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Michael Dickson wins Nefesh B'Nefesh Prize

Updated: Apr 6, 2019

StandWithUs-Israel Executive Director Michael Dickson Wins Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize April 1, 2019 Which Recognizes English-Speaking Olim Who Have Greatly Contributed To The State of Israel

Photography: Jared Bernstein

(JERUSALEM, Israel -- April 1, 2019) Seven outstanding Olim (immigrants to Israel) from English-speaking countries have been awarded the 2019 Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize, recognizing Anglos who have made a major contribution to the State of Israel

StandWithUs is proud that Executive Director of StandWithUs – Israel, Michael Dickson is named among them as the recipient of the award in the field of Israel Advocacy.

StandWithUs – Israel Executive Director Michael Dickson said: “I am humbled to be a recipient of the 2019 Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize. It is a joy to be able to live in the Jewish State and a privilege to be able to contribute to it. I am honored to be receiving this alongside incredible men and women. I am deeply grateful to the founders and Board of StandWithUs for their constant faith in me, and especially to Roz Rothstein, Jerry Rothstein, Esther Renzer and to our exceptional, mission-driven staff. I also express deep thanks to my wife and my amazing family and to all the proud Zionists who have joined our movement and who stand with Israel unequivocally.”

CEO and co-founder of StandWithUs, Roz Rothstein said: “We are so proud of the work and passion of Michael Dickson, who has been with us since he arrived in Israel, in 2006. He has worked hard to build our wonderful offices in Jerusalem, across from the King David Hotel. Under his leadership, we are reaching over 25,000 students and people of all ages each year from that office. Our post-army Israeli Fellowship has become an incredible force with over 2,000 graduates since he came on board. He has all the right ingredients of leadership, creativity and passion for Israel's well-being. He continues to be one of the great treasures of StandWithUs."

Hundreds of Olim from English-speaking countries – including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, and USA - were nominated for the prize. The prize recognizes outstanding Anglo Olim who have helped Israel in a meaningful way by encapsulating the spirit of modern-day Zionism and contributing in significant ways towards the State of Israel. Recipients were chosen by a prestigious panel of committee members.

The other honorees are: Dr. Ora Paltiel, Director, Hadassah Center for Research in Clinical Epidemiology and Professor, Braun School of Public Health in the field of Science; Leah Abramowitz, Co-Founder of Melabev and Coordinator of the Institute for Studies in Aging in the field of Community & Non-Profit; Dr. Beverly Gribetz, Principal of the Evelina de Rothschild—Tehilla Secondary School for Religious Girls in Jerusalem in the field of Education; and Danny Hakim, Founder and Chairman of Budo for Peace and Chairman of Kids Kicking Cancer Israel in the field of Culture, Art & Sports.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Harold ‘Smoky’ Simon for his decades of service to the Jewish State – his role in the founding of the Israeli Air Force as well as acting Chairman of World Machal and his contributions to Israel’s insurance and pension arenas. In addition, the Young Leadership Prize has been given to Miriam Ballin, Founder of the United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit.

This year’s prizes, announced today, are sponsored by Sylvan Adams, a Nefesh B’Nefesh Oleh and Canadian real estate developer, who is committed to developing the State of Israel. Sylvan is dedicated to showcasing the impact and achievement of Israelis to the world, viewing the Bonei Zion Prize as an integral piece of this mission.

“It is an honor to be able to recognize these incredible Olim for the significant and meaningful impact they have had on the State of Israel,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh Co-Founder and Executive Director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “The Bonei Zion Prize recipients exemplify the endless professional opportunities available in this country, and serve as shining examples of the undeniable contributions Olim make in their respective fields in Israel.”

Bio for Michael Dickson:

Israel Advocacy - Michael Dickson is Executive Director of StandWithUs-Israel. He assumed his position in 2006 after making Aliyah from London with his family .

Michael leads a dynamic team in Jerusalem for the international non-profit, which is a respected provider of Israel educational material and programs. His role includes pioneering innovative Israel educational initiatives, running campaigns to counter discriminatory BDS boycotts of Israel, overseeing the organization’s significant social media presence and hosting delegations of politicians, diplomats, academics and other people of influence in Israel.

Michael helped establish the StandWithUs Israel Fellowship, which has become the go-to public diplomacy program on Israeli campuses and has graduated over 2,000 of the country's future diplomats and leaders. These outstanding Israeli young adults have gone on to staff major corporations, political parties in the Knesset, government ministries and embassies, and NGOs worldwide.

Michael has led diplomatic, academic and journalist missions to Israel and has advocated for Israel in different forums, including at the UN “Durban II” conference, in the Knesset, in Europe, the US, and in the Far East. Michael has helped pioneer the organization’s social media activity, which now has a weekly peak reach on Facebook of over 105 million people. He has been instrumental in setting up “social media situation rooms” as far back as in 2009 during Operation Cast Lead. Michael has amassed a large following on social media and his personal output reaches millions of people each month.

Under Michael’s leadership, StandWithUs’s operation in Israel has grown exponentially, empowering people in Israel and internationally to be active advocates for Israel and countering efforts to impose commercial, academic and cultural boycotts on Israel. Michael oversaw the construction of the new StandWithUs Educational Center in Jerusalem, which hosts 30,000 students and tourists a year, participating in educational programs.

Michael regularly addresses audiences and broadcasts on issues pertaining to Israel and public diplomacy. He is an accomplished writer, with many published articles, TV appearances and he is writing a book due to be published soon. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Communication of Bar Ilan University, is an Honorary member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, and was appointed to the Spectrum Forum of leading Executive Directors in Israel under the age of 40. In 2016, he was named as the 14th most influential Jew on Twitter and also one of the “30 Israelis Making a Difference” by Channel 10 TV. Michael was listed in the Top 30 of "The Aliyah 100 List" of British immigrants to Israel as one of the "flag bearers who shape the state of Israel and made a significant contribution".

About StandWithUs

StandWithUs is an international non-profit Israel education organization. We are inspired by our love for Israel and the belief that education is the road to peace.

StandWithUs is dedicated to educating people of all ages about Israel and to combating the extremism and anti-Semitism that often distorts the issues. We believe that knowledge of the facts will correct common prejudices about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and will promote discussions and policies that can help promote peace in the region.

We educate via cutting-edge campaigns, materials, speakers, programs, conferences and missions to Israel. We reach millions of people globally via a multitude of social media platforms in 18 different languages. We ensure that the story of Israel’s achievements and ongoing challenges is told in middle schools, in high schools, on college campuses and in communities around the world.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, StandWithUs has eighteen offices and chapters across the U.S., Canada, Israel and in the UK, with our flagship Education Center in the heart of Jerusalem. We also host programs in Latin America, South Africa, China, Europe and Australia.

For the last six years, StandWithUs has the highest Charity Navigator rating - 4 out of 4 stars - and the highest rating on GuideStar - platinum level.


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