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 considered if all other eligibility criteria are met. For non-fiction, eligibility may include works related to Jewish history, scholarship, culture or contemporary Jewish concerns.
The awards are presented annually for non-fiction and fiction in alternating years. The Winner receives a monetary prize of $100,000 and Finalists receive $5000 each.
In 2022, the Prize was extended to include works that have been translated into English. If a translated book is chosen as the Winner, the purse will be split 75/25 between the author and translator. The translator will be designated Translation Winner. If a translated book is chosen as a Finalist, the translator will receive $2500 and will be designated Translation Finalist.
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.
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.