7 immigrants awarded prize for major contributions to Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A South African who flew combat missions in Israel’s War of Independence and the U.S.-born founder of a pluralistic Orthodox school for girls were among those recognized for making major contributions as immigrants to Israel.

On Monday, Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that helps Diaspora Jews make aliyah, announced its 2019 Sylvan Adams Bonei Zion Prize winners, which are awarded to English-speaking immigrants.

The honorees are Ora Paltiel, director, Hadassah Center for Research in Clinical Epidemiology and Professor, Braun School of Public Health (Science); Leah Abramowitz, co-founder of Melabev, a service for dementia patients, and coordinator of the Institute for Studies in Aging (Community & Non-Profit); Michael Dickson, executive director of StandWithUs–Israel (Israel Advocacy); Beverly Gribetz, principal of the Evelina de Rothschild-Tehilla Secondary School in Jerusalem (Education); and Danny Hakim, founder and chairman of Budo for Peace and chairman of Kids Kicking Cancer Israel (Culture, Art & Sports).

The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Harold “Smoky” Simon, who played a key role in the founding of the Israeli Air Force and served as acting chairman of World Machal, an organization for overseas veterans of Israel’s wars.

The Young Leadership Prize was awarded to Miriam Ballin, founder of the United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit.

Hundreds of immigrants from English-speaking countries were nominated for the prize. It “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,” Nefesh B’Nefesh said in a statement.

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