Former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has been posthumously honored for his lifelong work

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks at the 2016 General Assembly of Jewish Associations of North America in Washington. Images by IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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Former British Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was posthumously awarded the Genesis Prize for Lifetime Achievement. At the award ceremony Monday evening in London, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said that the Jewish philosopher and theologian, who died in November 2020, “reached beyond the boundaries of different religions and brought down the Torah from heaven to the generation of smartphones.” The widow of honor, Lady Eileen Sacks, received the award, also known as the “Jewish Nobel Prize”.

According to the announcement, the award honors Sachs for his exceptional role in inspiring the next Jewish generation, for his lifelong distinguished work as a teacher of Jewish values ​​and as an advocate for interfaith and intercultural dialogue.

Herzog continued that Sachs was “fearlessly loyal to Orthodox Judaism,” just as he found a strategy under Jewish religious law to “involve all.” His entire being arose out of the “unique characteristics of British Judaism,” which Herzog described as moderate, open-minded, integrative, and adaptable.

Sachs is the tenth winner of the “Jewish Nobel Prize” and the second winner to be honored for his life’s work. The Briton was born in London on March 8, 1948 and studied philosophy at Cambridge. From 1991 to 2013 he was Chief Rabbi of the Association of Orthodox Churches in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. He received several awards, including the “Nobel Prize in Theology”, the Templeton Prize, in 2016. In 2005 he was honored by Queen Elizabeth II and in 2009 Baron Sacks made Aldgate in the City of London. He met several times with Pope Benedict XVI. together. In 2009 he became a member of the House of Lords.

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The annual award honors exceptional personalities for their outstanding professional performance, their contribution to greater humanity and their commitment to Jewish values. Previous winners include US director Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List), Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman and Israeli-American violinist Isaac Perelman.

KNA / akr / sky

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