Rabbi Haim Druckman to be awarded Israel Prize

Druckman will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for special contribution to state and society.

March 8, 2012 05:14
1 minute read.
Rabbi Haim Druckman

Rabbi Haim Druckman 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Rabbi Haim Druckman, dean of Ohr Etzion Yeshiva, chairman of Bnei Akiva Yeshivot and a leading figure in the national-religious community, will be awarded the Israel Prize for contributions to education and society, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced on Wednesday.

Druckman, who also served as director of the State Conversion Authority from 1990 until February of this year, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for special contribution to state and society.

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The prize committee, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Ya’acov Turkel, said that the state’s highest civilian honor is being awarded to Druckman for his “many important activities in the field of education for national-religious youth.”

The committee cited his “national vision,” through which he was one of the founders of the hesder yeshivot where students combine Torah study and IDF service, his establishment of the Ohr Etzion yeshiva and his continued leadership of the Bnei Akiva center for yeshivot.

“With his sensitivity for the love of the people of Israel, he has worked to bring together different segments of the people, for the absorption of immigrants, led the Special Court for Conversion, and the establishment of a framework for the absorption of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia,” the statement continued.

Praise for Druckman poured in from many quarters following the announcement, from both MKs and educational establishments.

MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) called Druckman “a sign and wonder,” who has worked endlessly for the sake of society, especially for converts and for Zionist education.

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) called the award a “mark of respect” for Druckman and prayed that “the many seeds he has planted will grow up to be like him.”

MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) said, “The work of Rabbi Druckman is a prize itself for the people of Israel which has merited a leader of such stature who has been so active in the return of the people of Israel to its land.”

Druckman is a former member of Knesset and served as deputy minister for Religious Affairs in the Begin government.

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