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Professor Receives Meshorer Award
By World Coin News
February 13, 2013

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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Prof. Alla Kushnir-Stein was awarded the 2013 Ya’akov Meshorer Numismatic Prize at a ceremony and reception held in her honor Jan. 15 at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Kushnir-Stein retired as a professor at Tel Aviv University in 2009 but has continued publishing, editing and supervising graduate students. She is the fourth recipient of this honor, which carries a cash award of $5,000, and is the first Israeli and first woman to receive it. Ya’akov Meshorer (1935-2004) established the Numismatic Division at the Israel Museum. The award diploma was presented by Dr. Haim Gitler, curator of numismatics at the Israel Museum and president of the Israel Numismatic Society.

“Alla’s work on the numismatics of this land is characterized by a breadth of vision that is unusual,” said Gitler. “She has an extraordinary grasp of her material: coins and weights (which are much neglected fields but, as she has shown, of enormous potential value for our understanding of the little known institutional history of early Palestine), as well as on the epigraphic, archaeological and literary sources of the period – to all of which she brings a sharp eye and a sophisticated approach.

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“Her work is uniformly of the highest quality, and that part of it which is devoted to the chronology of the Herodian kings and the eras of the Palestinian Roman cities has become indispensable. She is distinguished in her ability to solve long-running and difficult questions, combining unfailing logic and imagination.”

James Snyder, director of the Israel Museum, made introductory remarks reminiscing about Prof. Ya’akov Meshorer and honoring Kushnir-Stein at the ceremony, which was attended by more than 200 people.

Also in attendance was Prof. Stanley Fisher, governor of the Bank of Israel, as well as members of the Meshorer family.

Meshorer’s longtime friend David Hendin, adjunct curator at the American Numismatic Society, also made introductory comments. Hendin quoted Dr. Andrew Burnett, deputy director of the British Museum, who was the first recipient of the Meshorer Award. Burnett has written that Meshorer “was one of the great figures of modern numismatics, and archaeology, and he was one of the most brilliant speakers one might ever encounter.”

Hendin also quoted Burnett, who cited Prof. Kushnir-Stein’s critically important “series of fundamental articles, especially on matters of chronology.”

Hendin announced that the Honorable Abraham Sofaer and his wife Marian are in the process of donating their massive collection of ancient coins of the land of Israel to the Israel Museum and the American Numismatic Society. The donation is made in memory of Meshorer.

Meshorer established the Israel Museum’s Numismatic Division in 1969 and continued at its helm until 1993. He also served as the museum’s chief curator for archaeology from 1975 to 1982 and from 1990 to 1996. He retired from the museum in 2000. He was appointed Professor of Numismatics at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, in 1983.

The Ya’akov Meshorer Numismatic Prize was established in 2001, thanks to the generous donations of numerous friends of the Israel Museum.

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