The Israel Prize for Talmudic research will be awarded this year to Prof. Vered Noam, the head of the Chaim Rosenberg School of Jewish Studies and Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and the first woman to win the prize in this field.
In explaining its choice, the prize jury said, “Prof. Noam is an internationally renowned scholar and the importance of her research is widely recognized. In particular she is a role model for her contribution to the scientific community and the public in general, for making rabbinic and Talmudic literature accessible to all students in Israel.” The jury is headed by Rabbi Prof. Daniel Sperber, a professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University.
Noam was born in Jerusalem to children’s author Rivka Elitzur and Bible scholar Prof. Yehuda Elitzur. She received a religious education, served in the army and was a field school guide in the Golan Heights. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Talmud from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The committee also said, “While the traditional world of [Torah] study was blocked to her, the gates of the academic world were open … this seminal experience of a young girl locked out of the beit midrash [yeshiva study hall], influenced the ways Prof. Noam made sure to open these gates to anyone who wanted to come and learn.” Noam headed the beit midrash at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem, one of the first Orthodox beit midrash programs for women.”
The committee added: “She was and continues to be a source of inspiration for an entire generation of women who study Torah in academia and in the world of midrashot [advanced Torah academies] for women in Israel and the world.”
Noam has been at the Talmud department of Tel Aviv University since 1999 and has headed the School of Jewish Studies and Archaeology since 2017. Noam has garnered numerous awards over the years, has been a visiting professor at Yale, is on the editorial board of various publications and is on the academic committees of several publishers.