Jacob Hougie wins Robert Silver Prize 2024

picture of Jacob Hougie

The judges for the Robert Silver Prize are pleased to announce the winner of the prize for 2024, Jacob Hougie, for his essay ‘Jonathan Sacks’ Political Thought and its relation to Communitarianism’. 

Jacob is a third-year undergraduate in Human, Social and Political Sciences at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.  His essay addresses the thought of Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013, connecting Sacks’s body of work on a politics that draws on Jewish values and ‘covenant’ thinking to the ‘communitarian’ thought of other theorists such as Michael Walzer, Michael Sandel, Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor.  He argues that Sacks is able to balance diversity and integration within and across societies, recognizing the value of the covenant in providing for social cohesion and but also the applicability of multiple covenants which can provide forms of freedom alternative to those of liberalism. 

Jacob receives a £1,000 prize and the opportunity to publish his essay in a revised form in the Jewish Chronicle.

Previous winning essays addressed Jewish ex-servicemen and the British Legion (Fearghal Grace, Cambridge, 2021), the Jewish League for Women’s Suffrage (Hollie Eaton, Oxford, 2022), and Jewish female émigré artists in the mid-20th century (Verity Laycock, Durham, 2023).

The prize was established in 2020 by his friends and family in memory of Robert Silver (1956-2019), who studied History at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1974-77, to address his three great passions, History, Politics and Jewishness.

picture of Robert Silver
Robert Silver


Applications are now open for the Robert Silver Prize 2025.  Enquiries and submissions can be made to silverprize@hist.cam.ac.uk.