Chief Rabbi honoured in Israel

The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has received a prestigious award from Israel's Ben Gurion University for his contribution to society.

The Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award was made in recognition of his work "as a widely-published theologian and philosopher whose aspirations for truth and mutual respect of all peoples guide his actions".

A representative of the Laszt family, Professor Moshe Dariel, described Lord Sacks as an "outstanding example of someone who turns his faith into action".

After the award ceremony, he was due to take part in a discussion at the university on pluralism in Judaism with women's activist and educator Alice Shalvi and the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Shlomo Riskin.

Lord Sacks arrived in Israel last Thursday to take part in the London Shabbaton Choir's annual Solidarity through Song mission.

Its itinerary included a musical tribute to Marc Weinberg, the young Anglo-Jewish activist who died in Israel last year, and a visit to the Hettie Friedland School for the profoundly deaf in Jerusalem. Mr Weinberg was the son of the former director of the Chief Rabbi's office, Syma Weinberg.

Lord Sacks was due to speak at a number of events in Jerusalem yesterday for students from the UK, USA, South Africa and Australia on Bnei Akiva and other gap year schemes.

He was also due to do a question-and-answer session for Tribe Israel, the young people's programme run by the United Synagogue.

    Last updated: 12:52pm, March 10 2011