Prof. Vered Noam of Tel Aviv University was announced Monday as the 2020 laureate of the Israel Prize for Talmud studies, the first woman to receive the prestigious award.
Education Minister Rafi Peretz announced the decision in a statement. In its decision, the prize selection committee said Noam had shown “research excellence” and noted that her work covered “a wide array of subjects from Second Temple period literature to Talmudic literature, from ancient traditions rooted in Rabbinic literature to Talmudic exegesis of the Rishonim [leading rabbis who lived during the 11th to 15th centuries].”
The committee said Noam was recognized internationally for her research as well as “a shining example, through her contribution to the research community and the public at large, of communicating the Rabbinic and Talmudic texts to all students in Israel.”
First awarded in 1953, the Israel Prize is presented annually in four categories — the humanities, science, culture and lifetime achievement — and is considered one of the highest honors in the country.
The awards ceremony is traditionally held as part of Israel’s Independence Day celebrations, with the prizes handed to the winners by the country’s leaders, such as the president, prime minister, speaker of the Knesset and the chief justice of the Supreme Court.