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Yiddish Book Center Shortlisted for The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019



The Yiddish Book Center announced  that it has been shortlisted for The 2019 London Book Fair International Excellence Awards in the category of The Literary Translation Initiative Award. The awards, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association, celebrate publishing success in seventeen categories and represent the best publishing ambassadors, innovative publishing, and ground-breaking initiatives in the industry.


“We are thrilled to learn that the Yiddish Book Center has been shortlisted for the London Book Fair’s 2019 International Excellence Award for The Literary Translation Initiative Award. Our Fellowship for Emerging Yiddish Literary Translators, now in its seventh year, has trained more than 60 translators, and is bearing fruit with an ever-growing number of book-length translations. With so few Yiddish titles yet translated, the shortlist is a recognition of our efforts to bring these forgotten treasures to English readers around the world,” said Aaron Lansky, Yiddish Book Center founder and president.


Jacks Thomas, director of The London Book Fair, commented, “The breadth of the sixth International Excellence Awards’ shortlist, with its impressive count of 26 countries, highlights how the global book industry is going from strength to strength. The nominees all showcase the diverse talent working in the publishing industry today, and I am thrilled to give them the international platform at the Book Fair to showcase their success.”


The Yiddish Book Center launched its Translation Initiative in 2012 with the goal of training and mentoring a new generation of literary translators and bringing newly translated works to publication through the Center’s imprint; subvention to academic presses; and partnering with publishers.


The LBF International Excellence Awards ceremony, an invitation-only event, takes place on Tuesday, 12 March 2019, in London. Three members of the Yiddish Book Center staff will be on hand at the Book Fair and awards ceremony: Madeleine Cohen, director of translation and collections initiatives; David Mazower, bibliographer and editorial director; and Lisa Newman, director of communications.


The Yiddish Book Center will host a private reception in London in conjunction with the Book Fair. Short readings will be presented by Heather Valencia, translator of Mendel Mann’s Seeds in the Desert (February 2019), and Daniel Kennedy, translator of Hersh Dovid Nomberg’s Warsaw Stories (Fall 2019). The Yiddish Book Center Translation imprint is publishing both volumes.


For a complete list of 2019 London Book Fair General Excellence Shortlist recipients please visit


About the Yiddish Book Center: The Yiddish Book Center is a nonprofit organization working to recover, celebrate, and regenerate Yiddish and modern Jewish literature and culture. It was founded in 1980 by its current president, Aaron Lansky, then a 24-year-old graduate student of Yiddish literature. In the course of his studies Lansky realized that untold numbers of irreplaceable Yiddish books—the primary tangible legacy of a thousand years of Jewish life in Eastern Europe—were being discarded by American-born Jews unable to read the language of their own Yiddish-speaking grandparents. Some thirty years later, the organization has collected more than a million volumes, has established and strengthened Yiddish holdings at 600 university and research libraries around the world, and has posted the full texts of 12,000 titles online, making Yiddish one of the most accessible literatures in the world.

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