Rabbi Sacks’ final work wins top prize at National Jewish Book Awards

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Rabbi Sacks’ final work wins top prize at National Jewish Book Awards

Former chief rabbi wrote 'Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times' before tragically passing away in November

Former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. Credit: Blake-Ezra Photography
Former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. Credit: Blake-Ezra Photography

Lord Jonathan Sacks’ final book has won the top prize at the National Jewish Book Awards.

The former Chief Rabbi, who died in November, scooped Book of the Year for his work, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times. Published in September, it draws on his own experiences, as well as texts by Jewish philosophers and scholars, to illustrate the impor­tance of shift­ing our focus to the col­lec­tive good.

This is the first time that Lord Sacks, who has been described as one of the great Jewish thinkers of the twen­ty-first century, has won the main book of the year award. Morality was also listed as the winner of the Mod­ern Jew­ish Thought and Experience category.

Lady Elaine Sacks said: “I know my late husband was very proud of Morality and would have been most honoured by this recognition from the Jewish Book Council. Though he had won many previous Jewish Book Awards, none of his books had been named as the Book of the Year. This shows the particular relevance of Morality in today’s increasingly complex world.

Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks with his wife Elaine
© Blake-Ezra Photography Ltd. 2013

“In the book, he aimed to show society a way forward, and one which prioritises the ‘We’ over the ‘I’ – something he passionately believed in throughout his life. Though he is much missed by our family and so many others, I am delighted the book has been recognised in this way.”


The National Jewish Book Awards were established by Jewish Book Council in 1950 in order to recognise out­stand­ing works of Jewish literature.

It is the longest-running North-American awards program of its kind.

The winners will be honoured on Monday, April 12, 2021 at 7:00PM ET at a virtual awards ceremony.

Click here to buy tickets.

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