The Ateret Zvi Prize in Hiddushei Torah, launching in 5778/2018, will be extended yearly by Hadar to recognize a work of innovative and exceptional Torah scholarship. The prize is endowed in loving memory of Professor and Rabbi Zvi H. Szubin, a lifelong scholar and teacher who uncovered rich insights buried in traditional texts using legal, historical, and linguistic tools – an approach he termed “text archaeology.” The competition aims to inspire scholarship and innovation in the study of Torah and is open to all.
The winner of the Ateret Zvi prize will receive $5,000 and attend a special event held in honor of the winning submission, which will be shared with a live audience in November 2018.
The Ateret Zvi Prize is sponsored by the family of Rabbi and Professor Zvi H. Szubin. Professor Szubin studied at Yeshivat Chevron and received the smicha of yoreh yoreh, yadin yadin from Chief Rabbi Herzog. He served in the Israeli Army for three years, and was deployed to the Sinai during the 1956 Sinai campaign.
After completing university and an LL.B. degree in Israel, he came to the United States and received his Ph.D. from Dropsie College. He taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary and the City College of the City of New York and, ultimately, became the Chair of the Classical Languages and Hebrew Department at City College.
Professor Szubin was a path-breaking thinker on a broad range of subjects, and authored numerous articles and works on subjects from agunah and mishpat ivri to the role of legal terminology in Jewish liturgy. His scholarly work focused on retrieving lost meanings and connotations of Hebrew and Aramaic terms through a careful study of ancient legal documents, and then refracting these new insights onto well-known texts to yield unexpected results.
Professor Szubin was a supporter of Mechon Hadar, in particular its fierce commitment to traditional Jewish values and texts, its unabashed egalitarianism, and its promising efforts to energize thoughtful Jews of all ages.
He is survived by his wife, Laurie Szubin, his children Lisa Szubin and Jay Katzman, Adam Szubin and Miriam Szubin, and his grandchildren, Leora Katzman, Jonathan Katzman, William Katzman, Nathan Szubin, Micah Szubin, and Josiah Szubin.