|The Lord Sacks|
Sacks in 2006
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
September 1, 1991 – September 1, 2013
|Preceded by||Immanuel, Lord Jakobovits|
|Succeeded by||Ephraim Mirvis|
Member of the House of Lords
September 1, 2009 – November 7, 2020
|Born||March 8 1948|
Lambeth, London, England, United Kingdom
|Died||November 7 2020 (aged 72)|
London, England, United Kingdom
|Spouse||Elaine Taylor (m. 1970)|
|Children||Joshua, Dina and Gila|
Jonathan Henry Sacks, Baron Sacks (Hebrew: יעקב צבי זקס, romanized: Ya'akov Tzvi Zaks; March 8, 1948 - November 7, 2020) was a British Orthodox rabbi, philosopher, theologian, author, and public figure. He served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013. His Covenant & Conversation commentaries on weekly Torah portions continue to be read by thousands of people in Jewish communities around the world.
- 1 Life
- 2 Career
- 3 Philosophy and views
- 4 Published works
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- 9 Credits
While widely recognized as a leading representative of Judaism in interfaith events, Sacks found less acceptance among the different denominations of Judaism. His statement that "God is greater than religion," which he supported by arguing that a true relationship with God is available to all as an ongoing heritage from the covenant that God made with Noah and all his descendants, gained him praise from faiths beyond Judaism, but criticism within the Jewish communities. Sacks had a deep love for God and desired all humankind to know God better and thus create a harmonious society and world.
Jonathan Sacks was born in Lambeth, London on March 8, 1948, to textile seller Louis David Sacks (d. 1996) and Louisa ("Libby"; née Frumkin, 1919–2010), of a family of leading Jewish wine merchants. He grew up as one of four boys in the household, and his three brothers, Alan, Brian, and Elliot, would eventually make aliyah. His father "didn’t have much Jewish education."
Sacks commenced his formal education at St Mary's Primary School and at Christ's College, Finchley. He completed his higher education at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, where he gained a first-class honours degree (MA) in Philosophy. While a student at Cambridge, Sacks travelled to New York. He met with Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik and with Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson to discuss a variety of issues relating to religion, faith and philosophy. “Rabbi Soloveitchik had challenged me to think,” Rabbi Sacks wrote, “Rabbi Schneerson had challenged me to lead.” Schneerson urged Sacks to seek rabbinic ordination and to enter the rabbinate.
Sacks subsequently continued postgraduate study at New College, Oxford, and at King's College London, completing a PhD which the University of London awarded in 1982. Sacks received his rabbinic ordination from Jews' College and London's Etz Chaim Yeshiva.
Sacks married Elaine Taylor in 1970 and together they had three children: Joshua, Dina, and Gila. Sacks was a vegetarian, noting in response to a question after his lecture: "But I can't say very much about chickens because I'm a vegetarian and I stay milchik all the time."
Sacks became a Knight Bachelor in the 2005 Birthday Honours "for services to the Community and to Inter-faith Relations." He was made an Honorary Freeman of the London Borough of Barnet in September 2006. On July 13, 2009 the House of Lords Appointments Commission announced that Sacks was recommended for a life peerage with a seat in the House of Lords. He took the title "Baron Sacks, of Aldgate in the City of London," and sat as a crossbencher.
At the time of his death, in the words of Rabbi Abraham Levy, Sacks was the emeritus spiritual head of London’s Sephardi community, “Chief Rabbi to the English-speaking world.”
Sacks's first rabbinic appointment (1978–1982) was as the Rabbi for the Golders Green synagogue in London. In 1983, he became Rabbi of the prestigious Western Marble Arch Synagogue in Central London, a position he held until 1990. Between 1984 and 1990, Sacks also served as Principal of Jews' College, the United Synagogue's rabbinical seminary. Dr. Sacks was inducted to serve as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth succeeding Immanuel, Lord Jakobovits on September 1, 1991, a position he held until September 1, 2013.
