Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Algemeiner Advisory Board Chairman Elie Wiesel, Film Director Steven Spielberg to be Awarded Israel’s Presidential Medal of Distinction

September 12, 2013 11:32 am 0 comments
Chairman of The Algemeiner Journal's Advisory Board, Professor Elie Wiesel speaking at the newspaper's 40th anniversary gala, on April 22, 2013.  Photo: Sarah Rogers / Algemeiner.

Chairman of The Algemeiner Journal's Advisory Board, Professor Elie Wiesel speaking at the newspaper's 40th anniversary gala, on April 22, 2013. Photo: Sarah Rogers / Algemeiner.

The Algemeiner’s Advisory Board Chairman Professor Elie Wiesel and film director Steven Spielberg, along with five Israelis, will be awarded Israel’s Medal of Distinction, the country’s highest honor, the office of Israeli President Shimon Peres announced in a statement Thursday.

The statement said that the newly announced winners of the prestigious medal are being recognized for “outstanding contributions to Tikkun Olam (Bettering the World), Israeli society and the State of Israel’s image around the world,” with “initiative, innovation, creativity and vision.”

Professor Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor is one of the world’s leading Jewish writers and intellectuals, has published over 40 books and has been awarded a host of literary prizes. Wiesel was also among The Algemeiner Journal’s original writers, when the paper was founded in 1972.

Steven Spielberg is being awarded the medal for his contribution to cinema over the past 50 years and, specifically, his unique contribution to the memory of the Holocaust, as director of the Oscar-winning, Schindler’s List, one of the most important Holocaust films in the history of cinema.

Five Israelis will also be awarded the prize:

Brig. Gen (res.) Avigdor Kahalani is receiving the award 40 years after fighting in the Yom Kippur War, for which he received Israel’s Medal of Valor, for his leadership and lifelong contribution to Israel’s security.

Rabbi Elimelech Firer who, with no formal medical training, created a unique medical network which today serves as a central focal point for those requiring medical assistance and consultation.

Dr. Zvi (Harry) Tabor moved to Israel as a young scientist, created the National Physical Laboratory of Israel and played a prominent role in Israel’s solar energy program.

Avi Naor is the founder, chairman and driving force of Or Yarok, the association for safer driving in Israel, an organization he founded following the death of his son in a traffic accident.

Additionally, a member of Israel’s security services who, the President’s statement said, “must remain anonymous,” will receive the award.

The actual medals feature an image of the North Star to symbolize the right path, and a menorah, the symbol of Israel and the continuous link between past and present. The medal is crowned with the biblical words from Samuel 9:2 “from his shoulders and upward.”

Previous winners of the award include U.S. President Obama, former U.S. President Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Zubin Mehta, The Rashi Foundation and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

The advisory committee for the Presidential Medal of Distinction includes retired Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar, former President Yitzhak Navon, Professor Suzie Navot, Dr. Mohammed Issawi, Rabbi Dr. Ratzon Arusi, Gil Shwed and Professor Anita Shapira.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Some punk rockers integrate their Jewish identity into their music through food, the author of a new book on the topic told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. Michael Croland, author of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, described the way different musicians express this connection. “One band is known for throwing gefilte fish in the mosh pit, and people at its concert slide around on it while dancing,” he recounted. “Another used to drink Manischewitz [sweet kosher] wine out of a shofar [the ram […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    The manager of Scotland’s Celtic soccer club lauded Israel, after his team won a match against the Jewish state’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers said at a post-match press conference: On behalf of the players, the people of Celtic and Scotland, Israel’s been fantastic for us. We came out here on Sunday, [and from] the hotel, the staff, we’ve been very, very warmly received. The atmosphere at the game was amazing and, obviously, one team has to lose, but you have a wonderful team here, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    For the second time, Israel will host the Jaffa Jazz Festival, according to Broadwayworld.com. The festival will unite 43 Israeli musicians and eight international artists for a three-day event. The program will include a special performance by an ensemble of top jazz students studying at Belgium’s Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, the Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia, Israel’s Rimon School of Music and the jazz program of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. There will also be a jazz show for children led by Israeli saxophonist […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    JNS.org – As a young boy growing up in Ashdod, Israel, Alon Day got his first go-kart at age 9. By 15, he was racing them. Less than a decade later, Day has become the first Israeli professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit. He made history by competing in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13. “Driving a race car is not like any other sport,” Day told JNS.org. “You are actually almost flying […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    The writer of a popular children’s television series will premiere an off-Broadway solo show called “Not That Jewish,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Written and performed by Monica Piper — the Emmy Award-winning showrunner of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” — the show is described as “the autobiographical telling of a Jew…’ish’ girl’s life.” “Not That Jewish” explores Piper’s Bronx upbringing in a show-business family, her comedy-club debut and her “almost” night with former Yankees legend Mickey Mantle. “Audiences can expect to leave laughed-out, a little teary-eyed and […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scotland’s Celtic soccer club will fly to Israel with the same private jet Madonna used while on tour, The Scotsman reported on Monday. According to the report, the team is heading for the Jewish state to compete against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night, and will be transported in the customized, luxurious Boeing 757-200 that the pop icon used in New Zealand for her six-month Rebel Heart tour, which wrapped up in March. The plane is on loan from Greece-based GainJet Aviation and can accommodate 62 passengers. The […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Jewish actor Jonah Hill revealed on Wednesday morning that he had officiated the wedding of good friend and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The “War Dogs” actor, 32, was a guest on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show when the conversation turned to Levine’s July 2014 wedding to Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo. Hill said that after he was asked to officiate the nuptials, he started getting worried about the type of speech he was going to deliver. “I’m writing all these things, and then I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Music Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish indie singer Ezra Furman released a song on Wednesday that he said was dedicated to his grandfather, who escaped Nazi persecution. Furman told the website Consequence of Sound that the new track, called “The Refugee,” is his “first song entirely concerned with my Jewish background and present, a song dedicated to my grandfather who fled the Nazis, as well as to all of the refugees desperate for a home today.” He added, “May all the wanderers find the homes they seek, and […]

    Read more →