Nominations open in prize for outstanding English-speaking Israeli immigrants

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Nominations have opened for a prize recognizing outstanding Israeli immigrants from English-speaking countries.

The Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize was established by the aliyah organization to recognize “extraordinary English-speaking olim (immigrants) who are making a major impact on developing the State of Israel,” Nefesh B’Nefesh announced.

Nefesh B’Nefesh is a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 to encourage and facilitate the aliyah process for Jews from North America and the United Kingdom.

The awards will recognize “contributions made by younger Olim who represent the future of the State of Israel as well as those who have dedicated their lives to properly represent the State of Israel on the international stage,” according to the announcement.  Eligible candidates must have made Aliyah from an English-speaking country, including: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


A panel of committee members will award $10,000 prizes in six categories:  Community and Nonprofit; Culture, Sports and Arts; Education; Science and Medicine; Israel Advocacy; and Young Leadership.

Last year’s winners included: Staff Sgt. Sahar Elbaz, a recently released lone soldier from the Israel Defense Forces’ Givati Brigade, who shot four attackers and saved his unit when it came under attack in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014; Barbara Levin, founder of the pluralist Tali school system; and Scott Tobin, general partner at Battery Ventures, leading investments in Israel, the United States and Europe as a world’s top venture capitalist.

The panel of judges includes Colette Avital, Israeli diplomat; David Gerstein, painter and sculptor; Barbara Goldstein, deputy executive director, Hadassah, Israel; Yonatan Halevy, director general, Shaare Zedek Medical Center; Gabriela Shalev, president of the Higher Academic Council and dean of the law school at the Ono Academic College; Rabbi Berel Wein, founder and director, The Destiny Foundation; Ron Prosor, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations; and Yael Arad, the first Israeli to win an Olympic medal.

Nominations for the prize will be accepted through January 31, 2017,; the winners will be announced on May 7, 2017. Nominations may be submitted at