Rabbi Sacks awarded the 2016 Templeton Prize at ceremony in London
On Thursday 26th May 2016 (Lag Ba'Omer), Rabbi Sacks was officially awarded the 2016 Templeton Prize at a ceremony in Central Hall Westminster in London. In front of an audience of over 500 invited guests, Heather Templeton Dill and Dr Pina Templeton together with Lord Griffiths presented Rabbi Sacks with the Templeton Prize medallion, scroll and a financial reward in honour of his "exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension."
Rabbi Sacks with Heather Templeton Dill (left), President of the John Templeton Foundation, with Dr. Pina Templeton, at the Templeton Prize ceremony in London. (Photo credit: Templeton Prize-Paul Hackett)
After receiving the Templeton Prize, Rabbi Sacks delivered a passionate keynote address in which he spoke about the dangers for the West when a society outsources morality, arguing that "You can't outsource conscience. You can't delegate moral responsibility away."
Click on the image above to watch a video of the presentation of the 2016 Templeton Prize and Rabbi Sacks' keynote speech below. If you prefer, you can download a transcript of Rabbi Sacks' speech here or listen to an audio recording via our free iTunes podcast here.
Earlier this year, once the identity of the 2016 Templeton Prize Laureate was known, HRH The Prince of Wales hosted a private reception in honour of Rabbi Sacks at Clarence House. At the reception, which was attended by Rabbi Sacks' immediate family, his office team and representatives from the Templeton Foundation, The Prince of Wales presented Rabbi Sacks with the Templeton Prize pyramid and expressed his delight at the choice of this year’s Templeton Prize Laureate, praised Rabbi Sacks’ contribution to British society and spoke of their personal friendship.
HRH The Prince of Wales presents the Templeton Prize pyramid to Rabbi Sacks at a private reception at Clarence House. (Photo credit: Templeton Prize-Clifford Shirley)
Among the other speakers at the Templeton Prize ceremony was Heather Templeton Dill, President of the John Templeton Foundation, who spoke about why Rabbi Sacks had been chosen as this year's Laureate.
Click on the image above to watch Heather Templeton Dill talks about Rabbi Sacks.
In a touching and personal speech, Gila Sacks, Rabbi Sacks' youngest daughter, spoke about what she and her siblings had learnt from their parents.
Click on the image above to watch Gila Sacks talk about her father.
The ceremony also included introductory remarks from Dr Pina Templeton and Lord Griffiths, as well as performances from The Shabbaton Choir - accompanied by the children of the Sacks Morasha Jewish Primary School - and organist Gerard Brooks. You can download a PDF copy of the programme here, which included congratulatory letters from Prime Minister David Cameron, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop Vincent Nichols.
Click on the image above to watch the 2016 Templeton Prize ceremony in full.