The Moskowitz Prize for Zionism will be awarded to five recipients in a ceremony at the National Park at Emek Tzurim in Jerusalem on Thursday evening.
The annual prize, totaling $100,000, was established by US physician, businessman and philanthropist Dr. Irving and Cherna Moskowitz, as an “expression of support for people who put Zionism into action” in modern Israeli society.
This year, the prize will be divided into two categories, the traditional Lion of Zion, awarded to Israeli citizens who have addressed the challenges facing modern Zionism in spheres such as education, research, settlement, culture and security; and the Spirit of Zion, an award for young Israelis pursuing new Zionist initiatives.
This year’s recipients of the Lion of Zion prize are Dr. Gabriel Barkay, Michael Freund and Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon.
Freund founded Shavei Israel, an organization dedicated to reaching out to “lost Jews” around the world and reconnecting them with their heritage and the State of Israel. Shavei Israel has reconnected, among others, the communities of Bnei Anousim in Spain, Portugal and South America; the Bnei Menashe tribe in India; Subbotniks in Russia; Kaifeng Jews from China; Jews from the Amazon; and Inca Jews in Peru.
Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon is rabbi of Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion and a faculty member of the Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva and Midreshet Migdal Oz. Rimon established JobKatif – helping to ensure families displaced from Gush Katif and northern Shomron in 2005 to rebuild their lives with “dignity and honor” and JobIsrael, helping people to find gainful employment throughout the country.
Archeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay is director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, established in 2004 under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University to sift all the debris removed from the Temple Mount in an effort to retrieve the many lost artifacts.
The Spirit of Zion prize will be awarded to Aftamo Yosef, founder of the Tzeida Laderech program for Meaningful Service, helping Ethiopian-Israeli youth realize their potential through IDF service; and Netanel Ellinson, author of the Hiker’s Guide to Samaria, which encourages tourism to the area.