A dual U.S.-Israeli citizen and "veteran" immigrant is among the four winners of the Knesset Speaker Prize for Quality of Life.
Professor Eliezer David Jaffe, a resident of Jerusalem who immigrated to Israel in 1960, is the founder of the Israel Free Loan Society.
The Fund, set up in 1990, provides small, interest-free loans. It has been responsible for literally saving the lives of thousands of people who find themselves stuck in the financial quicksand that often overtakes immigrants living in Israel for some time.
Since its inception, the fund has awarded more than 40,000 loans, in fact, totaling more than $150,000,000, with a 99 percent return rate.
This year's prize, to be awarded in December, will focus on activities bridging differences between population groups and promoting tolerance to reduce social gaps in Israel.
The prize, awarded by Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, will go to two individuals and to two organizations: Besod Siach, which promotes dialogue between groups in conflict, and Ma'aseh, a group for young volunteers in the periphery. The second individual who will receive the prize is Dr. Adi Kohl.