Jerusalem, Israel - July 5, 2018 - Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met with this year’s Katz Award winners at Beit Hanasi on Wednesday afternoon. The annual awards for excellence in implementation of halakha in modern life were initiated in 1975 in memory of Golda Katz z"l, by her son Marcus Katz z"l and his wife Adina Katz.
Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, the head of the nominating committee, was the first speaker, and introduced the winners to the President.
This was followed by brief remarks by Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Rav Aryeh Stern, committee member Rav Haim Sabato, and Zvi Katz, on behalf of his mother and the family.
Winners of the Katz award for 5778 are Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, and Rabbi Asher Zelig Weiss.
Rav Yehuda Herzl Henkin was born in Pennsylvania, raised in Connecticut, and studied for six years with his illustrious grandfather, Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin zt”l, from whom he received his semicha. Rav Henkin served as the regional Rabbi of the Beit She'an valley for ten years before moving to Jerusalem.
He is the author of four volumes of responsa entitled Benei Banim. With his wife Chana Henkin’s founding of Nishmat, the Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies for Women, Rav Henkin has become a leading posek on women's issues and has played a central role in the the Yoatzot Halakha program.
Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon, was born in Tel-Aviv, and is the grandson of the renowned poet and author, Yosef Zvi Rimon. Rav Rimon is a prolific author of halachic works which are guides to the practical application of halakha. These include the "Shirat Miriam Haggadah for Pesach", "Halacha for IDF Soldiers", "Shemita", "Yom Kippur Machzor", "Birkat Ha'Mazon and Zemirot Shabbat", "Arba'at Ha'Minim" for Succot and many more.
Rav Rimon is Founder and Chairman of the Halakha Education Center which develops innovative educational curricula for Jewish studies, using state-of-the-art, cutting edge technologies, in Israel and abroad.
The third Katz Prize awardee is HaRav Asher Zelig Weiss, a prolific author, lecturer, and posek, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Darkei HaTorah. He unfortunately did not attend the presentation due to the untimely death of his wife, Rebbetzin Pesiah Weiss z"l, at the end of May this year.
Rav Weiss has been the official rabbi of Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem since 2013, and his rulings are landmarks for guidelines on important and sensitive medical issues. These issues include the ability and responsibility to treat a patient in the most effective manner, using a laser for circumcision, returning home after treatment by paramedics, questions regarding Hatzalah, and many others. He responds to issues of modern technology as they relate to halakha that require an encyclopedic knowledge of the literature, and his responses have long- lasting ramifications.
In his remarks to the winners the President said, "The Katz Prize brings recognition and gratitude to those who bridge the gaps for us. I am glad to participate in this important event, which is important for halakha and the society at large. I congratulate the winners, and regret that Rabbi Weiss was unable to attend, and we offer him our condolences. I thank the Katz family who continue in the ways of their father, for giving this award which is a source of great pride."