Julia Phillips Cohen and Sarah Abrevaya Stein win a National Jewish Book Award for “Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History”

January 14, 2014

On January 14, 2014, Julia Phillips Cohen and Sarah Abrevaya Stein won the National Jewish Book Awards’ Sephardic Culture Mimi S. Frank Award in Memory of Becky Levy for their book Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History, 1700-1950. The National Jewish Book Awards are the longest-running Jewish literature awards in North America.

Sephardi Lives; A Documentary History is a compilation of primary documents relating to Sephardi lives and experiences. The documents portray both well-known political events and the lives of regular people. They cover wide range of events and experiences, including Jews conscripted into the Ottoman army, Holocaust remembrances, and  Zionist leaders’ discrimination towards Sephardi Jews around the time of the founding of the state of Israel. Documents describe the ways Sephardim interacted with each other, with Ashkenazi Jews, and with the broader, non-Jewish populations.

Julia Phillips Cohen is Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History at Vanderbilt University, specializing in the history of the Ottoman Empire, Sephardi history, and Jews in Islamic lands. She holds a PhD in History from Stanford. In 2014, in addition to being awarded the Sephardic Culture Award, Cohen received a National Jewish Book Award for Writing Based on Archival Material for her book Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era.

Sarah Abrevaya Stein is Professor of History, Director of the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, and Viterbi Family Chair in Mediterranean Jewish Studies at UCLA. She received her BA from Brown University in 1993, her MA from Stanford University in 1995, and her PhD from Stanford in 1999. She is the author or editor of ten books, including Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce, which received the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. In 2022 she published Wartime North Africa, A Documentary History 1934-1950, the first collection of primary documents relating to the Holocaust and North Africa.



Belinfante, Randall C. “Sephar­di Lives: A Doc­u­men­tary His­to­ry, 1700 – 1950.” Jewish Book Council, December 22, 2014. https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/sephardi-lives-a-documentary-history-1700-1950.

“Biography.” Sarah Abrevaya Stein, accessed August 24, 2022. https://sarahastein.com/bio.

“Julia Phillips Cohen.” Vanderbilt College of Arts and Science, accessed August 26, 2022. https://as.vanderbilt.edu/history/bio/julia-cohen.

Keough, Matthew. “AHA Member Spotlight: Sarah Abrevaya Stein.” Perspectives on History, March 24, 2016. https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/march-2016/aha-member-spotlight-sarah-abrevaya-stein/.

“Meet historian, writer and educator, Sarah Abrevaya Stein!” Rachael Carnes, December 26, 2019. https://www.rachaelcarnes.com/meet-historian-writer-and-educator-sarah-abrevaya-stein/.






Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Cover of Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History, 1700-1950, edited by Julia Phillips Cohen and Sarah Abrevaya Stein.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Julia Phillips Cohen and Sarah Abrevaya Stein win a National Jewish Book Award for “Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History”." (Viewed on November 30, 2023) <https://jwa.org/thisweek/jan/14/2014/julia-phillips-cohen-and-sarah-abrevaya-stein-win-national-jewish-book-award>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now