Prof. Rabbi Neria Gutel
Prof. Rabbi Neria GutelPublic Relations

Orot Israel College in Elkana, Shomron, has been selected as the winner of the Jerusalem Prize. The prize is to be presented at the upcoming 11th Jerusalem Conference set for February 3-4 in 2014 under the auspices of the Hebrew weekly newspaper Besheva.

The college, headed by Prof. Rabbi Neria Gutel, was selected by the prize committee, which includes rabbis and respected public figures. The prize-giving will occur at the upcoming conference to be held at Jerusalem's Crown Plaza Hotel.

A statement from Dudu Sa'ada, Chairman of Besheva, congratulated the College on its achievements, saying it was chosen for its activities in training hundreds of young women for ethical and scholastic excellence in their field of education.

Sa'ada ended his announcement by saying the college teaches with ingenuity stemming from deep springs of the past, quoting Rabbi Kook: "the old will be renewed and the new will become holy."

In last year's 10th Jerusalem Conference the Jerusalem Prize went to Rabbi Yisrael Ariel of the Temple Institute and religious Zionist leader, Rabbi Haim Druckman, as well as Doctor Eli Shussheim of the Efrat organization.

In 2012 MK Orit Zuaretz, who had recently left the leftist Kadima party, wrote to Besheva asking them not to give Shussheim the prize, based on Efrat being a pro-life organization which the media blamed for "pressuring" young parents not to abort their unborn children.

Sa'ada defended the decision, saying "the Efrat Association deserved this award even last year because they did great things and in the next year as well, but we are giving it this year because of all the unnecessary and unfounded media and public hoopla."

Other past winners of the Jerusalem Prize include the Samaria Regional Council.