The Bonei Zion Prize committee.
(photo credit: JARED BERNSTEIN PHOTOGRAPHY)
Six immigrants from English-speaking countries who have made a major impact on the State of Israel will receive the 2015 Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize, it was announced on Tuesday.
The honorees are Prof. Charles Sprung, director of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s General Intensive Care Unit, in the field of science and medicine; Jon Medved, founder and CEO of crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, in the field of entrepreneurship and technology; Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber, founder and executive director of the ITIM organization – which helps people navigate the bureaucracy of Israel’s religious authorities – in the field of community and non-profit; Chana Reifman Zweiter, founding director of the Kaleidoscope program – which works to improve interaction between Acre’s Arab and Jewish students – in the field of education; Asher Weill, consultant and editor of English publications for the Limmud FSU program, in the culture, sports and arts category; and IDF St.-Sgt. Asaf Stein in the category of IDF and national service young leadership.
An additional lifetime achievement award will go to basketball star Tal Brody for his contribution to shaping and impacting Israel through sports and through public diplomacy efforts on the state’s behalf.
The official award ceremony for the prizes will take place in the Knesset in May.
Hundreds of immigrants from English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the US were nominated for the Nefesh B’Nefesh awards, which recognize outstanding Anglo immigrants who have encapsulated “the spirit of modern-day Zionism” and contributed to the State of Israel in significant ways.
“It has been incredibly inspirational, for the second consecutive year, to see the remarkable number of Anglo olim who are making a significant impact on the State of Israel,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh co-founder and executive director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass.
“These Bonei Zion Prize recipients exemplify how olim are making historic advancements and contributing, each in their own field, to the success of the country and our nation,” he said. “We hope that highlighting the achievements of these olim, in addition to expressing our gratitude to the recipients, will serve as a catalyst to inspire others to make aliya and follow in their footsteps.”
The selection committee for the winners consisted of 16 public figures, including Maj.- Gen. (res.) Ya’acov Amidror, author and former ambassador Yehuda Avner, Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Steve Linde, and former ambassador to the UN Prof. Gabriella Shalev.