The second cohort of Sacks Scholars gets first view of Rabbi Sacks’ archives

July 8, 2024
Rabbi Sacks Archives at the National Library of Israel

The 2024-2025 cohort of Sacks Scholars, a programme established to further Rabbi Sacks’ teachings through innovative programming, has commenced with an immersive five-day learning experience in Jerusalem. Twenty distinguished Jewish educators, academics, and communal professionals gathered for this high-level retreat, marking the start of a year-long journey to cultivate a network of scholars inspired by Rabbi Sacks.

The retreat launched the programme, which includes ten monthly online seminars led by global leaders in Jewish education, academia, and politics. These sessions aim to deepen the scholars’ understanding of Rabbi Sacks’ philosophies and strategies for leadership in contemporary Jewish life.

Joined by Lady Elaine Sacks, the retreat was held at various venues in Jerusalem, including StandWithUs, the Lord Sacks Forest, and the National Library of Israel.

A highlight of the retreat was the cohort’s exclusive access to Rabbi Sacks’ personal archives, now housed at the National Library of Israel. These archives, currently being catalogued and not yet available to the public, include significant documents such as a letter in which Rabbi Sacks consulted with the Lubavitcher Rebbe regarding his candidacy for the Chief Rabbinate, a handwritten note from Prince (now King) Charles to Rabbi Sacks, and Rabbi Sacks’ meticulously scripted notes for his renowned speeches.

During the retreat, the scholars engaged in discussions on Rabbi Sacks’ Torah and philosophical teachings, exploring his unique approach to leadership. The sessions included moderated panel discussions on “Leadership in Difficult Times,” featuring Rabbi Doron Perez, whose son was tragically murdered by Hamas on October 7, and “The Challenges of Global Antisemitism,” with Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Israel’s special envoy for combating antisemitism.

Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, Director of Programming at The Rabbi Sacks Legacy, said: “Rabbi Sacks called for a Judaism engaged with the world, and the Sacks Scholars will develop new ways to meet this vital challenge. They join a growing global network of Sacks Scholars, following the trailblazing efforts of last year’s inaugural group, who answered the call to advance Rabbi Sacks’ teachings.”

Joanna Benarroch, Global Chief Executive of The Rabbi Sacks Legacy, added, “In equipping these scholars with tools to spread Rabbi Sacks’ teachings, we are not only perpetuating his legacy but also fulfilling his vision of empowering others to lead.”

Photo Gallery

second cohort of sacks scholars team photo group with elaine sacks
second cohort of sacks scholars are given insight from syma weinberg lionel rosenfeld daniel taub and joanna benarroch.jpeg
North American educators in Sacks Scholars cohort
Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon
Lord Sacks Forest
second cohort of sacks scholars team photo group discussion session with jonny lipczer
Rachelle Fraenkel and Rabbi Doron Perez e1720433851271
Chaya Cowen Sacks Scholars Retreat edited e1720433778401

Photo credit: Yacov Segal Photography