The Hillel Prize

For Elevating Public Discourse

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Accidental Talmudist, in partnership with the Jewish Journal of LA, proudly announces the first annual Hillel Prize For Elevating Public Discourse. We seek to honor an individual who refines the national conversation by publicly engaging her/his opponents with respect.

The award is named after Hillel the Elder, a first-century sage known as much for his forbearing manner as his brilliance. Jewish law generally follows the students of Hillel rather than their archrivals, the students of Shammai. Why? Because the students of Hillel stated their opponent’s viewpoints before their own - and did so fairly, without sarcasm or insults.

We live in a time when demonizing those with a different point of view has become the norm, leading to acrimony and further division instead of progress. By awarding the Hillel Prize, we aim to bring the ancient Jewish art of passionate yet respectful disagreement to American public life.

To nominate a worthy recipient, send us a note explaining who and why: