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Kenneth D. Wald wins 2019 National Jewish Book Award

KENNETH D. WALD, UF Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science and the Samuel R. “Bud” Shorstein Professor Emeritus of American Jewish Culture & Society, has won a 2019 National Jewish Book Award, the Jewish Book Council announced Wednesday.

Kenneth D. Wald

Wald’s book, The Foundations of American Jewish Liberalism (Cambridge University Press), earned the Celebrate 350 Award, given to a nonfiction book about the Jewish experience in North America. The scholarly work examines how American Jews developed a distinct culture grounded in liberal values.

“It’s a tremendous, unexpected honor to be included among the distinguished authors recognized in this year’s National Jewish Book Awards,” Wald said. “The book itself owes much to the many UF and CLAS institutions that contributed to my work — the Department of Political Science, Center for Jewish Studies, Price Library of Judaica, among others.”

The Foundations of American Jewish Liberalism

Wald’s scholarship covers politics and religion in the United States, Great Britain and Israel. His previous books include Religion and Politics in the United States, which is in its eighth edition; The Politics of Cultural Differences: Social Change and Voter Mobilization Strategies in the Post-New Deal Period; and The Politics of Gay Rights.

Within UF’s Department of Political Science, Wald served as Chair from 1989 to 1994 and Graduate Coordinator from 1987 to 1989. He retired from teaching in 2016 after 33 years in the department.

The National Jewish Book Awards were first established in 1950 by the Jewish Book Council. Wald and the other 2019 winners will be honored at a ceremony and dinner in Manhattan on March 17, 2020.