The principal of a south Tel Aviv school whose student body is made up largely
of the children of foreign workers and asylum seekers has won the Charles
Bronfman Prize for 2011.
The prize committee said that principal Karen
Tal’s Bialik- Rogozin School “serves as a global model rooted in compassion for
those seeking to provide the basic right of education to all children in
environments where they can learn, grow and thrive.”
which is home to around 800 students from 48 countries, was the subject of the
film Strangers No More, which won the Best Documentary Short at the 2011 Academy
Awards in February.
The prize includes a $100,000 award, and according to
the prize committee “goes to a young humanitarian whose work is informed and
fueled by Jewish values and has broad, global impact that can potentially change
Tal, who became the principal of the school in 2005, said
Wednesday that winning the award brought her a great deal of excitement and it
means there is recognition of the work that she and her staff are doing at
“Our work is not done to win awards; it’s done because
of our obligation to the work and to the children. The fact that our work gets
attention and wins the biggest prize in the Jewish world gives us a great deal
of pride in what we’re doing, and it is a very real feedback and a very positive
Tal thanked the city of Tel Aviv and the Education Ministry for
their help in carrying out the work of the Bialik- Rogozin school, and said she
hopes the continued recognition of the school will have an impact on the around
180 of the school’s students who face the threat of deportation following a
cabinet decision last August.
“We hope that all of this recognition that
the school is getting will have an influence on the government and the future of
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