As Israel celebrated its 66th birthday, 10 Israel Prizes were awarded during a state ceremony in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
The ceremony took place at Binyanei Hauma in the presence of President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein, Supreme Court President Asher D. Grunis, Education Minister Shai Piron and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
In the opening address, Piron called for a social reawakening of Israeli society and stressed the importance of developing an all-inclusive public discourse, aimed at cultivating the next generation of Israeli scholars.
“The time has come for a deep cultural and moral revival – a renewal that will impact the character of the state in the present and in the future. Israeli culture and the current public discourse do not quench the thirst of youth who have a deep curiosity,” he said.
The education minister called for a discourse in which “the name of the game is ‘responsibility’, the combustible materials are the belief in justice, belief in the faith of man and the people; and sensitivity to the individual and the collective.”
This year’s Israel Prizes laureates are: Prof. Shamma Yehuda Friedman of Bar- Ilan University in Ramat Gan for research of the Talmud, Prof. Mordechai Segev of the Technion-Institute of Technology in Haifa in the field of Physics, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein in the field of Jewish Religious Literature, Hebrew University emeritus Prof. Marta Weinstock-Rosin in the field of Medicine, Prof. Irad Malkin of Tel Aviv University for general historical research, Prof. Yaacov Katan of the Hebrew University in the area of Agricultural Research and Environmental Science, Prof. Michal Na’aman in the category of Visual Arts and Hebrew University Prof. Haim Levy for the study of Managerial Science.
In addition, two Israel Prizes for lifetime achievement, representing a special contribution to society and the State of Israel, were awarded to Avinoam Naor, founder of traffic safety organization Or Yarok, for his work to reduce road fatalities in Israel, and Adina Bar-Shalom, founder of the Haredi College in Jerusalem for her efforts in advancing higher education within the ultra-Orthodox sector.
“The laureates give testimony to the importance of responsibility in our lives. Alongside the creation, entrepreneurship and innovation of their activities, they sought to make their contribution: to place many students, to make their voices heard and did not give up on the balance between research and comprehensive practices,” Piron said.