The 2019 Israel Prize in the category of Jewish History was awarded to TAU Prof. (emer.) Mordechai Akiva Friedman, Chaim Rosenberg School of Jewish Studies and Archaeology. He was recognized by the Prize committee as “the greatest Geniza scholar of our generation, whose work has shed light on the history of the Jewish people in the Middle Ages in the East, including in North Africa, the Land of Israel and beyond to India, and on Jewish-Muslim relations.”
Born in the USA, Prof. Friedman gained his BA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and a Rabbinical Degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He joined the TAU faculty in 1973, served recurrently as Chairman of the Talmud Department, and was incumbent of the Joseph and Ceil Mazer Chair in Jewish Culture in Muslim Lands and Cairo Geniza Studies.
Prof. Friedman is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Ben Zvi Institute Awards for Research of the Land of Israel and Jewish Communities in the East, among others. In 2001, he was elected Fellow of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He has authored 12 books and edited 20 and has published ca. 160 articles in professional journals.
Photo: Muki Schwartz