014. To apply, please send a 2-page description of your plan to produce an essay, thesis, dissertation, documentary, exhibition or other form of public program on an aspect of the American Jewish experience; and a letter of support from an undergraduate or graduate mentor to

Saul Viener Book Prize

The Saul Viener Prize ($1,000) is awarded biannually, with the current competition covering books published in 2013 and 2014. Only books that focus on the history of the Jews in America are considered. Works in literature, sociology, political science, and other fields do not qualify, nor do historical studies of Jews outside of the United States. In order to be considered, books have to be original work in English and not anthologies or other edited works. Books that were supported by or are projects of the AJHS are not eligible for consideration. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2015. Books that fit these criteria should be referred to the committee. Please send author, title, publisher and publication date to

Please submit 4 copies of books that fit these criteria to:

Saul Viener Book Prize
American Jewish Historical Society
The Center for Jewish History
18 W. 17th St.
New York, NY 10011

See below for past recipients.

Wasserman Essay Prize

The Wasserman Essay Prize is awarded the best article published in a volume (4 issues) of the journal American Jewish History. The award is in the amount of $125.

Lee Max Friedman Award Medal

The Lee Max Friedman Award Medal was established in memory of a past Society president and is awarded by the American Jewish Historical Society to any individual, group or association deemed to have rendered distinguished service in the field of American Jewish history. Distinguished service includes special achievements in research, scientific or popular writing, teaching, encouragement and/or support of specific historical projects, or in the field of mass communication. The Friedman Medal is awarded biennially.

See below for past recipients.

The Saul Viener Book Prize, Current and Past Recipients

The American Jewish Historical Society Announces the Saul Viener Book Prize for 2011-2012

Daniel Greene, The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism: The Menorah Association and American Diversity (Indiana University Press, 2011)

The American Jewish Historical Society is pleased to award the biennial Saul Viener Book Prize in American Jewish History to Daniel Greene's The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism: The Menorah Association and American Diversity. Greene's book was deeply researched and engagingly written, and it told a story that will transform the way scholars think about cultural pluralism. Greene persuasively demonstrates that the roots of cultural pluralism can only be fully understood within the social and cultural context of the elite Jewish Menorah Association with which Horace Kallen was so deeply involved and that offered opportunities for Jewish college students to develop rich Jewish cultural interests. Greene illustrates the aspirations, achievements, and limitations of an organization that ultimately lacked the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of American Jewish college students, but that nevertheless influenced the evolution of American Jewish culture as a harbinger of the multiplicity of expressions of Jewish identity today, where we see the full flowering of Kallen's vision of cultural pluralism. In this way, Greene provides critical insights for contemporary scholars about the possibilities and challenges of creating a lasting Jewish cultural renaissance in the U.S.

Hasia Diner, We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence After the Holocaust, 1945-1962 (2009-2010)

Marjorie N. Feld, Lillian Wald: A Biography (2007-2008)

Eric Goldstein, The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity (2005-2006 co-recipient);

Cheryl Lynn Greenberg, Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century.(2005-2006 co-recipient)

Also recognized as "runner up" was:

Tony Michels, A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York. (2005-2006)

Deborah Dash Moore, G I Jews: How WWII Changed a Generation (2004)

Jonathan D. Sarna, American Judaism: A History (2004)

Gerald Sorin, Irving Howe: A Life of Passionate Dissent (2001-2002)

Jeffrey Shandler, While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust (1999-2000)

Jeffrey S. Gurock and Jacob J. Schacter, A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community : Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism (1997-1998 co-recipient)

Daniel Soyer, Jewish Immigrant Associations and American Identity in New York, 1880-1939 (1997-1998 co-recipient)

Ewa Morawska, Insecure Propserity: Small-Town Jews in Industrial America, 1890-1940 (1995-1996)

Deborah Dash Moore, To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A. (1993-1994)

Naomi Wiener Cohen, Jews in Christian America: the Pursuit of Religious Equality (1991-1992)

