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The Prize

The great question in American Jewish life today is not whether Jews will identify as Jewish. The vast majority do and do so proudly. The question is what consequences their Jewishness has for the lives they lead. At Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, we believe that Jewish wisdom – the accumulating body of thought, lessons, stories, and practices in Jewish texts, traditions, rituals, history, and the lived experience of Jews today – can be a profound source of inspiration and guidance for individuals and communities seeking lives of meaning, significance, and belonging.

The great challenge and opportunity of our time is to help more Jews and fellow travelers have access to this wisdom and apply it to the many dimensions of their lives such that they might be illuminated and enriched by it. We are proud to have the Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom shine a light on outstanding programs already doing this work – to inspire, encourage, and reward great ideas in applying Jewish wisdom.

The Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom was created to encourage, recognize, and reward programs that engage individuals and communities in applying Jewish wisdom in creative and impactful ways.

You are not obligated to complete the work; neither are you free to desist from it.

Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot 2:21

Past Prizes

The first Prizes for Applied Jewish Wisdom were awarded in 2016, the year Lippman Kanfer Family Philanthropies celebrated its 50th Anniversary. In Jewish tradition, a 50 year cycle is uniquely special and is known as Jubilee (Yovel.) We chose to celebrate our Jubilee year by inaugurating a brand new prize, one that recognized outstanding achievement in applied Jewish wisdom. Winners of the first prize can be found here.

A second round of Prizes for Applied Jewish Wisdom were awarded in 2019 as part of the Foundation’s strategic interest in supporting organizations applying Jewish wisdom to the intersection of Judaism and Democracy. A list of winners of the second prize can be found here.