7 olim awarded by Nefesh B’Nefesh for major contributions to Israel

JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Seven immigrants to Israel from English-speaking countries have been recognized for making major contributions to the Jewish State.

On Tuesday, Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that helps Diaspora Jews make aliyah,  announced its 2017 Sylvan Adams Bonei Zion Prize winners, which are awarded to olim, or immigrants, from English-speaking countries – including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This year’s honorees are:   Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin, founder, chancellor and rosh hayeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone and Chief Rabbi of Efrat in the field of Education; Prof. Marcia Javitt, director of Medical Imaging at Rambam Healthcare Campus in the field of Science & Medicine; Kalman Samuels, Shalva founder and  president in the field of Community & Non-Profit; Linda Streit, founder of the Daniel Rowing Centre in the field of Culture, Art & Sports; and Arsen Ostrovsky, International Human Rights lawyer and executive director of the Israeli-Jewish Congress in the field of Israel Advocacy.

The Bonei Zion Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 was awarded to Morris Kahn, 88, who made aliyah from South Africa in 1956 at the age of 26, “in recognition of his exemplary entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen which has fueled the Start-up Nation and secured Israel as a world leader in technology,” according to a statement from Nefesh B’Nefesh. Kahn, a cofounder of Amdocs, in recent years has increasingly focused his attention on philanthropy and venture philanthropy in the scientific and medical fields.

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A Young Leadership Prize was awarded to Major Keren Hajioff, head of Public Diplomacy, Spokesperson’s Unit in the Israel Defense Forces. Hajioff made aliyah from London in 2009 soon after high school and joined the IDF a month later.

The prize “recognizes outstanding Anglo olim who have helped Israel in a meaningful way by encapsulating the spirit of modern-day Zionism and contributing in significant ways towards the State of Israel,” Nefesh B’Nefesh said in a statement. The winners, chosen from among hundreds of nominees, were reviewed by a selection committee of leaders from all walks of Israeli life.

Sylvan Adams is a Canadian real estate developer who came to Israel on aliyah with the help of Nefesh B’Nefesh.