Bonei Zion Awards Honor 7 English-speaking Immigrants for Impact on Israel

Plus, a TED Talks-style event hosted by Limmud Israel and Kehilat HaKerem, Karmiel’s Masorti community, marks its 40 anniversary

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The Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize, awarded to inspirational English-speaking olim who have significantly contributed to the State of Israel, September 23, 2019.
The Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize, awarded to inspirational English-speaking olim who have significantly contributed to the State of Israel, September 23, 2019.Credit: to Sasson Tiram

ENGLISH-SPEAKERS FETED: Nefesh B’Nefesh held its Bonei Zion award ceremony in Jerusalem Monday to pay tribute to seven English-speaking immigrants “who have made a remarkable impact on Israel,” the immigrant assistance organization announced. The recipients this year were Dr. Ora Paltiel, director of Hadassah Medical Center’s Research in Clinical Epidemiology; Danny Hakim, founder and chairman of Budo for Peace; Leah Abramowitz, co-founder of Melabev, which supports people with various forms of dementia; Dr. Beverly Gribetz, principal of the Evelina de Rothschild Tehilla Secondary School; Michael Dickson, executive director of advocacy group StandWithUs-Israel; and Miriam Ballin, founder and former director of United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit, who won the Young Leadership Prize. Harold “Smoky” Simon, chairman of World Machal, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Over 300 guests attended the event, including Mayor Moshe Leon. Nefesh B’Nefesh co-founders Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart, along with Sylvan Adams, the prize benefactor of the prize, presented the awards.

AN INSPIRED EVENING: Over 300 people, mostly young professionals, engaged in an evening of learning and inspiration ahead of the High Holy Days in Tel Aviv on Tuesday at a TED Talks-style event hosted by Limmud Israel. The speakers were Mobileye’s Mois Navon, an LA native; William Kolbrener, a literature professor at Bar-Ilan University from Roslyn, New York; Rabbi Jonathan Feldman of Tribe Tel Aviv, who grew up in Manhattan; fellow New Yorker Michelle Farber of Hadran Advancing Talmud Study for Women; and author Rabbi Dov Ber Cohen, who hails from England. “The idea that anyone can be a Jewish teacher and everyone should be engaged in Jewish learning is a phenomenally cool message, especially for young people,” Jay Shultz, a former New Yorker who runs all of Limmud Israel’s events voluntarily, told Haaretz. He credited the evening’s success to the work of his “amazing young volunteers.” For info on further Limmud events, email

FORTY YEARS YOUNG: Kehilat HaKerem, Karmiel’s Masorti community, marked its 40 anniversary this week with a celebratory evening. Julie Landau, chairperson of Kehilat HaKerem, told Haaretz that some of the founding members of the congregation, started in 1979 by a group of English-speaking immigrants but now serving sabras and immigrants from many countries, were among the organizers of the evening as well as guests: Marion Juster, Noreen Firestone, Janet and Haim Levy, and Leah Lev. Co-founders Sue Holuber and Yaakov Lev were guests at the event. Speakers included Karmiel’s Mayor Moshe Koninsky, Sophie Fellman Rafalovitz, the Masorti movement in Israel chairperson, and Landau, who spoke of the community’s vibrancy. “We started a musical kabbalat Shabbat, which will be continuing throughout the year,” she said. “We are also providing activities for a kindergarten right next to us; we have a story hour and they come over for pre-holiday activities.” Landau added that the congregation, which boasts a Beit Midrash and pre-army community volunteers, is reaching out to the younger generation with an eye to the future.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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