Since its establishment in 1992, the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism has recognized excellence in reporting on contemporary Diaspora-Jewish communities and on the state of Israel-Diaspora relations in Israeli print and electronic media. The award is widely recognized as a prestigious prize in the Israeli media industry. It was established to highlight the important contributions the media can make toward strengthening the relationship between Israel and world Jewry—so essential for the resilience of both—by encouraging quality reporting on Diaspora communities and Israel-Diaspora relations.
The distinguished panel of judges include: Yehudith Auerbach, professor in the School of Communication at Bar Ilan University; Eytan Bentsur, former Ministry of Foreign Affairs director general; Sara Frenkel, former Diaspora correspondent for Israel Radio and 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award winner; Shalom Kital, former director general of News Company and Channel 2; Tamar Liebes, professor and former head of the Department of Communication and Journalism at Hebrew University; Gabriela Shalev, professor and chair of the Higher Academic Council at Ono Academic College, as well as a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations; Bambi Sheleg, founder and editor-in-chief of Eretz Acheret, and a 2011 award winner; and Asher Weill, publisher and editor of ARIEL - The Israel Review of Arts and Letters.
Alafi, 47, received the award in the electronic media category for his series “Communities in a New Light 2012” that was broadcast on Israel Television/Channel 1 during the 2012 Hanukah holiday. The series presented vignettes about the Jewish communities in Toronto; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Odessa, Ukraine; Oslo, Norway; Torino, Italy; Toulouse, France; and Boston.
"The marked increase of applicants and entries for this year's award over recent years is indication that interest in Diaspora Jewry and Israel-Diaspora relations is strong and growing among Israelis and encourages us to continue with this important project," B'nai B'rith World Center Director Alan Schneider said.
The B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism is named for the late Wolf Matsdorf and his wife Hilda. Wolf was an editor of the B’nai B’rith World Center Journal “Leadership Briefing” and a journalist in Israel and Australia. Hilda was a pioneer in social work in both Australia and Israel. The Lifetime Achievement Award is named for Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky.
The Award is made possible through donations from Daniel Schydlowsky, a professor and a member of the B’nai B’rith World Center International Board of Governors, and the Matsdorf family.
(Photos by David Winokor and Alex Levac)