Yeshiva University Unveils $50,000 Sacks Book Prize to Inspire Jewish Thought

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth smiles at a news conference as it is announced he has been awarded the 2016 Templeton Prize, London, March 2, 2016. photo by Paul Hackett
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Erica Brown, vice provost for values and leadership and inaugural director of the Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks-Herenstein Center for Values and Leadership, has announced the creation of Yeshiva University’s Sacks Book Prize, funded by the Rohr family.

“Rabbi Sacks believed profoundly in the power of the written word,” said Brown. “Presenting a new literary award in his honor is an important recognition of his commitment to the flourishing of the Jewish bookshelf.”

The Sacks Book Prize will be awarded to an author of a recently published or about to be published work (six months before or six months after publication) of Jewish ideas deeply sourced in Jewish texts, with broad appeal within and beyond the Jewish community.

The author of the winning work will be awarded a $50,000 prize. Additional funds will be used to help the author promote the book through events, marketing and book distribution.

The winner and two finalists will be determined by an independent committee in cooperation with the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust based in the United Kingdom. Lady Elaine Sacks will serve as one of the Prize’s five judges.

“We hope that, in reflecting Rabbi Sacks’ legacy, the prize will meaningfully deepen and broaden the impact of Jewish scholarship in the arena of contemporary Jewish thought. We’re honored to be part of its launch,” said Jewish philanthropist George Rohr.

Yeshiva University President Rabbi Ari Berman believes this prize will inspire new voices in print and honor the work of established authors: “We are thrilled to partner with the Rohr family who appreciate the influence and importance of books in shaping the Jewish future. With this prize, they will catalyze more inspired and inspiring Jewish writing and scholarship.” JNS.ORG



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