International jury announced for the 2021 "Encounter" prize

Ukrainians and Jews have lived side-by-side on the territory of modern-day Ukraine for nearly two millennia. Separately and together, they weaved a tapestry that has left an indelible mark on Ukraine's cultural, linguistic, and historical legacy. Long periods of peaceful co-existence were also accompanied by years of tragedy, separating these two peoples through different historical experiences and narratives. Yet as the twenty-first century progresses and as Ukraine and Israel shape their identities as independent states, shared threads remain, giving rise to a new understanding of the past.

In December 2019, the Canadian charitable non-profit organization Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, in cooperation with Ukraine's NGO "Publishers Forum" (Lviv, Ukraine), announced a new initiative entitled "Encounter: The Ukrainian-Jewish Literary Prize ™."

The prize aims to build on the common experiences of Ukrainians and Jews over the centuries, expressed in the written word. The "Encounter" prize is awarded annually to the most influential work in literature and nonfiction (in alternate years) that fosters Ukrainian-Jewish understanding, helping solidify Ukraine's place as a multi-ethnic society.

The first "Encounter" prize was awarded in September 2020 in the fiction category (prose, poetry and drama). This year the prize will be awarded in the nonfiction category (histories, biographies, memoirs, journalism, essays). The winner will be named in September 2021 at the 28 Lviv International BookForum.

The Ukrainian Jewish Encounter and Ukraine's NGO "Publishers Forum" are pleased to announce the 2021 international jury for the "Encounter" prize in the category of nonfiction.

Mykola Riabchuk (Ukraine, Jury Head)

Mykola Riabchuk is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Honorary President of the Ukrainian PEN Centre. He has written several books and many articles on civil society, state and nation building, nationalism, national identity, and post-Communist transition in Eastern Europe. Five of his books were translated into Polish, and one into French (De la petit Russie á l'Ukraine, 2003), German (Die reale und die imaginierte Ukraine, 2005), and Hungarian (A ket Ukraina, 2015). His work was distinguished with a number of national and international awards and fellowships, including the Fulbright Program (1994, 2016), the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program (2011), and The European Institutes for Advanced Study (EURIAS) Fellowship Programme (2013). His most recent books published in English are Eastern Europe since 1989: Between the Loosened Authoritarianism and Unconsolidated Democracy (Warsaw, 2020), and At the Fence of Metternich's Garden: Essays on Europe, Ukraine, and Europeanization (Stuttgart, 2021).

Liliana Hentosh (Ukraine, Jury Member)

Liliana Hentosh is a Candidate of Historical Sciences and Senior Research Fellow at the Ivan Franko Lviv National University's Institute of Historical Research, as well as scientific secretary of the editorial board of the scientific journal Ukraina Moderna. She is the author of several dozen articles that have appeared in Ukrainian, Polish, English and German about the history of the Catholic and Greek Catholic Churches and interfaith relations in the first half of the 20th century. Hentosh also penned the 2006 monograph on the "Eastern policy" of the Vatican, The Vatican and the Challenges of Modernity: Eastern European Policy of Pope Benedict XV and the Ukrainian-Polish Conflict in Galicia (1914-1923). For many years she has researched the life and work of Andrei Sheptytsky, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. She authored a monograph on Sheptytsky's activities in the interwar period Andrei Sheptytsky, 1923-1939: A Test of Ideals (2015), and is currently working on a book about Metropolitan Sheptytsky during World War II, which will include a section on Sheptytsky and the Holocaust. In 2021, a popular work about Metropolitan Sheptytsky, El Metropolita Andrey Sheptytsky, paginas de su vida (1985-1944), will be published in Spanish. She teaches summer school at Lviv's Ukrainian Catholic University about the socio-political thought of Metropolitan Sheptytsky, as well as his financial and economic activities.

Marko Robert Stech (Canada, Jury Member)

Marko Robert Stech is a writer, literary scholar, and specialist in the history of culture. He holds a PhD in Slavic Studies and Master of Applied Science (engineering) from the University of Toronto. He works at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (University of Alberta‒University of Toronto). He is Executive Director of CIUS Press and Project Manager of the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine and the Hrushevsky Translation Project. He is the author of the award-winning novel Voice (Holos), the book of essays Essays in Search of Sources (Eseistyka i poshukakh dzherel), an experimental novel The Undying (Nevmyrushchi), and numerous essays. He is the compiler of the literary legacies of Ihor Kostetsky, Iurii Kosach, and Emma Andiievska; and a compiler and editor of an anthology of Ukrainian short prose translated into Czech. Stech is the author and producer of over 100 episodes of the Ochyma Kultury («Очима культури») TV series on Kontakt TV (OMNI TV, Canada). His writings have been awarded the Koshelivets International Literary Prize in 2008 (Israel), the Gogol International Literary Prize in 2009 (Ukraine), and the Hlodoskyi skarb International Prize in 2014 (Ukraine).