100 British immigrants honored for contributions to Israel

The event honored 100 people with a British connection for their contributions to politics, the media, the arts, philanthropy and business in Israel.

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May 13, 2018 00:42
2 minute read.
100 British immigrants honored for contributions to Israel

British Ambassador David Quarrey. (photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER)

Public figures celebrated the contributions of Jewish individuals who moved from Britain to Israel at an event hosted by British Ambassador David Quarrey at his residence in Ramat Gan on Thursday night.

The event, a joint initiative of British newspaper Jewish News together with the Jewish Agency and the United Jewish Israel Appeal, honored 100 people with a British connection – both dead and alive – for their contributions to politics, the media, the arts, philanthropy and business in Israel.

Delivering the opening speech, Quarrey spoke of his pride at reading through the list of honorees and the British contribution to the country.

The list included educator and social activist Alice Shalvi, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy and former ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub.

Former deputy prime minister Abba Eban and Israel’s first president Chaim Weizmann, who lobbied for the Balfour Declaration, topped the posthumous list of honorees.

Israel’s 6th president Chaim Herzog and his father, Isaac Halevi Herzog, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, were also honored. Current leader of the opposition Isaac Herzog honored the memory of his father and grandfather in his address to the audience, in which he referred to himself as a “remnant” of the previous generations.

“I’m very proud to represent something of the generations who are mentioned here – my late grandfather, my late father, my late uncle [Eban, who married his aunt],” Herzog said, lauding the event as a unique example of how to “capture the uniqueness of aliya, because aliya is something you carry with you through your life and [pass] to your children. We can’t escape our British roots and we are quite proud of them.”

“We, as a group, have something very powerful,” Herzog said. “We have changed a lot in Israel. Each one of those 100 honorees and the previous generations made a huge difference to Israel and as we mark 70 years to our great nation and state, there are many challenges ahead of us. The next generation of Jewish British olim in Israel will make further change and we will want to encourage them to be as active as possible as we were.”

Shalvi, who topped the list of living British olim, also addressed the audience and spoke of a “moral obligation to contribute to society as much as we can.”

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky quipped that the organizations were cheating by honoring some individuals who, like Weizmann and Eban, were not born in the UK, but merely had spent some years of their lives in the country.


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