In his installation address upon as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, formally carrying the title of Av Beit Din (head) of the London Beth Din, Sacks called for a Decade of Renewal which would "revitalize British Jewry's great powers of creativity." He said this renewal should be based on five central values: "love of every Jew, love of learning, love of God, a profound contribution to British society and an unequivocal attachment to Israel." Sacks said he wanted to be "a catalyst for creativity, to encourage leadership in others, and to let in the fresh air of initiative and imagination."
This led to a series of innovative communal projects including Jewish Continuity, a national foundation for Jewish educational programs and outreach; the Association of Jewish Business Ethics; the Chief Rabbinate Awards for Excellence; the Chief Rabbinate Bursaries, and Community Development, a national scheme to enhance Jewish community life. The Chief Rabbi began his second decade of office with a call to 'Jewish Responsibility' and a renewed commitment to the ethical dimension of Judaism.
After serving as Chief Rabbi for 22 years, he was succeeded by Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis on September 1, 2013.
In addition to serving as Chief Rabbi, Sacks held numerous appointments during his career including:
- Professor of Jewish Thought, Yeshiva University, New York (announced October 29, 2013).
- Professor of Judaic Thought, New York University, New York (announced October 29, 2013).
- Professor of Law, Ethics and the Bible at King's College, London (announced December 5, 2013)
- Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth (September 1, 1991 – September 1, 2013)
- Lecturer in moral philosophy, Middlesex Polytechnic, 1971–1973
- Lecturer, Jews' College London, 1973–82; director of its rabbinic facility, 1983–1990; Principal, 1984–1990
- Visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Essex, 1989–1990
- Sherman lecturer at the University of Manchester, 1989
- Riddell lecturer at Newcastle University, 1993
- Cook lecturer at the University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews, 1996
- Visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1998–2004.
He was also a Senior Fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.
After stepping down as Chief Rabbi, in addition to his international traveling and speaking engagements and prolific writing, Sacks served as the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University and as the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University. He was also appointed Professor of Law, Ethics, and the Bible at King's College London. He won the Templeton Prize (awarded for work affirming life's spiritual dimension) in 2016, his vision of a better world and his “future-mindedness” being key reasons he was chosen for the award.
Philosophy and views
Much has been written about Sacks' philosophical contribution to Judaism and beyond. These include: a volume of his work entitled Universalizing Particularity that forms part of The Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers series; a book entitled Radical Responsibility edited by Michael J. Harris, Daniel Rynhold, and Tamra Wright; and a book entitled Morasha Kehillat Yaakov edited by Rabbi Michael Pollak and Dayan Shmuel Simons.
In a pamphlet written to mark the completion of his time as Chief Rabbi entitled "A Judaism Engaged with the World," Sacks cites three individuals who have had a profound impact on his own philosophical thinking.
The first figure was the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson who "was fully aware of the problem of the missing Jews... inventing the idea, revolutionary in its time, of Jewish outreach... [He] challenged me to lead." Indeed, Sacks called him "one of the greatest Jewish leaders, not just of our time, but of all time."
The second was Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik whom Sacks described as "the greatest Orthodox thinker of the time [who] challenged me to think." Sacks argued that for Rav Soloveichik:
Jewish philosophy, he said, had to emerge from halakhah, Jewish law. Jewish thought and Jewish practice were not two different things but the same thing seen from different perspectives. Halakhah was a way of living a way of thinking about the world – taking abstract ideas and making them real in everyday life.
The third figure was Rabbi Nahum Rabinovitch, a former principal of the London School of Jewish Studies. Sacks called Rabinovitch:
One of the great Maimonidean scholars of our time, [who] taught us, his students, that Torah leadership demands the highest intellectual and moral courage. He did this in the best way possible: by personal example. The following thoughts, which are his, are a small indication of what I learned from him – not least that Torah is, among other things, a refusal to give easy answers to difficult questions.
