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Left to right: Sam Sokol (The Jerusalem Post), Nadav Eyal (Channel 10), Izi Mann (“Searching for Relatives Bureau”)

Sam Sokol (Jerusalem Post) and Nadav Eyal (Channel 10) Selected as Winners; 
Lifetime Achievement Award Goes to The Voice of Israel for “Searching for Relatives Bureau”

The winners of the 2015 “B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportaģe in memory of Wolf and Hilda Matsdorf” were announced today in Jerusalem with Sam Sokol, Jewish World correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, and Nadav Eyal, Channel 10’s chief international correspondent, taking home the honors.

Additionally, the award jury will present a Lifetime Achievement Award in memory of Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky to Kol Yisrael—The Voice of Israel Radio—for its long-running program “Searching for Relatives Bureau,” now edited and presented by Izi Mann.

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 and was established to help shore up the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. It does this by highlighting 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 winners of this year’s awards are examples of the best in Israeli-Diaspora reportaģe and represent dedication, professionalism and intellect by those who were chosen from among 25 excellent candidates for the award,” B’nai B’rith World Center Director Alan Schneider said following the announcement of the winners. “Judging from the continued increase of applicants and entries for the award there seems to be profound interest in Diaspora Jewry and Israel-Diaspora relations among Israeli journalists that still deserves encouragement and recognition through this important awards project.”

The distinguished members of the award jury are: Chairman Asher Weill, publisher and editor of “ARIEL”– The Israel Review of Arts and Letters from 1981 to 2003; Yehudith Auerbach, professor in the School of Communication at Bar Ilan University; Eytan Bentsur, former Ministry of Foreign Affairs director general; Shalom Kital, former director general of News Company and Channel 2; 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; and Bambi Sheleg, founder and editor-in-chief of Eretz Acheret, and a 2011 award winner.

Eyal will receive the award in the broadcast media category for his hour-long program “Hate,” broadcasted on Channel 10 on Oct. 7, 2014. The program deals with rising anti-Semitism in Europe and was filmed on location in Germany, England and Greece. The broadcast also aired earlier in the year as a four-part mini-series during the station’s primetime news program.
The award in the print media category goes to Sokol for a series of nearly 30 articles published in the Jerusalem Post from May to December 2014 focusing on the fast-changing situation of Jews in war-ravaged eastern Ukraine.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Kol Yisrael for its “Searching for Relatives Bureau” program, inaugurated in 1945 to help Holocaust survivors track down missing relatives. The program was broadcast continuously until 1969 and was re-launched in 2000 by Yaron Enosh in a new format that included interviews and investigative reporting. Over the years the program and its English print iteration “Seeking Kin” by Hillel Kuttler have brought together hundreds of Jews across the globe, locating and reuniting with long-lost relatives, friends and neighbors.

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 (Lima, Peru and Washington D.C.), and the Matsdorf family. 

For more information please contact Alan Schneider, director, B’nai B’rith World Center +972525536441.