Nominations open for Independence Day Diaspora torch-lighter

Mayim Bialik, Ivanka Trump and Alan Dershowitz have been suggested.

March 7, 2018 15:40
1 minute read.
Nominations open for Independence Day Diaspora torch-lighter

From left to right: Mayim Bialik, Ivanka Trump, and Alan Dershowitz. (photo credit: COURTESY + REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST + REUTERS/ANDREW INNERARITY)


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The Diaspora Affairs Ministry together with the Sport and Culture Ministry has launched a call for nominees from the Diaspora to light a torch this year at the annual Independence Day ceremony on Mount Herzl.

Each year, Israeli movers and shakers are selected to light a beacon in line with the annual theme but this will be the second year that one torch will be specially reserved for members of Diaspora Jewry.

“We are proud and happy to announce that following the success last year, in which Mr. Michael Steinhardt [Taglit-Birthright Israel co-founder] and Rabbi Marvin Hier [the Simon Wiesenthal Center founder] lit a torch at the Independence Day ceremony on Mount Herzl, this year, the 70th year of the State of Israel, one of the 12 torches that will be lit at the ceremony, will be The Torch of the Diaspora Jewry,” said Dvir Kahana, Diaspora Affairs Ministry director-general in a call for nominations sent out Tuesday.

“This week, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, has launched an international campaign for selecting the torch lighter,” he added.

This year the theme of the event is “A Legacy of Innovation.”

The Ministerial Committee for Ceremonies and Symbols called upon the public to propose a candidate who “personifies the concern and work being done for the future of the Jewish people, who reinforces the link between the world Jewry and Israel, and relates to the selected theme.”

Suggestions heard so far by staff at the Diaspora Affairs Ministry include actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik, businesswoman and daughter of the US president Ivanka Trump, and lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Recommendations can be submitted until March 11, to

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