(JNS.org) Nine immigrants from English-speaking countries were honored at a Knesset ceremony Monday for their contributions to the state of Israel.
The Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize was presented to recipients in a variety of fields by Nefesh B’Nefesh—an agency facilitating aliyah from the U.S., Canada and the U.K.—before a crowd of hundreds of people. Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver participated in the ceremony.
“Being the husband of an olah chadasha (new female immigrant) who made aliyah at 19 years old, I know how challenging but how exciting it is to be an oleh (male immigrant) and to get adjusted to Israeli society and contribute to this great country,” said Hanegbi. “We see the headlines in the media and in the newspapers...about terrorism that never stops really. But all these issues are not as important as this event and aliyah as a whole.”
The awards were presented to professionals in science and medicine, community and nonprofit, education, Israel advocacy, arts, culture and sports, and young leadership.
“In every professional field across the country, English-speaking olim (immigrants) are making incredible contributions to the state of Israel and Israeli society, with their innovation, passion and drive to advance the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
The award recipients included Prof. Benjamin W. Corn, head of the Institute of Radiotherapy at Ichilov Hospital; Beth Steinberg, director and co-Founder of Shutaf Inclusion Program; Rabbi Chaim Brovender, founder and head of WebYeshiva.org; Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor; Yoram Raanan, a contemporary Jewish artist; Captain Libby Weiss, head of the Social Media Department in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit; and Scott Neiss, founder and executive director of the Israel Lacrosse Association.