Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Awarded Becket’s Highest Honor
Cardinal Dolan, Robert P. George, Dr. Moore, Elder Christofferson pay Tribute
For Immediate Release: May 15, 2014
Media Contact: Emily Hardman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.349.7224
New York City, NY – Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks received the highest honor awarded by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the nation’s premier religious liberty law firm, at tonight’s 19th anniversary Canterbury Medal Dinner at the Pierre in New York City, NY.
New York Post’s Bill McGurn wrote: “Perhaps only the Becket Fund could pull off such an event, a glittering evening where men and women of strong (and conflicting) beliefs find common ground without watering down their principles.” Timothy Cardinal Dolan delivered remarks about the work of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Dr. Robert P. George presented the Medal to Rabbi Lord Sacks. Dr. Russell D. Moore opened with an invocation. Elder Todd Christofferson closed with a benediction.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be this year’s recipient of The Canterbury Medal,” said Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Emeritus Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. “Becket Fund’s work has allowed all of us, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, people of all faiths, to come together in the knowledge that we are free to live our deepest convictions in harmony and a spirit of mutual respect. This enriches the heritage of humankind and has made this world a little freer, allowing each of us, in our own way, to light up the public square with the candle and the flame of faith.” (see video of speech here and transcript of speech here).
Each year, Becket’s Canterbury Medal is given to an individual who has “most resolutely refused to render to Caesar that which is God’s.” Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, is an influential figure in the world religious community and a staunch advocate for Judaism and faith in general. He is a philosopher and public intellectual, having been awarded 16 honorary degrees and numerous international awards in recognition of his work. A prolific and respected author, Rabbi Sacks has published 25 books on Judaism, faith, and philosophy.
“Rabbi Sacks has been a clear and compelling voice for religious liberty,” said Bill Mumma, President of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Supporters of religious liberty from all faiths and from all parts of the globe are grateful for his leadership. He is very deserving of this year’s Canterbury Medal.”
The gala was a lively black-tie event celebrated at the Pierre Hotel in New York with more than 500 guests, including prominent religious leaders, lay believers, and supporters of religious liberty who expressed their admiration of Rabbi Sacks and his work.
Past Canterbury Medalists include Elder Oaks, Apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Prison Fellowship founder the late Charles Colson, financier Foster Friess, Archbishop Charles Chaput and the former Ambassador to the Vatican, James R. Nicholson, among others. The Medalists share a common devotion to liberty and freedom of conscience for people of all faiths.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 18 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law. The Becket Fund recently won a 9-0 victory in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”