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Daily Israel Report

Winners of New English-Speaking Olim Award Picked

New NBN Bonei Zion Prize given to immigrants from English-speaking countries making significant contributions.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 1/16/2014, 9:58 PM

Immigrants (olim) from North America arrived with Nefesh B'Nefesh
Immigrants (olim) from North America arrived with Nefesh B'Nefesh
Flash 90

Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN) has announced the six winners of its new Bonei Zion Prize, an award recognizing English-speaking olim (immigrants) who make significant contributions to Israel.

The six were each selected for a different category of impact on the state of Israel, and were picked from a pool of 200 nominees. Each winner will be awarded $10,000 in a ceremony set to be held in Jerusalem within the next two months.

“I want to congratulate each of the winners...for their remarkable accomplishments and important contributions to the State of Israel,” said NBN Co-Founder and Executive Director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “We hope that accentuating the achievements of Anglo Olim will serve as a catalyst to inspire others to make Aliyah, as well as highlight the achievements of these Olim who are helping to make a difference to our homeland.”

NBN, founded in 2002, has been working to aid Jews make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel from English-speaking countries, such as the US, UK and Canada.

“It was truly inspiring to see the remarkable number of Anglo Olim who are making a significant impact on the country, remarked Rabbi Fass. "The fact that the prize committee had such great difficulty choosing the winners from so many impressive candidates, is a testament to the caliber of the nominees and the immeasurable impact that Anglo Olim are making in Israel."

The winners included:

Joseph Gitler in the Community and Non-Profit category, Founder and Chairman of the national food bank Leket Israel.

Rabbanit Malke Bina in the Education category, Founder and Chancellor of "Matan," a revolutionary religious Zionist women's learning center.

Yosef Abramowitz in Entrepreneurship and Technology, CEO and Co-Founder of Energiya Global Capital and Co-Founder of the Arava  Power Company working with solar energy.

Professor Jeffrey Hausdorf in Science and Medicine, a Professor at Tel Aviv University and Director of the Neurodynamics and Gait Research Laboratory  at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

Yaakov Kirschen in the Culture, Sports and Arts category, Creator of the “Dry Bones” comic strip running in the Jerusalem Post since 1973.

Lt. Nira Lee in the IDF and National Service Young Leadership category, Head of Hasbara at the headquarters of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Additionally a Lifetime Achievement award was given to Professor Shimon Glick, Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben Gurion University. Glick immigrated following a successful career in the USA to help found Ben Gurion University's Faculty of Medicine.

Bonei Zion means "builders of Zion."