Wiesel to be one of beacon lighters

Torch-lighting ceremony will open celebration for Israel's 60th.

eli wiesel 298 courtesy (photo credit: Sergey Bermeniev)
eli wiesel 298 courtesy
(photo credit: Sergey Bermeniev)
Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel will be among the 12 torch-lighters at the official Independence Day ceremony on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl on the evening of May 7. The ceremony will open the celebrations for Israel's 60th anniversary. The chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies on Tuesday approved the list of torch-lighters drawn up by a panel headed by Hana Cohen, director of the Information Department at the Prime Minister's Office. The commitee said the 12 torch-lighters all contributed to the education, welfare and well-being of Israeli children; each will be accompanied by a child who represents a different aspect of the young generation. Here are the chosen torch-lighters, each representing one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel: • Elie Wiesel, novelist, political activist, 1986 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor. Wiesel represents the Israeli connection with the Diaspora. He will be accompanied by Shmuel Falik, 13, from Miami, who was born on Israel's Independence Day and will celebrate his bar mitzva here together with his family. • Galila Ron-Feder Amit, an Israeli author of children's books and a former foster mother who still volunteers in organizations for children at risk. • Roni Duek, a businessman who has been working with programs for children at risk for 20 years. • Dr. Erika Landau has been helping for 40 years to educate gifted, highly intelligent and talented children to be leaders in society. • Dr. Yitzhak Kadman is director of the National Council for the Child. • Rabbi David Grossman from Migdal Ha'emek, founded the Migdal Ohr educational network for the benefit of Israel's children, including children at risk and new immigrants. • Yossi Sadeh established a ranch 10 years ago to help deprived youth study and prepare for service in the IDF. • Sanna Elbaz, who lives in Beersheba, is director of the only community centers organization in the Beduin sector, and works to improve Beduin schools. • Hadara Rosenblum is director of the organization of youth councils and has initiated several programs to help youth, including Seeds of Peace and Young Ambassadors. • Naftali Der'i, general-secretary of the council for youth movements, has led the Civilian Leadership project for the promotion of the civil society in Israel. • Prof. Pnina Klein is an Israel Prize Laureate for Education and a medical doctor of the originator of the theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability who treated children with Down's Syndrome. The 12th torch-lighter is to be chosen from the ranks of the IDF.