Universalism vs particularism
Somewhat surprisingly given that Sacks' religious home was in Orthodox Judaism, Sacks was one of the most inclusive voices beyond Judaism. In their commentary on Sacks' writings, Tirosh-Samuelson and Hughes note that:
[Sacks's] vision—informed as it is by the concerns of modern Orthodoxy—is paradoxically one of the most universalizing voices within contemporary Judaism. Sacks possesses a rare ability to hold in delicate balance the universal demands of the modern, multicultural world with the particularism associated with Judaism."
Rabbi Nathan Lopez Cardozo commented on how Sacks' firm belief in Judaism was his foundation to embrace and challenge the world:
Confidence in the power of Judaism and its infinite wisdom enabled him to enter the lion's den, taking on famous philosophers, scientists, religious thinkers and sociologists and showing them that Judaism had something to teach that they couldn't afford to miss if they wanted to be at the forefront of philosophy and science.
Harris and Rynhold wrote in their introduction to Radical Responsibility:
The special contribution made by the thought of Chief Rabbi Sacks is that it not only continues the venerable Jewish philosophical tradition of maintaining traditional faith in the face of external intellectual challenges, but also moves beyond this tradition by showing how core Jewish teachings can address the dilemmas of the secular world itself. What make Lord Sacks' approach so effective is that he is able to do so without any exception of the wider world taking on Judaism's theological beliefs.
The framework for Sacks' philosophical approach and his interaction between the universal and the particular is not too dissimilar from those positions adopted by other leading Orthodox thinkers of recent times. The favored phrase of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch was Torah im derekh eretz (Torah and general culture); for Rabbi Norman Lamm it was Torah u-mada (Torah and Science). For Sacks, his favored phrase has been Torah vehokhmah (Torah and Wisdom):
Torah, for Jonathan Sacks represents the particularistic, inherited teachings of Judaism, while hokhmah (wisdom) refers to the universal realm of the sciences and humanities.
In religious terms, Sacks explained:
Chokhmah is the truth we discover; Torah is the truth we inherit. Chokhmah is the universal language of humankind; Torah is the specific heritage of Israel. Chokhmah is what we attain by being in the image of God; Torah is what guides Jews as the people of God. Chokhmah is acquired by seeing and reasoning; Torah is received by listening and responding. Chokhmah tells us what is; Torah tells us what ought to be.
Tirosh-Samuelson and Hughes noted that whilst Torah v'Chokhmah is certainly a valid overarching framework, Sacks' perspective is one rooted in modern orthodoxy:
Although he [Sacks] will try to understand various denominations of Judaism, he is always quick to point out that Orthodoxy cannot recognize the legitimacy of interpretations of Judaism that abandon fundamental beliefs of halakhic (Jewish law) authority. Judaism that departs from the truth and acceptance of the halakha is a departure from authentic Judaism and, he reasons, is tantamount to the accommodation of secularism. So, while Sacks will develop a highly inclusive account of the world's religions, there were times when he was critical of the denominations within Judaism.
God is greater than religion
After the publication of his book Dignity of Difference (2002), a group of Haredi rabbis, most notably Rabbis Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Bezalel Rakow, accused Sacks of heresy against what they consider the traditional Orthodox viewpoint. According to them, some words seemed to imply an endorsement of pure relativism between religions, and that Judaism is not the sole true religion, for example, "No one creed has a monopoly on spiritual truth." This led him to rephrase more clearly some sentences in the book for its second edition, though he refused to recall books already in the stores.
In his "Preface" to the second edition of the book, Sacks wrote that certain passages in the book had been misconstrued: He had already explicitly criticized cultural and religious relativism in his book, and he did not deny Judaism's uniqueness. He also stressed, however, that mainstream rabbinic teachings teach that wisdom, righteousness, and the possibility of a true relationship with God are all available in non-Jewish cultures and religions as an ongoing heritage from the covenant that God made with Noah and all his descendants, so the tradition teaches that one does not need to be Jewish to know God or truth, or to attain salvation:
God is greater than religion. He is only partially comprehended by any faith.
