Six immigrants to Israel awarded Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Six immigrants to Israel from English-speaking countries have been awarded the 2015 Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize.

The $10,000 prizes announced on Tuesday will be awarded at an official ceremony in the Knesset in May.

Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber, founder and executive director of ITIM, which helps Israelis navigate the bureaucracy of religious authorities, won in the Community and Non-Profit category. He made aliyah from the United States in 1998.

Jon Medved, Founder and CEO of OurCrowd, who has invested in over 100 Israeli startup companies, won in the Entrepreneurship and Technology category. He made aliyah in 1991 from the United States.

Professor Charles Sprung, director of Hadassah Medical Organization’s General Intensive Care Unit , who has published some 300 papers in prominent medical journals, won in the Science and Medicine category. He made aliyah in 1990 from the United States.

Israel Defense Forces Staff Sgt. Asaf Stein, PhD, who as a lone soldier put his academic career in  biomedical engineering on hold to become a combat soldier in the IDF’s Golani Brigade, won in the IDF and National Service Young Leadership category. He made aliyah in 2012 from the United States.

Asher Weill, consultant and editor for all English publications for Limmud FSU, who founded the Jerusalem International Book Fair in 1961 and has published a wide cross-section of Israeli authors, statesmen and public figures in both Hebrew and English, won in the  Culture, Sports and Arts category. He made aliyah in 1958 from the United Kingdom.

Chana Reifman Zweiter, founding director of Kaleidoscope/The Rosh Pina Mainstreaming Network, which focuses on improving interaction between the northern Israeli city of Akko’s Arab and Jewish elementary school students, won in the Education category. She made aliyah in 1992 from the United States.

An additional Lifetime Achievement Award was granted to Tal Brody, former player for the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball team and currently Israel’s first Goodwill Ambassador, who made aliyah in 1970 from the United States.

The panel of judges included Colette Avital, Israeli diplomat; David Gerstein, internationally renowned painter and sculptor; Barbara Goldstein, deputy executive director, Hadassah, Israel; Prof. Yonatan Halevy, director general, Shaare Zedek Medical Center; Steve Linde, editor-in-chief, The Jerusalem Post; Prof. Gabriela Shalev, president of the Higher Academic Council and Dean of the Law School, Ono Academic College; Rabbi Berel Wein, founder and director, The Destiny Foundation; and Yael Arad, the first Israeli to win an Olympic medal.