PHILADELPHIA - Dan Ben-Amos, professor of folklore and Asian and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Pennsylvania, has taken the top prize in the National Jewish Book Award's Sephardic Culture category for the book he edited entitled "Folktales of the Jews: Volume 1: Tales from the Sephardic Dispersion." The first in a five-volume series, it was also a finalist in the Scholarship category.
Ben-Amos, chair of Penn's graduate program in folklore and folklife, is the editor of a series of translations of folklore classics, primarily of the work of European scholars. He has published many articles on folklore theory and the history of the field. His books include "Sweet Words: Folktales from Benin," "Folklore Genres" and "Cultural Memory and the Construction of Identity," which he co-edited with Liliane Weissberg.
The Jewish Book Council gives the National Jewish Book Awards annually. Created in 1948, it is the longest running North American awards program of its kind in the field of Jewish literature and is recognized as the most prestigious.