Israel Prize

The Israel Prize is an award handed out by the State of Israel. It is presented annually, on Israeli Independence Day, in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the Supreme Court president. The prize was set up in 1953 at the initiative of the Minister of Education Ben-Zion Dinor, who himself went on to win the prize in 1958 and 1973.

The prize is awarded in the following four areas, with the precise subfields changing from year to year in a cycle of 4 to 7 years, except for the last area, which is awarded annually:
  • the humanities, social sciences, and Jewish studies
  • the natural and exact sciences
  • culture, arts, communication and sports
  • lifetime achievement and exceptional contribution to the nation (since 1972)

The recipients of the prize are Israeli citizens or organizations who have displayed excellence in their field(s), or have contributed strongly to Israeli culture. The winners are selected by committees of judges, who pass on their recommendations to the Education Minister.

Prize winners are elected by ad-hoc committees, appointed by the minister of education for each category each year. Decisions of the committee must be unanimous.

As of 2004, the prize has been awarded 551 times. Though the prize is generally awarded to Israeli citizens only, in exceptional cases it can be awarded to non-Israelis who have held Israeli residency for many years. Zubin Mehta won the Israel Prize in 1991. Mehta is originally from India, and is Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The prize money was 75,000 NIS as of 2008.

Source: Wikipedia



Award Ceremony

Award document to Rabbi Avraham Elimelech Firer,
 chairman and founder of the "Ezra LeMarpeh"