Michal Herzog salutes diversity at awards ceremony

On Monday, President Isaac Herzog sat and listened as his wife Michal delivered the main address at the awards ceremony for diversity in advertising and marketing campaigns.

Michal Herzog (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Michal Herzog
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The last president to sit in the audience at an awards event at the President’s Residence and listen to his wife give the keynote address was Chaim Herzog, who listened as his wife, Aura, the founder of the Council for a Beautiful Israel, lavished praise at an awards event on the factory plants that had beautified their premises and the immediate surrounds. 

On Monday of this week, Herzog’s youngest son, President Isaac Herzog, sat and listened as his wife, Michal, delivered the main address at the awards ceremony for diversity in advertising and marketing campaigns.

Michal Herzog was a natural choice as she has spent many years promoting social diversity. This was the purpose of a competition among companies from all branches of Israel’s economy. 

Overseeing the adjudicating committee was the Advertising Agencies’ Association of Israel. 

The idea, according to Michal Herzog, was to make people from all strata of Israeli society see themselves in advertising and marketing campaigns in traditional media as well as in social media and in-house publications – and in doing so, to realize that each is an integral part of Israel.

One of the winning companies prided itself on the fact that it was the first in Israel to knowingly employ two men who are married to each other. Members of the gay community are also part of the diversity of Israeli society, no less than Arabs, ultra-Orthodox and people of color, most of whom were either born in Ethiopia or are of Ethiopian parentage.

Michal Herzog, the wife of Israel's President Isaac Herzog, visited a disabled veteran who set himself on fire at a Defense Ministry office in April. (credit: OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT)Michal Herzog, the wife of Israel's President Isaac Herzog, visited a disabled veteran who set himself on fire at a Defense Ministry office in April. (credit: OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT)

Among the other winners was Delta, whose late founder, Dov Lautman, was a pioneer of social diversity and equal opportunity. The company is still guided by that philosophy.

Another winning company, Aroma, makes a point of employing people with mental or physical disabilities on the premise, showing that someone who has mobility problems can still be a good accountant, and someone who is intellectually under-developed can still do a great job waiting on tables, cooking or cleaning. The purpose is to make them feel useful and respected. When they are praised and encouraged, the natural inclination is to do better, and untapped potential often comes to the fore. There were too many winners to mention here, but one said she hoped the day would come when there would be no need to give prizes of this nature to marketing campaigns because the inclusion of people from all sectors of society would be the norm and not the exception to the rule.

There were too many winners to mention here, but one said she hoped the day would come when there was no need to give prizes of this nature to marketing campaigns because the inclusion of people from all sectors of society would be the norm and not the exception to the rule.

Herzog pointed out in her address that diversity is the engine of social change because it reflects Israeli reality.

“Social change begins with what you see,” she said, adding that social change provides more opportunities for all components of society.

In advocating social change, Herzog emphasized that profitability is not everything.

“Our richness as a nation can be seen in social diversity, which is also the source of our strength.”