100 Greatest Works of Modern Jewish Literature

In 2001, the Yiddish Book Center convened a panel to identify the “100 Greatest Works of Modern Jewish Literature” – written in Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, German, Spanish, English and other languages. Our plans are to integrate them into the mainstream of contemporary Jewish education.

The seven distinguished judges compiling the list are: Glenda Abramson of Oxford University; Robert Alter of the University of California at Berkeley; Hillel Halkin of Zichron Ya-akov, Israel; Gershon Shaked of Hebrew University in Jerusalem; Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times; Ilan Stavans of Amherst College; and Ruth Wisse of Harvard University. The project coordinator is Dr. Jeremy Dauber, a former Yiddish Book Center intern, a recent Rhodes Scholar, and Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture at Columbia University.

Deliberations began in the spring of 2000 and concluded in December 2001. The Center’s president, Aaron Lansky, describes the results as “a fascinating, challenging, sometimes surprising list with books ranging from Mendele to Maus.” Professor Ruth Wisse, author of The Modern Jewish Canon, says that the final list reflects “a mighty literature.”