President’s Award
The President’s Award is an award conferred by the President of the State of Israel on individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the State of Israel or to humanity, through their talents, services, or in any other form.

The object of the award is to enable the President of Israel to express his appreciation and esteem to deserving individuals, and at the same time, use this award as a means to motivate others to contribute their talents and efforts for the well-being of the State of Israel and to improve the world.

The President’s Award will be presented to a candidate who meets at least one of the following criteria:

A. A candidate who has made a unique contribution to the State of Israel, or to improving the world, or has made a mark on society in an area relating to his/her activities or achievements.

B. A candidate who has enhanced the prestige of the State of Israel and significantly contributed to its image in the world.

C. A candidate who serves as a model and example in entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity and vision.
The contribution can be in the form of a single deed or ongoing activity.
Working alongside the President will be an advisory committee that will present the President with appropriate nominees for the President’s Award.

Every citizen of the State of Israel and every organization operating in Israel can present their candidacy or nominate others for the President’s Award. The President's Award is open to citizens and non-citizens of Israel alike.

Nominations must be supported by a detailed explanation and documentation corroborating the reasons for suggesting the nominee. The application must be accompanied by at least four supporting recommendations.

Application must be submitted according to the form appearing on the link below:

President Award Regulations
President Award Appendix

Israeli President Shimon Peres awarded President Barack Obama the Presidential medal of distinction

Source: (

President Peres and former president Yitzhak Navon during the award ceremony

President Shimon Peres announces unveils presidential award of distinction
Friday February 10, 2012

President Shimon Peres unveils Presidential Award of Distinction • New national order awarded to individuals and organizations for unique and outstanding contributions to Israeli society and Israel’s international image.

Yori Yalon and Israel Hayom Staff

President Peres (center) alongside former top judge Meir Shamgar (right) and President Yitzhak Navon, Thursday. |Photo credit: Lior Mizrahi

A new national order, the Presidential Award of Distinction, was unveiled publicly for the first time during a special press conference held at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Thursday. The new award was initiated by President Shimon Peres and will be bestowed on private individuals and organizations that have made unique and outstanding contributions to Israeli society and Israel’s international image. The prize is meant to honor initiative, innovation, creativity and vision, and is akin to other national orders such as the France’s Legion of Honor, Italy’s Order of Merit, and Canada’s Order of Canada.

The recipients of the first award include former U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Henry Kissinger, attorney Uri Slonim, human rights activist Judy Feld Carr and celebrated conductor Zubin Mehta. The recipients were selected by a special advisory committee chaired by former Chief Justice Meir Shamgar and former Israeli President Yitzhak Navon.

“I am proud to begin a tradition in which I, as the president of Israel, express appreciation and esteem for individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions to the state of Israel and to all of humanity,” Peres said at the press conference. “I am mature enough to know that people are no less important than ideas. The world has learned to say thank you, and now the time has come for us to return the gratitude to great people who have come to serve as exemplary models for the younger generation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the advisory committee for their dedicated work and for being pioneering partners in the launch of the Presidential Award of Distinction.”

The committee selected Kissinger because of his long and influential political career, citing him for being a man of foresight, creativity and vision. As an academic, political scientist and diplomat, Kissinger was praised for his unique contributions to Israel and for his efforts to achieve Middle Eastern peace during his time as U.S. national security advisor and U.S. secretary of state.

Zubin Mehta, the music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, was selected because of his unique contribution to the world of Israeli music. Mehta received the Israel Prize in 1991 and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006.

Uri Slonim was awarded the order for his charitable causes and his role as the president of Variety Israel, a nonprofit organization geared towards aiding children with special needs. Slonim was also cited for his ongoing role on behalf of Israel in negotiations aimed at releasing Israeli prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.

Canadian-born Feld Carr was selected for her human rights initiatives and for helping the escape of Jews out of Syria. Since she began her humanitarian efforts in 1973, Feld Carr has been successful in smuggling roughly 4,000 Jews out of Syria. Feld Carr is also a recipient of the Order of Canada, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and a humanitarian award of merit from the University of Haifa.

Other recipients of the first Presidential Award of Distinction include the Rashi Foundation, established by the Leven family, which serves the underprivileged, focusing on youth and those with special needs. Philosopher and social critic Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz was also selected based on his unique and extraordinary contribution to Jewish culture and education, and for his efforts to make Jewish texts more widely accessible.

“You are shining examples for us all. It is our honor to present you with the Presidential Award of Distinction today [Thursday],” Peres said.

According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the medallions were created by designer Yossi Matityahu, a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. The medallions feature the North Star, symbolizing the right path, as well as a menorah, symbolizing the renewal of the state of Israel and the strong and continuous link between past and present. A quote from the Book of Samuel is inscribed at the top and states: “From his shoulders and upward,” denoting the uniqueness of the recipient.