He argued that as this diversity of covenantal bonds implies, traditional Jewish sources clearly deny that any one creed has a monopoly on spiritual truth. Monopolistic and simplistic claims of universal truth would therefore not be true Jewish teachings, a point he reaffirmed in his book Future Tense
Sacks' contributions to interfaith work were widely acknowledged: "He has been excellent in building bridges between the faiths," according to Sir Sigmund Sternberg, the president of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain as well as founder of the Three Faiths Forum for Christian/Muslim/Jewish dialogue.
Sacks not only wrote about the coming together of all religions, as an advocate of interfaith dialogue he sat on the Board of World Religious Leaders for the Elijah Interfaith Institute.
He attended the 2009 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, participating in a group of religious leaders who called for peace in the Middle East.
Relationship with the non-Orthodox denominations
While widely recognized as a leading representative of Judaism in interfaith events, Sacks found less acceptance among the different denominations of Judaism. David Goldberg, the senior rabbi of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, noted that "He has a brilliant intellect and is an impressive spokesman, even if the position he occupies as Chief Rabbi is increasingly untenable." As the spiritual head of the United Synagogue, the largest synagogue body in the UK, he was the Chief Rabbi of those Orthodox synagogues, but was not recognized as the religious authority for the Haredi Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations or for the progressive movements such as Masorti, Reform, and Liberal Judaism.
Sack's longstanding respect and support of other religions was in sharp contrast to his unwillingness to accept the authenticity of non-orthodox Jewish traditions. Commenting on this seeming contradiction, Rabbi John D. Rayner wrote: “[i]n other words, Rabbi Sacks is prepared to say to non-Jews ‘you don’t have to be Jewish.’ But he is not prepared to say to Jews ‘you don’t have to be orthodox.’” 
British historian and journalist Meir Persoff, suggested that "Sacks's top priority has been staying in the good graces of the Haredi, or strictly Orthodox, faction, whose high birthrate has made it the fastest-growing component of British Jewry." Persoff's criticism of Sacks' leadership, evidenced by his partisan focus on Orthodox Judaism and consequent inability to unite British Jewry as a whole, raises the broader question of the office of chief rabbi itself, and thus does not necessarily entail personal failings on the part of Sacks:
Trying to please, or at least appease, all parties, he has all too often faced criticism from every direction. ... As Persoff notes, following many others, the post demands an improbable balancing act between the need to serve the communities who formally elect the chief rabbi and a perception that it can somehow fulfill a representative function for all of Anglo-Jewry alongside other religious leaders in Britain. The chances of success in this task were always limited.
Sacks provoked considerable controversy in the Anglo-Jewish community in 1996 when he refused to attend the funeral service of the late Reform Rabbi Hugo Gryn and for a private letter he had written in Hebrew, which (in translation) asserted that Auschwitz survivor Gryn was "among those who destroy the faith," was leaked and published. He wrote further that he was an "enemy" of the Reform, Liberal, and Masorti movements, leading some to reject the notion that he was "Chief Rabbi" for all Jews in Britain.
Sacks responded to the incident by rethinking his relationship with the non-Orthodox movements, eventually developing what he called the "two principles":
You try and make things better in the future. As a result of the turbulence at that time, I was forced to think this whole issue through and I came up with these two principles; on all matters that affect us as Jews regardless of our religious differences we work together regardless of our religious differences, and on all things that touch our religious differences we agree to differ, but with respect. As a result of those two principles relations between Reform and Orthodox have got much better and are actually a model for the rest of the Jewish world. Progressive rabbis sit with me on the top table of the Council of Christians and Jews, we stand together for Israel. All of this flowed from those two principles. Until then there had been a view never to do anything with the non-Orthodox movements but once you thought it through you saw that there were all sorts of opportunities.
