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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.