Is nobody in the Diaspora worthy of lighting an Independence Day torch?

This was supposed to be the second year running that one torch would be specially reserved for members of Diaspora Jewry.

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April 8, 2018 20:17
1 minute read.
Mayim Bialilk

Mayim Bialik of the hit sitcom 'Big Bang Theory'. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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After announcing last month that nominations had opened for a Diaspora candidate to light an Independence Day torch, it appears as though the ministerial committee did not manage to find anyone worthy of the honor.

Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik had apparently been the front-runner. A source familiar with the subject told The Jerusalem Post that Bialik received hundreds of nominations, but due to a scheduling conflict, the Big Bang Theory star wouldn’t be able to make the ceremony.



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The source said nobody else has been chosen instead, and no Diaspora name appears on the list of torch-lighters released by the Culture and Sport Ministry.


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Each year, Israeli movers and shakers are selected to light a beacon at the annual Independence Day ceremony on Mount Herzl. This was supposed to be the second year running that one torch would be especially reserved for members of Diaspora Jewry.

Last year the theme was the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and Taglit-Birthright Israel co-founder Michael Steinhardt and Simon Wiesenthal Center founder Rabbi Marvin Hier lit the Diaspora torch.

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



“The Diaspora Affairs Ministry, in collaboration with the Culture and Sport Ministry, has launched an international campaign for selecting the torch-lighter,” Dvir Kahana, Diaspora Affairs Ministry director-general said in a call for nominations sent out in March.

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 world Jewry and Israel, and relates to the selected theme.”

The Culture and Sport Ministry did not provide a response before press time.

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