Perspectives on American Jewish Experiences

The Skirball Cultural Center invites submissions for its inaugural Howard I. Friedman Memorial Graduate Essay Prize (The Friedman Prize) for perspectives on American Jewish experiences.

The mission of the Skirball Cultural Center is guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. The Friedman Prize has been established in memory of the Skirball's Founding Chairman.

This year's essay topic is to reflect upon the relationship of Jewish values to American immigration experiences.

Graduate students at universities in the United States and those with a PhD awarded no earlier than 2019 are eligible. The graduate student with the winning essay will be awarded $5,000, and their submission will be published in the Skirball’s annual Oasis magazine. The winner will also be invited to participate in a public conversation as part of the Howard I. Friedman Memorial Lecture program at the Skirball during Jewish American Heritage Month.

Submissions should exhibit the highest standards of clarity, originality, engagement with recent scholarship, and accessibility to a broad reading audience. Essays should not be published at the time of submission. All submissions should include an abstract of 100–200 words and a bibliography (no footnotes). A lower limit of 2,500 words (excluding abstract) is optimal, and submissions of more than 4,000 words will not be considered.

Please submit your essay and CV in PDF format to by January 31, 2022 with the subject line “The Friedman Prize.” Make sure your essay title and word count are listed on your CV. To assure anonymous consideration, please do not include your name on the title page or in the body of the essay. The winning essay will be announced on this page on March 15, 2022.

Donor Support

The Howard I. Friedman Memorial Graduate Essay Prize is made possible by generous support from the following donors:

The Friedman Family
Morris Abram
Howard Bernstein
Alyce and Philip de Toledo
Dennis Holt
Jessie Kornberg and Aaron Lowenstein