The first award ceremony for the Shimon Peres Lifetime Awards on behalf of ILAN – the Israel Latin America Network – in partnership with the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, was held today (Thursday) at the Peres Center in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The ceremony was attended by Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defense Alon Schuster; Chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, Chemi Peres; ILAN founder, leading philanthropist and businessman Isaac Assa; alongside diplomats and representatives of countries across Latin and Central America.
During the ceremony, awards were given to key groundbreaking figures with a global reputation who have promoted relations between Israel and Latin America in the areas of health, quality of environment, economy and technology. Among the recipients of the award were the Technion’s Professor Shulamit Levenberg, who developed the world’s first lab-grown entrecote steak; Dr Amir Kereshonvich, Head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, who together with his wife HilaKereshonvich, set up a volunteer-led initiative to perform complicated brain surgeries on children from the developing world; Mr. Henrique Cymerman, an Israeli journalist of Portuguese-Sephardi descent, who serves as the Middle East correspondent for a number of media outlets (Cymerman is also the President of the Chamber of Commerce between Israel-Jordan and the Persian Gulf States); Tato Bigio, founding partner and CEO of UBQ Materials, a start-up for converting household waste into recyclable materials; and Ella Castelenus, a new olah from Mexico, the founder of the site Hola – Land, a platform that connects Latin America and Israel, and a partner in Cantera Capital, a fund for enterprises in Israel and Mexico.
ILAN founder, Isaac Issa: “Over the last year we directly developed unique connections between the State of Israel and Latin American countries. Through ILAN, we formed strategic alliances with a number of branches throughout America, which will strengthen the economic, diplomatic and social resilience of the countries. In a few years, the Spanish-speaking population in the United States will increase to 100 million people, and therefore strengthening these connections is a supreme goal in the interest of the states and the peoples. With the help of the Israeli brain, the innovation and the local courage, we will be able to make ground-breaking international achievements.”
Chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, Chemi Peres: “As President Peres used to say, “The future does not merely need to be imagined, but to be created” and it is an honor to see people like those we are celebrating today, creating it, each striving for change in their own fields, change for good, change that will impact Israel, Latin America and the world.” He added,
“Isaac, like my father, I feel so privileged to count you as a dear friend and have you as a partner on this journey to a better future, sharing with you the vision of global cooperation and innovation as the way forward.”
Deputy Minister of Defense, Alon Schuster: “I would like to congratulate all who won the Shimon Peres Lifetime Awards on behalf of ILAN and in partnership with the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. You are the proof that collaborating social activity and innovation is a winning combination for a better world. In your own unique way, you strengthen our important relations with Latin-American countries and with the growing Latin community in the United States”.