Bennett to Israel Prize winners: Our world advances thanks to you

At the ceremony celebrating Israel's 71st Independence Day, the education minister said goodbye to his official duties. "I did as best as I could for the people of Israel," he said.

May 9, 2019 22:51
2 minute read.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the 57th Israel Prize ceremony, 2019.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the 57th Israel Prize ceremony on Israel's 71st Independence Day, 2019.. (photo credit: ODED KARNI/GPO)


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The 57th Israel Prize Ceremony for the 71st Israeli Independence Day occurred on Thursday evening in the presence of the president, the prime minister, the speaker of the Knesset, the president of the supreme court, the education minister and more.

The winners of this year's prizes are:

In the field of performing arts - Naomi Polani
In the field of research on Jewish languages and literature, research on popular culture - Professor Aharon Maman
In the field of research on life sciences - Professor Adi Kimhi
In the field of research on geography, the study of the knowledge of the land of Israel, research on archaeology - Professor Amnon Ben Tor
In the field of architecture and design - architect Dan Eytan
In the field of research on history of the people of Israel - Professor Mordechai Akiva Friedman
In the field of research on science of Earth, geology and the science of the atmosphere - Professor Dan Yakir
In the field of research on sociology and anthropology - Professor Deborah Bernstein
In the field of special contribution to society and the country - Miri and Haim Erental
In the field of special contribution to society and the country - Rona Ramon, Z"L

Education Minister Naftali Bennett made a speech during the ceremony and addressed the three prominent cases in Jewish history in which breakthrough personalities took initiative, such as Benjamin Zeev Herzl, David Ben-Gurion, and Nahshon Ben Aminadav.

"It's often the nachshon's fate to be mocked. But the nachshons are those that build the world," Bennett said. "Thanks to these few that are prepared to take risks, that are ready to fight their way against everyone, that are ready to receive cynicism and ridicule, thanks to these few, our world is moving forward."

"As the minister of education of Israel, I turn to every student, to every entrepeneur, and to every person in Israel who has a dream: be brave," Bennett continued. "Those who cannot allow themselves to fail greatly will never be brave enough to win. Work for the realization of your dream. We will be the ones who are struggling and fighting at the front, and not those that mock and criticize from the rear."

At the end of his speech, Bennett signed off with a few personal words towards the end of his term as education minister. "Everyone was my child," he said. "I thank you all deeply, citizens of Israel, and to the Creator, for giving me the privilege to serve you. There is only one thing I can say: I did the best I could for you, people of Israel, my beloved people. There is still so much work to be done, and there are people just as good as me that will do it. You are in good hands. I love my people, the people of Israel, and my land, the land of Israel, with all my heart. And I promise: In every place that I will be, I will never stop giving my all to the people of Israel."

Professor Aharon Maman, who won the prize in the field of research on Jewish languages, literature and popular culture, spoke when receiving the prize, saying, "It is my job to document everything that can be documented, to save what can be saved, before these languages disappear. In the future generations, if people will want to know what language our fathers' fathers' fathers spoke, then they will be able to read about it in books and hear about it."

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