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The Rabbi Sacks Book Prize

Call for Submissions

The Rabbi Sacks Book Prize will be awarded annually to an author of a recently published or about to be published work of Jewish ideas deeply sourced in Jewish texts, with broad appeal within and beyond the Jewish community. The author of the winning work will receive a $50,000 prize, generously funded by the Rohr Family. Additional funds will be used to help the author and two finalists promote their books through podcast interviews, marketing and book distribution.

The winner and two finalists will be determined by an independent committee in cooperation with The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust.

Submission Guidelines

The Rabbi Sacks Book Prize has been created to recognize a work of non-fiction that contributes significantly to the arena of modern Jewish thought and heightens awareness of issues pertaining to the intersection of faith and modernity. This award recognizes the creative contributions and scholarship of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks in responding to major trends and issues of the day through the lens of Jewish values and Jewish texts.

The Prize is an acknowledgement of a work that explores contemporary Jewish life and practice and stimulates public conversations of seminal importance to the field of Jewish thought. The manuscript should be publication ready and hold a 2023 copyright.

All entries are to be nominated and submitted by a recognized publishing house in both a Word document and a PDF file by May 1, 2023.

Questions? Contact Dr. Shira Weiss:

Who is Eligible?

Works by authors at any career stage are eligible for submission. Themes that qualify include but are not limited to:

  • Jewish thought and philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Jewish history
  • Jewish education
  • Jewish identity
  • Contemporary Jewish practice/sociology
  • Jewish peoplehood
  • Israel (from a Jewish rather than geo-political perspective)
  • Antisemitism

Textbooks are not eligible. Memoirs are only eligible if they present Jewish values and incorporate Jewish texts. Anthologies are eligible; the Prize will be given to the editor(s).

The book may be published by an academic press but should be accessible to a general audience. The book cannot be a new translation of an already translated work or a reissue of an older work. Only works whose authors are alive at the time of the award presentation will be considered.

A public presentation will recognize the efforts made by the author and publisher.


Manuscripts will be evaluated according to the following considerations:

  • Strong Jewish textual engagement
  • Originality
  • Profundity
  • Style/Elegance of Writing
  • Contribution to the field of Jewish thought
  • Universality of ideas
  • Intellectual/Spiritual accessibility
  • Relevance to readers
  • Analysis of important contemporary issue(s)
  • Alignment with Rabbi Sacks' values and beliefs


Submission: Manuscripts should be submitted by May 1, 2023.

Announcement: The winner and two finalists will be announced on November 30, 2023.

Finalists, who will be notified, must submit 6 hard copies to the committee.

If you would like to check the status of your submission, you may send an email to beginning in July.  Please include the title of the book. Only the books which have been chosen as finalists will be emailed their status, unless you reach out via email for a status update. We will not pro­vide feed­back as to why or why not spe­cif­ic books are cho­sen to be reviewed. Review copies become prop­er­ty of The Sacks-Herenstein Center and will not be returned, even at the author’s expense.

Rabbi Sacks Book Prize 2022 Winner and Finalists


The inaugural Rabbi Sacks Book Prize of $50,000 has been awarded to 

Becoming Elijah: Prophet of Transformation (Yale University Press, 2022) by Professor Daniel Matt.

A volume in Yale University Press’ Jewish Lives Series, Becoming Elijah traces how depictions of the prophet transform from the Bible to Rabbinic Judaism, Kabbalah and Jewish ritual. In a sophisticated, yet accessible manner, Matt, a scholar of Kabbalah, brings the prophet to life as he comprehensively chronicles the diverse references to Elijah from history and faith traditions. He explains how Elijah fills a need for hope and for justice; though his identity is variable, it is shaped by an ethical imperative that continues to inspire. 

To listen to a podcast conversation between Dr. Shira Weiss and Professor Daniel Matt about Becoming Elijah, click here
To purchase the book click here


A Guide for the Jewish Undecided: A Philosopher Makes the Case for Orthodox Judaism (Koren, 2022) by Professor Sam Lebens. 
To listen to a podcast conversation between Dr. Shira Weiss and Professor Sam Lebens about 
A Guide for the Jewish Undecidedclick here

To purchase the book click here.

Care and Covenant: A Jewish Bioethic of Responsibility (Georgetown University Press, 2022) by Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner. 

Care and Covenant

To listen to a podcast conversation between Dr. Shira Weiss and Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner about 
Care and Covenant: A Jewish Bioethic of Responsibilityclick here.
To purchase the book click here.

We congratulate all three authors whose books, diverse in genre and style, make impactful contributions to the field of contemporary Jewish thought.

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