Israeli author Etgar Keret has been named the recipient of the 2016 Charles Bronfman Prize.
The prize recognizes Keret’s work “conveying Jewish values across cultures and imparting a humanitarian vision throughout the world,” the prize said in an announcement Wednesday.
The annual prize, which carries a $100,000 award, goes to a Jewish humanitarian under age 50 whose work is informed and fueled by Jewish values and has broad, global impact that can potentially change lives.
Keret, 48, best known for his short stories, graphic novels, and film and television projects, has been one of Israel’s most popular writers since his first collection of short stories was published in 1992. Hailed as the voice of young Israel, Keret is one of the most successful Israeli writers worldwide. His work has been published in 46 countries and translated into 41 languages, including Farsi, and has been featured in outlets including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, The Paris Review and National Public Radio.
“We recognize that humanitarian work is increasingly taking new forms and this marks the first time The Charles Bronfman Prize has been awarded to an individual who uses storytelling as a medium through which he challenges and inspires the way people think about themselves and the world,” said Stephen Bronfman, Charles Bronfman’s son, on behalf of the prize founders and an international panel of judges. “Etgar Keret is an important international voice who speaks of the Jewish condition in contemporary terms and demonstrates that writers can play an influential and critical role within society.”
Charles Bronfman said he was “delighted” by the selection of Keret.
“In a dangerous world, Etgar Keret portrays people who have the capacity to empathize with the other, to hear the other, and to find compassion for the other,” Charles Bronfman said. “He counters dehumanization and inspires his readers with warmth and humor and original thinking. He encourages others to make the world a better place and translates the lessons of the Holocaust to a new generation.”
Previous recipients include Jay Feinberg, the founder and executive director of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation; Eric Rosenthal, the founder and executive director of Disability Rights International, and Rebecca Heller, co-founder and director of the International Refugee Assistance Project.