NEW YORK (Oct. 29)
Ida Nudel, the former Soviet Jewish dissident who arrived in Israel Oct. 15, called Wednesday night on American Jews not to relax their efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews, because “the struggle is not over” for the majority of Jews in the Soviet Union who wish to immigrate to Israel.
Nudel made her plea as she accepted the 1987 Defender of Jerusalem Award via telephone from Jerusalem. Her conversation with Morris Abram, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who presented her with the award, was heard through loudspeakers by more than 2,000 guests attending the award ceremony at the Museum of Modern Art here.
The $100,000 award, also known as the Jabotinsky Award, in honor of the Revisionist-Zionist leader Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky, was conferred Wednesday night also upon the late black American civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, former Israeli diplomat Shlomo Argov and Israeli scholar and educator Dr. Israel Eldad.
The award has been presented annually since 1983 to honor, “those who stand up in defense of the rights of the Jewish people,” according to Eryk Spektor, chairman of the Jabotinsky Foundation, which sponsors the prize.
Past recipients of the award include former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick, former Soviet Jewish dissident Natan Sharansky, the late U.S. Senator Henry Jackson and former President Luis Alberto Monge of Costa Rica.
The $100,000 prize was divided equally among the four winners. Rustin, who died in August, received the award for his lifelong support and defense of Israel and the rights of the Jewish people. Norman Hill, president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, accepted the award for Rustin.
A scholarship in Rustin’s memory was also established. It will provide black students in America with the opportunity to study in Israel.
Argov, the former Israeli ambassador to Great Britain who was seriously wounded in a 1982 terrorist attack in London, received the award for his life-long service to the State of Israel He has not recovered since the incident and is still hospitalized in Jerusalem. His son, Gideon Argov, accepted the award in his name.
Eldad, a dedicated follower of Jabotinsky, who received the award for his contribution to national Zionism, called on American Jews to make aliyah and settle in Israel. He made the appeal in Hebrew.