Nefesh b’Nefesh awarded its annual Sylvan Adams Bonei Zion prize to seven English-speaking immigrants to Israel who have made major contributions to the state, in categories including Israel advocacy, education, and public health and science.
This year’s categories and prizewinners include: Israeli Advocacy – Michael Dickson, executive director of StandWithUs, a well-known Israel advocacy organization; Education – Dr. Beverly Gribetz, principal of the Evelina de Rothschild–Tehilla Secondary School for religious girls in Jerusalem; Science & Medicine – Dr. Ora Paltiel, director of the Center for Research in Clinical Epidemiology at the Hadassah Medical Center and a professor at the Braun School of Public Health; Community & Non-Profit – Leah Abramowitz, co-founder of Melabev and coordinator of the Institute for Studies in Aging; and Culture, Art & Sports – Danny Hakim, founder and chairman of Budo for Peace and chairman of Kids Kicking Cancer Israel.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Harold “Smoky” Simon for his decades of service to the Jewish state, beginning with his role in the founding of the Israeli Air Force, and subsequently as acting chairman of World Machal.
The Young Leadership Prize was awarded to Miriam Ballin, who founded the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit for United Hatzalah, a volunteer organization that provides first-response medical services.
Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh b’Nefesh, said that “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. 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.”
The prizes are sponsored by Sylvan Adams, a Canadian real estate developer and oleh who immigrated with the assistance of Nefesh b’Nefesh. Adams is behind the effort to bring Madonna to perform at the Eurovision, which will be held in Tel Aviv this May, and also helped fund the Beresheet spacecraft for SpaceIL, which is set to land on the moon on April 11.
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