Secularism and Consumerism
Sacks expressed concern at what he regarded as the negative effects of materialism and secularism in European society, arguing that they undermined the basic values of family life and lead to selfishness. In 2009, Sacks gave an address claiming that Europeans had chosen "consumerism and instant gratification" over the self-sacrifice of parenting children: "Parenthood involves massive sacrifice: money, attention, time and emotional energy." He noted that today, in the increasingly secular European culture there was no room for sacrifice for "the sake of generations not yet born." 
Sacks made remarks at an inter-faith reception attended by Queen Elizabeth II, in November 2011, in which he criticized what he believed to be the selfish consumer culture that has only brought unhappiness:
The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune, i, i, i. When you're an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about 'I', you don’t do terribly well. 
In a later statement, the Chief Rabbi's office said:
The Chief Rabbi meant no criticism of either Steve Jobs personally or the contribution Apple has made to the development of technology in the 21st century. ...The Chief Rabbi was simply pointing out the potential dangers of consumerism when taken too far.
Position on gay marriage
In July 2012 a group of prominent British Jews criticized Sacks for opposing plans to allow civil marriage for gays and lesbians. Sacks stated that "marriage was a sacred union between a man and a woman and any redefinition would undermine it." However, he acknowledged "the fear that gays have of prejudice and persecution," and said strongly that a world that persecutes homosexuals is one "to which we should never return."
In his lecture on marriage, Sacks explained further:
But our compassion for those who choose to live differently should not inhibit us from being advocates for the single most humanising institution in history. The family, man, woman, and child, is not one lifestyle choice among many. It is the best means we have yet discovered for nurturing future generations and enabling children to grow in a matrix of stability and love. It is where we learn the delicate choreography of relationship and how to handle the inevitable conflicts within any human group. It is where we first take the risk of giving and receiving love. It is where one generation passes on its values to the next, ensuring the continuity of a civilisation. For any society, the family is the crucible of its future, and for the sake of our children’s future, we must be its defenders.
Politics in the United States
In October 2017, Sacks inveighed against a "politics of anger" he said was corroding the fabric of U.S. society: "The politics of anger that's emerged in our time is full of danger." He decried the breakdown of American society into narrower and narrower identities that nurtured a "culture of grievances." Nothing that "the social contract creates a state but the social covenant creates a society," Sacks warned that "The social contract is still there, but the social covenant is being lost."
In a June 2019 debate on antisemitism in the House of Lords, Sacks described the rise of antisemitism in Europe today as being "similar to that of Holocaust-era Europe." He stated that "there is hardly a country in the world, certainly not a single country in Europe, where Jews feel safe" and that societies tolerating antisemitism had "forfeited all moral credibility."
He warned that "The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews" and that antisemitism has reared its ugly head again but in a slightly different form just like a "mutating virus." 
The author of 35 books, Sacks published commentaries on the daily Jewish prayer book (siddur) and completed commentaries to the Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach festival prayer-books (machzorim). His books won literary awards, including the Grawemeyer Prize for Religion in 2004 for The Dignity of Difference, and a National Jewish Book Award in 2000 for A Letter in the Scroll. Covenant & Conversation: Genesis was also awarded a National Jewish Book Award in 2009, and Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times in 2020 His commentary to the Pesach festival prayer book won the Modern Jewish Thought and Experience Dorot Foundation Award in the 2013 National Jewish Book Awards. His Covenant & Conversation commentaries on the weekly Torah portion continue to be read by thousands of people in Jewish communities around the world.
