Israel Prize awarded to 13 winners

Soccer star Chodorov could not attend prestigious ceremony, due to stroke.

amnon rubinstein 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
amnon rubinstein 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Israel Prize, considered the country's most prestigious honor, was awarded on Wednesday evening to 13 key figures in literature, music, sports, and other aspects of Israeli life. Ya'acov Chodorov, 78, who was nominated for his role as the legendary goalkeeper of the national team in the 1950s and 60s, could not attend the ceremony due to a mild stroke from which he suffered, leaving him hospitalized at Assaf Harofe during the whole week. His condition was not deemed life-threatening and was declared stable. Three lifetime achievement awards were granted to renowned author Devorah Omer, Israel Air Industry founder Al Schwimmer, and the Israel Andalusian Orchestra. Among the statesmen attending the event were President Moshe Katsav, Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Acting Knesset Speaker Shimon Peres and Education Minister Meir Sheetrit. Some of the more well known prize winners for 2006 included Professors Amnon Rubinstein and Ruth Lapidot for their contribution to judicial research. Lapidot has been studying the legal status of Jerusalem and issues concerning sovereignty and autonomy. Former MK Rubinstein has served as minister of education, culture and sports, communications minister, minister of science and energy, and minister of energy and national infrastructures. He currently serves as a professor at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, and has served as its president when Uriel Reichman left the center to become an MK. Another winner was Ralph Klein, the mythical coach who led both the national basketball team and Maccabi Tel Aviv to victory after victory in the 1970s and 80s.