Today (Monday) in New York, in an emotional ceremony, Israeli President Shimon Peres awarded his Presidential Medal of Distinction to Elie Wiesel.
Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, “is one of the world’s top Jewish writers and intellectuals, a Holocaust survivor who for decades has worked to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust across the world and is the leading figure in the United States of America on the subject,” according to a statement out of Peres’ office.
The President’s Medal of Distinction is the highest civil medal given by Israel. It was first presented on March 1, 2012, and is awarded to people who have made an outstanding contribution to the State of Israel or to humanity, through their talents, services, or in any other form.
Previous winners of the award include Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta, The Rashi Foundation, and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.