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(Left to right)World Center Chair Haim Katz; Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer; Allison Kaplan Sommer of Haaretz; Ya’akov Ahimeir of Israel Broadcasting Authority; Amanda Borschel-Dan of The Times of Israel; and World Center Director Alan Schneider.
Awards conferred upon Amanda Borschel-Dan (The Times of Israel) and Allison Kaplan Sommer (Haaretz); Lifetime Achievement Award to Ya’akov Ahimeir (Israel Broadcasting Authority); Idan Raichel received special citation
Ron Dermer, ambassador of Israel to the United States, presented the keynote address at the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage in Jerusalem. In his speech, Dermer spoke about the vital link between Israel and the United States. He said: “Beyond security and technology, my confidence in the future of the U.S.-Israel alliance also comes from my appreciation that our alliance is rooted in things that run much deeper. It is rooted in our most cherished values and in a shared sense of destiny. The idea that all are created equal in the image of God, that no one is above the law, that compassion for the most vulnerable is a sacred obligation — ideas which have been a moral compass for generations of Americans…”

Dermer has served in Washington, D.C. since October 2013, and from 2009-2013 he served as senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Click below to view the full speech, delivered on July 7, 2016.

​Winners of the award which recognizes excellence in Diaspora reportage in Israel print, broadcast and digital media were Amanda Borschel-Dan, the Times of Israel’s Jewish World editor and Allison Kaplan Sommer, staff writer at Haaretz. Both journalists submitted an impressive array of articles on Diaspora communities and Israel-Diaspora relations published during 2015.

Additionally, a Lifetime Achievement Award in memory of Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky was conferred upon senior Israel Broadcasting Authority journalist Ya’akov Ahimeir, editor and presenter of the Saturday night foreign news and culture magazine show “Ro’im Olam” (Seeing the World), on Channel 1 Television. Ahimeir also appears on the Voice of Israel’s daily radio news program “HaBoker HaZeh” (This Morning).

In the course of the event a special citation for fostering Israel-Diaspora relations through the arts was presented to Idan Raichel. The special citation was established by the B’nai B’rith World Center in 2014. To date, citations were conferred upon Nurit Hirsh (2014) and David D’or (2015).

From the Jury considerations:
Amanda Borschel-Dan
“In her writing, as in her position as editor, Amanda Borschel-Dan strives to augment mutual understanding and the process of familiarity between Israel and Diaspora Jews. Borschel-Dan understands the singular importance of the topic she specializes in and she engages in it with intensivity and true dedication. Her writing is articulate, she delves into research and her professional scope in wide.”
Allison Kaplan-Sommer
“Allison Kaplan-Sommer has specialized in writing about Israeli and American politics with an emphasis on the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora, on a wide variety of topics from an overall general perspective as well as personal stories. During the year 2015, she wrote some 34 articles for Ha’aretz on Israel and the Diaspora – in itself a most impressive body of work. Her writing is both incisive and personal, revealing a broad fund of knowledge about the Israeli and Diaspora Jewish communities – what separates them and what unites them. She sees the battleground of ideas and ideologies as important, but chooses to describe them within the context of the people and personalities involved – their stories and their lives.”
Ya’akov Ahimeir
“Ya’akov Ahimeir is one of the most senior journalists in Israel who is among those who layed the foundations of the Israel broadcast and print media. The many awards he has received are an indication of the consistent and overwhelming appreciation that exists for the outstanding brilliance of his long career. Ya’akov Ahimeir is blessed with the essential attributes for a journalist: inquisitiveness, a keen eye, the ability to recognize the essence of the story, broad education, caring, accuracy, thoroughness, fairness, courage and particularly the rare ability to be objective while not being neutral. A profound personal interest is evident in all of his reports on the Jewish world and their lives, empathy and sympathy towards his fellow Jew and real concern for Jewish communities in the Diaspora.”
Idan Raichel
“Idan Raichel is a meteor in the expanse of Israeli art. In a relatively short period of 15 years this multi-talented artist has become one of the leading musicians in Israel and one of the most successful Israeli musicians internationally. He created a unique stage presence heretofore unknown on the Israeli stage. The international musical cooperations that Raichel has created throughout his career have turned him into a cultural ambassador for millions of fans, representing a world full of hope in which musical collaborations remove boundaries between people coming from different backgrounds and cultures. His music is the beating drum of a troubled region that serves as a source of inspiration for a young generation for the promise of a better future.”
Since its establishment in 1992 to help strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora, 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 media. The award is widely recognized as a prestigious prize by the Israeli media industry. 

The distinguished members of the award jury are: Asher Weill, chair, publisher and editor of ARIEL- The Israel Review of Arts and Letters from 1981-2003; Yehudith Auerbach, professor in the School of Communication at Bar Ilan University; Gabriela Shalev, former Israel ambassador to the United Nations and professor at Ono Academic CollegeBambi Sheleg, founder of Eretz Acheret, a staff member at Mandel School for Educational Leadership and a 2011 award winner; Shalom Kital, former general director for News Company, Channel 2; and Eytan Bentsur, former Ministry of Foreign Affairs director general.

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 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 further information:
Alan Schneider, director, B’nai B’rith World Center
tel. 02-6251743,
fax. 02-6258097; 052-5536-441;