President Isaac Herzog hosted the second annual Sacks Conversation at his residence in Jerusalem.
During the event in memory of the late former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Herog held an open conversation about Rabbi Sacks’ values and legacy with Dr. Erica Brown, Director of Yeshiva University’s Sacks-Herenstein Center.
The Sacks family, including Lady Elaine and members of the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust board of governors attended.
“We will see Rabbi Sacks’ legacy growing from generation to generation, it will change the dialogue in the Jewish world,” said Herzog. “The real impact that Rabbi Sacks had on me is with the weekly reading of the Torah portion. I say so because I keep on reading his books, they are a fountain of strength, an unbelievable fountain of originality, of ideas, of understanding the content of the Bible, and of course with immense sources of wisdom, knowledge from all facets of humanity.”
Asked to share his predictions about Israel in the 21st century, Herzog said, “I truly believe that we should continue striving to great heights. For this we have to make sure that we stay together. We can definitely argue. Rabbi Sacks writes that Judaism encourages debate and argument. We should strive forward, together, and if we do that, we will reach great heights and we will move to become one of the greatest places on earth.”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Supreme Court President Justice Esther Hayut, former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and others paid tribute to Rabbi Sacks’ impact in recorded video messages.
Israeli singer-songwriter Ehud Banai performed “Canaanite Blues” and “Into the Light” in Rabbi Sacks’ memory in the Great Hall of the President’s Residence.
The Sacks Conversation was established as an annual event following Rabbi Sacks’ passing in 2020. The inaugural conversation last year was held with former UK Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair.
On the first anniversary of Rabbi Sacks’ passing, Herzog presented his posthumous Genesis Lifetime Achievement Award to Lady Elaine Sacks in a ceremony in London