The Director is charged with actively seeking candidates for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. This effort is coordinated with an international advisory committee whose members bear credentials in literature, Jewish culture and related fields of interest.
Advisors receive clear guidelines in keeping with the defined goals and criteria of the Prize. Submissions through any other channels are not permitted. Works that are translated into English may be eligible in the fiction category. For non-fiction, eligibility may include works related to Jewish history, scholarship, culture or contemporary Jewish concerns.
Four awards are given annually: to one Winner and to three Finalists. Finalists each receive a monetary prize of $5000. From 2007 through 2019, the Choice Award was presented to the runner-up to the Winner. As of 2020, the Choice Award is no longer given.
Candidates are not informed that they are being considered until just prior to publication of the shortlist. Final deliberation of the judges is scheduled for May, with public announcement shortly thereafter. Presentation of the awards takes place in New York for fiction and in Jerusalem for non-fiction.
Fiction and non-fiction awards are granted in alternate years. There are separate dedicated panels of fiction and non-fiction judges.
Judges are invited each year, and new names are added accordingly. The Rohr family has no input in the selection or judging process. All deliberations of the judges are strictly confidential.