Rona Ramon
Rona Ramon Jorge Novominsky / Flash 90

The three children of the late Rona Ramon, Noa, Yiftach and Tal, sent a photo greeting to the Israel Prize ceremony held Thursday at Jerusalem's International Convention Center.

"Our mother deserves the prize," said the Ramon children who are currently in Nepal. "Her work and activism have affected thousands of children in Israel and will continue to influence generations to come. We're very proud of you, Mom, and we love you and miss you."

Ramon, the founder of the Ramon Foundation and widow of the first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The prize was received on the Ramon children's behalf by Orna Saban, Chairman of the Ramon Foundation.

The Israel Prize was awarded on Thursday to 11 winners, in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon.

The Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement was given to Miri and Chaim Erenthal, founders of the Zichron Menachem Association. Miri spoke about Zichron Menachem which assists children with cancer and their families. The organization is named after their son, Menachem Zalman, who died of childhood cancer.

"My blessing for this Independence Day is the power of putting things in perspective," said Erenthal. "I hear the news every morning: 'Israel is falling apart, everything is collapsing, everything is black.' Come one day to Zichron Menachem and you'll learn a lesson in putting things in perspective. You'll be thankful for what exists, for what you have."

Naftali Bennett gave his last speech as Education Minister, "I merited for the last four years to lead the education of all the children of Israel - secular, haredi, and religious; Jews and Arabs, Bedouins, Druze, and Circassians - all of them were my children. I did the best I could for you, the people of Israel, my beloved people."

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