Ryan Higgins, Student at The Jewish Theological Seminary, Has Been Awarded the New Edith Marks Prize in Semitics

Press Contact: Holly Martin
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: homartin@jtsa.edu

May 17, 2011, New York, NY

Ryan Higgins, a student at The Graduate School of The Jewish Theological Seminary, is the 2011 recipient of the new Edith Marks (z”l) Prize in Semitics. The prize is awarded on an intermittent basis by the faculty of the JTS Department of Bible and Semitic Languages to the student who has made the most progress in Semitic languages. Ryan, who is interested in Mesopotamian religion and ancient Near Eastern conceptions of divinity, will receive his MA in Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages this spring and pursue his PhD at JTS in the fall.

Formerly named the Edith and Stuart Marks Prize in Semitics, the award was renamed in Edith’s memory after she passed away last year. Ryan was also the 2010 recipient of the Edith and Stuart Marks Prize in Semitics, making him the first student to be awarded the honor two years in a row.

Associate Provost Stephen Garfinkel presented Ryan with a collection of six celebratory volumes honoring eminent Jewish Bible scholars, all of whom were connected to JTS at some point during their academic careers. The prize was awarded to Ryan on Monday, May 2, 2011, during a class on the Aramaic of the Dead Sea Scrolls given by JTS Professor David Marcus.

Says Ryan, “To be given the prize two years in a row is such an immense honor, and I'm so thankful to Mr. Marks and to my professors in the Bible Department. The literary volumes of this year’s prize, each honoring a scholar who has ties to JTS, make me all the more aware of my own connection to this institution and how fortunate I am to be studying here.”

Previous winners of the Edith and Stuart Marks Prize in Semitics include Sarah Diamant (1995); Lori Sonenblick Abacasis (1996); Linda Paulding (1997); Elliot Cosgrove (1998); Judith Shapero (2000); Job Jindo (2001); Judy Weiss (2002); Ilana Sasson (2003); Chris Dost (2007); Amy Pfeister (2008); and Ryan Higgins (2010).

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