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August 23, 2017, New York, NY – David Grossman, the Israeli author and activist, whose books, essays and public advocacy have inspired a generation, will receive Reform Judaism’s highest honor, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) 2017 Maurice N. Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award. The award will be presented at the 74th URJ Biennial in Boston in December 2017.
On June 14, 2017, Grossman was awarded the prestigious international literary award, The Man Booker International Prize, for his novel “A Horse Walks Into a Bar.”
“The Man Booker Prize is only the latest honor for Mr. Grossman,” noted Eisendrath Award Committee Chair Jan Marion. “The powerful combination of his writing, speaking, teaching, and advocacy has made a unique contribution not only to Israeli life or to Jews around the world, but to all who cherish justice.”
The Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award is conferred every two years at the URJ’s Biennial General Assembly which is North America’s largest Jewish conference, attracting some 5,000 Reform Jewish leaders over five days. The URJ is the most powerful force in North American Jewish life, representing the largest segment of the Jewish community and inspiring more than 1.5 million people and nearly 900 congregations.
Previous recipients of the Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg; President Anwar Sadat (Accepted by Ambassador Gorbal); gun control advocates James and Sarah Brady; former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres; scholar Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg; and same-sex marriage advocates Theodore Olson & David Boies. See the complete list of recipients here.
“David Grossman personifies cultural genius while tenaciously advocating his powerful vision for a just and democratic Israel that lives in peace with its neighbors. His words evoke the tenderest of human emotions and shine a light on the harsh everyday realities, often on a single page. On behalf of the URJ, I am thrilled that he will accept the Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award. That he is a member of the Reform community in Israel makes the occasion even sweeter,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ.
The award’s namesake, the dynamic Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, served as President of the URJ (then called the UAHC) from 1943 to 1973. During his tenure Reform congregations more than doubled in number and the Reform Movement’s emphasis on social action began in earnest, culminating with the founding of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Learn more about the URJ Biennial 2017 at URJ.org/Biennial.
About the Union for Reform Judaism
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay adept and agile, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.
Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with almost 900 member congregations and work that inspires millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.
Visit us at www.URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.