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May 19, 2023 10:57 am

‘Israel is My Heart and My Home’: Gal Gadot Receives Award at LA Event Celebrating Israel’s 75th Independence Day


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Gal Gadot. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Israeli actress Gal Gadot and other Israeli-Americans were honored at Los Angeles’ official celebration of Israel’s 75th Independence Day on Wednesday night hosted by the Israeli-American Council (IAC) and the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles Hillel Newman.

The “Wonder Woman” actress was a surprise guest at the event and received the Los Angeles Israel Award for Entertainment at the reception held in the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Upon accepting her award on stage, Gadot admitted that her heart was racing before she spoke about being “incredibly honored and deeply humbled” to receive the recognition. “This is a moment I will cherish forever,” she told the audience. She then continued to talk about Israel, calling it “a land of rich heritage and vibrant history” and saying that the Jewish state “has achieved an astonishing amount in its relatively short history.”

“And as I always say, Israel is where—ha’lev sha’li nem’sa —Israel is my heart and my home,” she added. “And we all here are deeply proud of our Jewish homeland. And this celebration, this recognition is a testament to our unity, our strength, and our shared vision.”

The actress also noted that as an Israeli living in the US, she is “very aware of the importance of enhancing and maintaining strong connections; of building bridges between the Americans and the Israeli people.” She told the crowd: “our backgrounds might be different, our journeys unique, but our collective goal is shared: to create a future that’s rich in understanding, mutual respect and collaboration. You should all thank me for not starting to sing Imagine here right now. So you’re welcome.”

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She concluded by telling the audience about the importance of “building bridges” between Israel and America, and how it is “not just a matter of diplomatic ties or shared interests.”

“It’s about strengthening the historic bonds between the United States and Israel,” she said. “It’s about cultivating a deep, genuine connection that transcends boundaries. A connection rooted in shared values, shared history and shared aspirations. Let’s remember that each and every one of us in our own unique way contributes to this effort. Together we can contribute to a brighter future for both our beloved nations. Todah rabah, thank you very much. Am Israel chai.”

Others who were honored at Wednesday night’s event included physician and philanthropist Dr. Miriam Adelson; Kite Pharma founder and co-founder of Allogene Therapeutics Dr. Arie Belldegrun; and Dovi Frances, founding partner of the investment firm Group 11.

“We are proud to honor these outstanding Israeli Americans, who have made a tremendous impact not only in our communities but worldwide,” said IAC Co-Founder and CEO Shoham Nicolet, as reported by i24News. He added that“the IAC and Israel Consulate in Los Angeles “were thrilled to collaborate in an incredible moment of unity and togetherness celebrating the miraculous existence of Israel and building bridges between the American and Israeli people.”

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