- As author
- Judaism's Life-Changing Ideas: A Weekly reading of the Jewish Bible (Koren, 2020) ISBN 9781592645527
- Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times (Hodder & Stoughton, 2020) ISBN 9781473617315
- Covenant & Conversation: Deuteronomy: Renewal of the Sinai Covenant (Koren, 2019) ISBN 9781592640232
- Covenant & Conversation: Numbers: the Wilderness Years (Koren, 2017) ISBN 9781592640232
- Lessons in Leadership: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible (Koren, 2015) ISBN 9781592644322
- Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence (Hodder & Stoughton, 2015) ISBN 9781473616516
- Covenant & Conversation: Leviticus, the Book of Holiness (Koren, 2015) ISBN 9781592640225
- The Koren Sacks Pesach Mahzor (Koren, 2013) ISBN 9789653013179
- The Koren Sacks Yom Kippur Mahzor (Koren, 2012) ISBN 9789653013469
- The Koren Sacks Rosh Hashana Mahzor (Koren, 2011) ISBN 9789653013421
- The Great Partnership: God Science and the Search for Meaning (Hodder & Stoughton, 2011) ISBN 9780340995259
- Covenant and Conversation: Exodus (Koren, Jerusalem, 2010) ISBN 9781592640218
- Future Tense (Hodder & Stoughton, 2009) ISBN 9780340979853
- Covenant and Conversation: Genesis (Koren, 2009) ISBN 9781592640201
- The Koren (Sacks) Siddur (Koren, 2009) ISBN 9789653012172
- The Home We Build Together (Continuum, 2007) ISBN 9780826423498
- Authorised Daily Prayer Book (HarperCollins, 2006) ISBN 9780007200917
- To Heal a Fractured World (Continuum, 2005) ISBN 9780826480392
- From Optimism to Hope (Continuum, 2004) ISBN 9780826474810
- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks's Haggadah (Harper Collins, 2003) ISBN 9789653013421
- The Dignity of Difference (Continuum, 2002) ISBN 978-0826414434; 2nd edition (Continuum, 2003) ISBN 978-0826468505
- Radical Then, Radical Now (published in the US as A Letter in the Scroll) (Continuum, 2001) ISBN 9780826473363
- Celebrating Life (Continuum, 2006) ISBN 9780826473370
- Morals and Markets (Occasional Paper 108) (Institute of Economic Affairs, 1998) ISBN 0255364245
- The Politics of Hope (Vintage, 2000) ISBN 9780224043298
- The Persistence of Faith (Continuum, 2005) - based on his BBC Reith Lectures series ISBN 9780297820857
- One People: Tradition, Modernity and Jewish Unity (The Littman Library, 1993) ISBN 9781874774013
- Community of Faith (Peter Halban, 1995) ISBN 9781870015592
- Faith in the Future (Darton, Longman and Todd, 1995) ISBN 9780232520989
- Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren? (Vallentine Mitchell, 1994) ISBN 9780853032823
- Crisis and Covenant (Manchester University Press, 1992) ISBN 0719033004
- Arguments for the Sake of Heaven (Jason Aronson, 1991) ISBN 0876687834
- Tradition in an Untraditional Age (Vallentine Mitchell, 1990) ISBN 0853032394
- As editor
- Torah Studies: Discourses by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (Kehot, New York, 1996) ISBN 0826604935
- Orthodoxy Confronts Modernity (Ktav, New York, 1991) ISBN 0881253634
- Tradition and Transition (Jews College Publications, 1986) ISBN 095121490X
At a Gala Dinner held in Central London in May 2013 to mark the completion of the Chief Rabbi's time in office, Charles, Prince of Wales called Sacks a "light unto this nation," "a steadfast friend," and "a valued adviser" whose "guidance on any given issue has never failed to be of practical value and deeply grounded in the kind of wisdom that is increasingly hard to come by."
Sending tribute to Sacks, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that his leadership had a "profound impact on our whole country and across the world." Additionally, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik penned a piece in the Wall Street Journal, entitled "What Gentiles can Learn from Lord Sacks." 
Sacks had maintained a close relationship with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said in a statement that the rabbi “had the rarest of gifts — expressing complex ideas in the simplest of terms.” He called him “a man of huge intellectual stature but with the warmest human spirit.”