Lee Max Friedman Award Medal Recipients

The following have received the Lee Max Friedman Award Medal

Isidore S. Meyer*1960
Jacob R. Marcus*1961
David de Sola Pool*1962
Salo W. Baron*1963
Bertram W. Korn*1964
Maurice Jacobs*1966
Abram Kanof, MD*1967
Leon J. Obermayer* 1968
Philip D. Sang1970
Abram V. Goodman 1974
Oscar I. Janowsky* 1975
Abraham J. Karp 1976
Moshe Davis* 1977
Abram L. Sachar*1978
Malcolm H. Stern* 1979
David R. Pokross1980
John L. Loeb, Jr.1981
Harry Starr* 1982
Saul Viener 1983
Rosemary E. Krensky* 1984
Oscar Handlin1985
Hyman J. Cohen* 1992
Bernard Wax 1992
Henry L. Feingold 1994
Moses Rischin 1995
Arthur Goren 2000
Jeffrey Gurock and Marc Lee Raphael2002
Naomi W. Cohen2004
Gerald Sorin2006
Leo Hershkowitz2008
Pamela S. Nadell2010
Deborah Dash Moore2012


Awards Sponsored By Other Organizations

2010-2011 Research Fellowships for Historians: Call for Applications

The Gilder Lehrman Institute invites doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars, college and university faculty at every rank, and independent scholars to apply for research fellowships in American history.

Research must be completed within one year of the award.

Past fellows have worked in the archives of the Gilder Lehrman Collection, the New-York Historical Society, the Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, among others.

To read the complete guidelines and begin your application, visit

Questions about GLI Research Fellowships?


American Jewish Archives Fellowship Programs

The Fellowship Programs of the American Jewish Archives currently offer six different programs to doctoral and post-doctoral researchers for one or two month stays at the Archives. For more information, write to the Director of the American Jewish Archives, 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 54220, or email

The Marcus Center Fellowship Program

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives is pleased to invite applications to its annual Fellowship Program. The Marcus Center's Fellowship Program provides recipients with month long fellowships for research and writing at The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, located on the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Fellowship stipends will be sufficient to cover transportation and living expenses while in residence in Cincinnati.

Applicants for the Marcus Center Fellowship program must be conducting serious research in some area relating to the history of North American Jewry. Typically, Marcus Center Fellowships will be awarded to post-doctoral candidates, Ph.D. candidates who are completing dissertations, and senior or independent scholars.

Applicants must submit a fellowship application (see below) together with a five-page (maximum) research proposal that outlines the scope of their project and lists those collections at the American Jewish Archives that are crucial to their research. Applicants should also submit two letters of support, preferably from academic colleagues. For graduate and doctoral students, one of these two letters must be from their dissertation advisor.

You may download a fellowship application from the AJA's website:, or request to have one sent via postal mail. All inquiries and application materials should be forwarded to:

Mr. Kevin Proffitt
The Director of the Fellowship Program
c/o The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45220-2408

Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture

The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture was founded in 1965 with reparation funds from the government of what was then West Germany. The mandate was the reconstruction of Jewish cultural life around the world after the Shoah. The mandate of the Foundation has since been revised to reflect these new emphases in the Foundation's work - the development of the social capital of the Jewish people, its communal, cultural, and professional leadership, and the fostering of Jewish connectedness globally, including the propagation of the Hebrew language. Three fellowship programs are currently offered: 1) The Doctoral Scholarship Program helps train qualified individuals for careers in Jewish scholarship and research, and to help Jewish educational, religious, and communal workers obtain advanced training for leadership positions. 2) The International Fellowship in Jewish Studies and Jewish Culture assists well-qualified individuals in carrying out an independent scholarly, literary or art project, in a field of Jewish specialization, which makes a significant contribution to the understanding, preservation, enhancement or transmission of Jewish culture. 3) The International Community Service Scholarship Program assists well-qualified individuals to train for careers in the rabbinate, Jewish education, social work, and as religious functionaries in Diaspora Jewish communities in need of such personnel.

Visit for information and to apply.

Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Fund for Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships in Jewish Studies

The Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Fund for Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships in Jewish Studies encourages scholarly research, publication and teaching in the various disciplines of Jewish studies. Established in 1960, the fund has awarded fellowships to over 600 scholars, including many leaders in the field.

The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships in Jewish Studies are made for one academic year and are given for the final stages of completing an English-language dissertation, typically in the fifth year of study. Applicants should have completed all doctoral requirements, except for the completion of their thesis, and must show evidence of being able to complete their thesis within the fellowship year.

Visit for information and to apply.

Chicago Jewish Historical Society's Doris Minsky Memorial Fund Prize

The Doris Minsky Memorial Fund of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society seeks manuscripts in the field of Chicago Jewish history for periodic publication in its monograph series.

