Rabbi Sacks Book Prize 2023 Winners

November 28, 2023
book prize yu

The Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks-Herenstein Center has announced the 2023 winner and finalists of the Rabbi Sacks Book Prize, funded by a generous gift from the Rohr Family.

The $50,000 prize recognises a book published in 2023 which is deeply rooted in Jewish texts, reflecting Rabbi Sacks' broad appeal. The esteemed judging panel included Lady Elaine Sacks, Dr. Robert George, Dr. Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Dean Daniel Rynhold, and Dr. Shira Weiss. We congratulate all three authors whose books, diverse in genre and style, make impactful contributions to contemporary Jewish thought.

“Rabbi Sacks believed profoundly in the power of the written word,” said Dr. Erica Brown, Vice Provost for Values and Leadership at Yeshiva University and founding director of its Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks-Herenstein Center, when the prize was first announced. “Presenting a new literary award in his honour is an important recognition of his commitment to the flourishing of the Jewish bookshelf.” 

The Rabbi Sacks Book Prize has been awarded to Dr. Daniel Gordis for his book Impossible Takes Longer: 75 Years After Its Creation, Has Israel Fulfilled Its Founders' Dreams? (Ecco, 2023).

The two other finalists were Rabbi Dr. Raphael Zarum and Rabbi Dr. Alan Goshen-Gottstein.

In Questioning Belief: Torah and Tradition in an Age of Doubt (Koren Publishers, 2023) by Rabbi Dr. Raphael Zarum, Dean of the London School of Jewish Studies. Rabbi Dr. Zarum presented thorough, reasoned responses, based on Torah and tradition, to some of Judaism's most challenging questions of belief, science, and ethics.

In Covenant and World Religions: Irving Greenberg, Jonathan Sacks and the Quest for Orthodox Pluralism (The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization in association with Liverpool University Press, 2023) by Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein, Founder and Director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute. Rabbi Dr. Goshen-Gottstein analysed the theological and social views of Rabbi Sacks and Rabbi Greenberg, as they advocated to change how Judaism sees world religions.

The Yeshiva University Sacks-Herenstein Center for Values and Leadership has also released podcast episodes with each of the three authors. Click here to listen to the conversations.

daniel gordis book cover impossible takes longer
zarum book
alon goshen gottstein book cover

You can also read about the 2022 winners and finalists.