Feminist Alice Shalvi Wins Israel's Top Prize for Lifetime Achievement

The Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement and Special Contribution to Society and the State of Israel will be awarded to Professor Alice Shalvi, a religious scholar and one of the country's leading feminists.

In their decision, the judges called Shalvi "revolutionary and courageously trailblazing, with intellectual integrity and long-term vision." She will be given the prize during an Independence Day ceremony.

Shalvi served as principle of the Pelech School for Girls in Jerusalem, turning it into one of the first religious experimental schools and a model for other experimental and democratic schools throughout the country. She began her feminist activity in the 1970s, battling for the rights of women whose husbands refused to grant them a divorce. She was also among the founders of the Israel Women's Network, and chaired it from its founding in 1984 until 2000.

Shalvi was born in Germany in 1926 but fled to Britain shortly after the Nazi rise to power, when she and studied English literature at Cambridge. After immigrating to Israel in 1950 she received a position as a professor of English at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.