Awards and honors
A visiting professor at several universities in Britain, the United States, and Israel, Sacks held 18 honorary degrees, including Doctor of Divinity conferred on him in September 2001 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, to mark his first ten years in office as Chief Rabbi.
In recognition of his work, Sacks won several international awards, including the Jerusalem Prize in 1995 for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life and The Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award from Ben Gurion University in Israel in 2011.
Sacks' contributions to wider British society have also been recognized. A regular contributor to national media, frequently appearing on BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day or writing the Credo column or opinion pieces in The Times, Sacks was awarded The Sanford St Martin's Trust Personal Award for 2013 for "his advocacy of Judaism and religion in general." He was invited to the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton as a representative of the Jewish community.
Sacks was awarded numerous prizes including:
- 1995: Jerusalem Prize (Israel)
- 2000: American National Jewish Book for A Letter in the Scroll
- 2004: The Grawemeyer Prize for Religion (USA)
- 2009: American National Jewish Book Award for Covenant & Conversation Genesis: The Book of Beginnings
- 2010: The Norman Lamm Prize, Yeshiva University (USA)
- 2010: The Abraham Kuyper Prize, Princeton Theological Seminary (USA)
- 2011: The Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award, Ben Gurion University (Israel)
- 2011: Keter Torah Award, Open University (Israel)
- 2013: The Sanford St Martin's Trust Personal Award for Excellence in Religious Broadcasting
- 2013: American National Jewish Book Award for The Koren Sacks Pesah Mahzor
- 2015: American National Jewish Book Award for Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence
- 2016: Templeton Prize, "has spent decades bringing spiritual insight to the public conversation through mass media, popular lectures and more than two dozen books"
- In memory of Libby Sacks Jewish Chronicle, November 12, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
- Libby Frumkin and Louis Sacks Vintage Glamour in London's East End. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
- Ari L. Goldman, Jonathan Sacks, the U.K.'s Inclusive Former Chief Rabbi, Dies at 72 The New York Times, November 9, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
- Yair Rosenberg, Remembering Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (1948-2020) Tablet Magazine, November 12, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
- Jonathan Sacks, How the Lubavitcher Rebbe Changed My Life Chabad.org, November 28, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
- Jonathan Sacks, Rabbinic concepts of responsibility for others: A study of the Commandment of Rebuke and the idea of mutual surety University of London. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
- Jonathan Sacks, The Messianic Idea Today Faith Lectures, February 6, 2001. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
- Birthday Honors List London Gazette Supplement: 57665 (June 10, 2005): 1. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
- Honours and Awards The London Gazette 58099 (September 15, 2006): 12615. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
- Honorary Freemen of the London Borough of Barnet London Borough of Barnet, September 29, 2009. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
- New non-party-political peers House of Lords Appointments Commission, July 13, 2009. Retrieved March 26, 2021
- Crown Office The London Gazette 59178 (September 8, 2009): 15388. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
- Rabbi Lord Sacks dies of cancer at 72 The Jewish Chronicle, November 7, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
- Simon Rocker, Sacks was Chief Rabbi to the English-speaking world The Jewish Chronicle, November 7, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
- New British Chief Rabbi Speaks of Need for Decade of Renewal Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 3, 1991. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Torah in Motion. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks extended CV The Office of Rabbi Sacks. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
- Senior Fellows Raoul Wallenberg Centre. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- Jonathan Sacks: The Persistence of Faith The Reith Lectures: 1990, BBC Radio 4. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- About Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks The Office of Rabbi Sacks. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Chris Herlinger, Lord Jonathan Sacks wins Templeton Prize Religion News Service (RNS), March 2, 2016. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes (eds.), Jonathan Sacks: Universalizing Particularity (Brill, 2013, ISBN 978-9004257214).
- Michael J. Harris, Daniel Rynhold, and Tamra Wright (eds.), Radical Responsibilty: Celebrating the Thought of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (Maggid, 2013, ISBN 978-1592643660).