Guidelines for Submission:

  1. Anyone may submit a manuscript.
  2. The manuscript must deal with an aspect of Jewish history of the Chicago metropolitan area. It must be essentially a worthwhile contribution to the field.
  3. Manuscripts should normally be between 12,000 and 32,000 words in length (approximately 30 to 80 typewritten, double-spaced pages), although exceptions may be made in this regard.
  4. For annual deadline information, please contact the Chicago Jewish Historical Society.
  5. Manuscripts should be completed work, typed, double-spaced, and essentially ready for publication.
  6. The Chicago Jewish Historical Society committee of readers will be solely responsible for selecting the manuscript to be published.
  7. Resulting publications will be copyrighted by the Chicago Jewish Historical Society and distribution and sales governed by the CJHS. While no royalties can be paid for these researched contributions, the author of the selected manuscript will receive an award of $1,000.00. Publication and distribution costs will be assumed by the CJHS. The winning entrant(s) agree(s) to assign to the Chicago Jewish Historical Society all copyrights to the work.
  8. Manuscripts not published in a particular year may be resubmitted for later consideration.
  9. No manuscripts can be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed envelope bearing sufficent postage.
  10. Individuals submitting manuscripts will be sent timely notification of the committee's decisions.
  11. Submit manuscripts to: Chicago Jewish Historical Society, Doris Minsky Memorial Fund, 618 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605.
  12. Questions may be addressed to the Chicago Jewish Historical Society in writing or by telephone at (312) 663-5634.

Summer Research Fellowship at the Feinstein Center, Temple University

The Feinstein Center, located on the campus of Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, is pleased to announce its annual summer fellowship--a grant of $2500--available to graduate students and untenured faculty members. Full details and specifications are available on the Feinstein Center web site.

National History Day Award

This $200.00 award encourages high-school students to study and write on aspects of American Jewish history, and is awarded yearly by the Society to the student whose work most merits commendation, as judged by the National History Day Awards Committee. Information regarding National History Day and the National History Day Award may be obtained by contacting National History Day at or through their website at

The Center, in cooperation with the American Jewish Committee, invites submissions for the Center's Publication Prize. The prize is a $5,000.00 grant towards the cost of publication by a university press for a dissertation relating to American Jewish history from the Colonial period to the present. Special consideration will be given to topics bearing on the Jewish history of Philadelphia and its environs. Applicants must have completed their dissertation at a recognized university. For additional information contact The Center for American Jewish History, Temple University, 1616 Walnut Street, Suite 2106, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Tel. (215) 732-4000. Fax (215) 732-0963.

The Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association is awarding a $1,000 prize for the best student research paper in the field of Rhode Island Jewish history. Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate in this new competition. Essays may deal with any facet of the history of Jews in Rhode Island, including religion, arts, humanities, social and natural sciences.

Essays should be approximately 20 to 40 pages (double-spaced), including endnotes to document primary and secondary sources. Ideally, the essays should make use of materials in the Association's archives and refer to articles in the Association's journal, The Notes. The winning essay will be published in The Notes, and its author will receive $1000.

Each student is requested to submit two hard copies of his/her paper. There should be two copies of the title page. Only one copy, which is removable, should bear the author's name and university affiliation. Essays written since September 1, 2000 may be submitted.

They should be submitted to the Student Research Competition,c/o Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association, 130 Sessions Street, Providence, RI 02906. Additional information can be obtained from the competition's coordinator, Dr. George M. Goodwin: telephone (401) 861-0636 or email

The grant is awarded annually for completion of a project in Southern Jewish history and culture. The grant does not fund research, travel or writing but focuses on completion and publication of a project in its final stage. Contact the office for additional information.

Amount of grant: $3,000 among one or several projects

Grants Chairperson
The Southern Jewish Historical Society
P.O. Box 5024
Atlanta, Georgia 30302-5024
Sponsor: The Southern Jewish Historical Society

In addition to the above, the Southern Jewish Historical Society sponsors an annual Student Essay Contest which awards $500 for the best paper dealing with Southern Jewry by a current graduate student, and $250 for the best paper by an undergraduate college student. Submissions should focus on a subject related to Southern Jewish history, use primary sources and appropriate documentation. Papers should be typed double-spaced. The submitter's name, address and academic affiliation (graduate or undergraduate) must appear only on the cover letter and not in the body of the paper. Inquiries should be directed to Essay Contest Chairperson at the address above.

For more information contact the Southern Jewish Historical Society.



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This section was last updated on September 17, 2014
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