Rabbi Haim Druckman 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Rabbi Haim Druckman, dean of Ohr Etzion Yeshiva, chairman of Bnei Akiva Yeshivot
and a leading figure in the national-religious community, will be awarded the
Israel Prize for contributions to education and society, Education Minister
Gideon Sa’ar announced on Wednesday.
Druckman, who also served as
director of the State Conversion Authority from 1990 until February of this
year, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for special contribution to
state and society.
The prize committee, headed by retired Supreme Court
Justice Ya’acov Turkel, said that the state’s highest civilian honor is being
awarded to Druckman for his “many important activities in the field of education
for national-religious youth.”
The committee cited his “national vision,”
through which he was one of the founders of the hesder yeshivot where students
combine Torah study and IDF service, his establishment of the Ohr Etzion yeshiva
and his continued leadership of the Bnei Akiva center for yeshivot.
his sensitivity for the love of the people of Israel, he has worked to bring
together different segments of the people, for the absorption of immigrants, led
the Special Court for Conversion, and the establishment of a framework for the
absorption of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia,” the
Praise for Druckman poured in from many quarters
following the announcement, from both MKs and educational
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) called Druckman “a sign and
wonder,” who has worked endlessly for the sake of society, especially for
converts and for Zionist education.
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MK Uri Ariel (National Union) called
the award a “mark of respect” for Druckman and prayed that “the many seeds he
has planted will grow up to be like him.”
MK Michael Ben Ari (National
Union) said, “The work of Rabbi Druckman is a prize itself for the people of
Israel which has merited a leader of such stature who has been so active in the
return of the people of Israel to its land.”
Druckman is a former member
of Knesset and served as deputy minister for Religious Affairs in the Begin
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