- Michael Pollak and Shmuel Simons, Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 2014, ISBN 978-1592643905).
- Jonathan Sacks, A Judaism Engaged with the World, June 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- Jonathan Mark, The Chief Rabbi And The Rebbe The Jewish Week, November 29, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- Jonathan Sacks, Shemot (5768) – Of what was Moses afraid? December 29, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- Nathan Lopes Cardozo, The Rebellion of Chief Rabbi Sacks David Cardozo Academy, July 9, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
- Jonathan Sacks, Future Tense: Jews, Judaism, and Israel in the Twenty-first Century (Schocken, 2012, ISBN 978-0805212297).
- Jonathan Petre, Chief Rabbi revises book after attack by critics The Daily Telegraph, February 15, 2003. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Dignity of Difference 2nd edition (Continuum, 2003, ISBN 978-0826468505).
- Jonathan Sacks: Defender of the faith The Independent, March 29, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Members of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders: Jewish Leaders The Elijah Interfaith Institute. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Sarah Abramson, The Plurality of Pluralism: Youth Movements and The Communal Discourse of Jewish Diversity The Jewish Journal of Sociology 53 (2011): 57-68. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Meir Persoff, Another Way, Another Time: Religious Inclusivism and the Sacks Chief Rabbinate (Academic Studies Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1936235100).
- Miri Freud-Kandel, Review of Persoff's "Another Way, Another Time" H-Judaic, May, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Ian Burrell, Leaked letter widens schism in Jewry The Independent, March 15, 1997. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Justin Cohen, Lord Sacks: the full interview Jewish News, August 22, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Riazat Butt, Falling birth rate is killing Europe, says chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks Guardian, November 5, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Jonathan Wynne Jones, Chief Rabbi blames Apple for helping create selfish society The Telegraph, November 19, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Anna Leach, Chief Rabbi: I admire Jobs and Apple and use my iPad daily The Register, November 22, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Simon Rocker, Chief Rabbi attacked over gay marriage opposition The Jewish Chronicle, July 5, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Edward Malnick, I understand gay people's fears, says Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks The Telegraph, August 25, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Jonathan Sacks, “The love that brings new life into the world” – Rabbi Sacks on the institution of marriage International Colloquium on “The Complementarity of Man and Woman,” November 17, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- 2017 Irving Kristol Award recipient Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks' remarks AEI, October 24, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
- Tamar Beeri, UK rabbi to House of Lords: Rise in antisemitism today like Holocaust-era The Jerusalem Post, June 23, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- Jonathan Sacks, The Mutating Virus: Understanding Antisemitism Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- National Jewish Book Awards: Past Winners Jewish Book Council. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Sacks' Passover guide scoops prestigious US book award The Jewish News, January 16, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Torah Cafe. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Simon Rocker, Prince pays tribute to Chief Rabbi - his 'steadfast friend' The Jewish Chronicle, June 25, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- "Warmest human spirit": UK's former chief rabbi Sacks dies The Association Press, November 8, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Meir Soloveichik, What Gentiles Can Learn From Lord Sacks The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Royal wedding guest list BBC News, April 23, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Templeton Prize. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Harris, Michael J., Daniel Rynhold, and Tamra Wright (eds.). Radical Responsibilty: Celebrating the Thought of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. Maggid, 2013. ISBN 978-1592643660
- Persoff, Meir. Another Way, Another Time: Religious Inclusivism and the Sacks Chief Rabbinate. Academic Studies Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1936235100
- Pollak, Michael, and Shmuel Simons. Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 2014. ISBN 978-1592643905
- Tirosh-Samuelson, Hava, and Aaron W. Hughes (eds.). Jonathan Sacks: Universalizing Particularity. Brill, 2013. ISBN 978-9004257214
All links retrieved April 7, 2021.
- Rabbi Sacks official website
- Lord Sacks UK Parliament
- Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi, dies aged 72 BBC
|Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth
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