Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt to Deliver the Keynote Address at the 2019 B'nai B'rith World Center Award for Journalism Ceremony
Israel Prize Winner Yehoram Gaon to be Honored for Fostering Israel-Diaspora Relations Through the Arts
(Jerusalem, June 25, 2019)--Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, Atlanta, will deliver the keynote address at the 27th Annual B'nai B'rith World Center Award for Journalism on "Old Wine in New Bottles: Antisemitism in the Contemporary World." The event noting outstanding journalism in Israel will take place at 7:30 p.m. July 3rd at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. You can stream the ceremony live here.
Lipstadt writes on the Holocaust and contemporary Jewish life. In her best-known book, “History on Trial” (2005), Lipstadt chronicled the London courtroom battle that erupted when English author David Irving, a Holocaust denier, filed a libel suit against her in the United Kingdom for having called him a Holocaust denier. After a 10-week trial, Irving lost his case, and the proceedings exposed the true depth of his association with neo-Nazi groups. “History on Trial” became the basis for the critically acclaimed 2016 feature film “Denial,” starring Rachel Weisz.
Her recent book, “Antisemitism: Here and Now” (2019), addresses the ever-present danger of anti-Semitic hatred and violence. It has already been translated into German and Hebrew and was an Amazon best-seller.
Winners of the 2019 Award for Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage, in memory of Wolf and Hilda Matsdorf, are Antonia Yamin, chief Europe correspondent for KAN - Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (for broadcast media), and Zvika Klein, Jewish World correspondent for Makor Rishon and NRG360 (for print media). A certificate of merit in memory of Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky will be conferred on Attila Somfalvi, lead anchor of ynet news.
A special citation for Fostering Israel-Diaspora Relations through the Arts will be presented to singer, actor and Israel Prize laureate Yehoram Gaon.
Yamin will receive the award for a series of reports on Jewish life in Great Britain and Austria and on anti-Semitism in Germany. Klein will receive the award for his series Distant Relatives that explored Israel and Jewish American relations. Somfalvi will receive a certificate of merit for a series of reports and commentaries on the relationship between Israel and American Jewry.
Gaon, 2004 Israel Prize winner for Hebrew song, is an iconic Israeli singer, actor, producer, TV and radio host and public figure. Throughout a career that has spanned six decades, Gaon has been responsible for countless hit songs, plays and movies that have become woven into the common culture of Israel and Diaspora Jewry. The son of an educator and historian, Gaon has taken profound interest in promoting Jewish historical themes and in engaging with Jewish audiences around the world. Gaon’s civic career also shows a profound dedication to Sephardic and Ladino heritage.
Keynote speaker Lipstadt founded the Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University, serving as its first director from 1998-2008, and directs the Holocaust Denial on Trial website, which contains transcripts and other materials from the Irving trial as well as scholarly materials that offer answers to frequent claims made by deniers. Lipstadt was a historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and helped design the section of the museum focused on the American response to the Holocaust. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs has awarded her its highest honor, the Albert D. Chernin Award, given to “an American Jew whose work best exemplifies the social justice imperatives of Judaism, Jewish history and the protection of the Bill of Rights.”
The distinguished members of the award jury are: Professor Yehudith Auerback, School of Communications, Bar Ilan University; Professor Sergio DellaPergola, the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University; Sallai Meridor, international chairman, Jerusalem Foundation, former Israeli ambassador to the United States, former chairman of the Zionist Executive and Jewish Agency; Professor Gabriela Shalev, Higher Academic Council, Ono Academic College and former ambassador of Israel to the United Nations; Yair Sheleg, columnist; Asher Weill, publisher and editor of ARIEL-The Israel Review of Arts and Letters from 1981-2003.
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 the Israeli print, broadcast and online media. The award is widely recognized as the most prestigious prize in the Israeli media industry for Diaspora reportage and was established to help strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. The award highlights the important contributions the media can make toward strengthening the relationship between Israel and world Jewry by encouraging quality reporting on Diaspora communities and Israel-Diaspora relations.
The B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage is named for the late Wolf Matsdorf and his wife Hilda. Wolf Matsdorf was an editor of the World Center-Jerusalem’s journal “Leadership Briefing” and a journalist in Israel and Australia. Hilda Matsdorf was a pioneer in social work in both Australia and Israel. The award is made possible through donations from the Matsdorf family and B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem board member Daniel Schydlowsky.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org
Nadav Eyal (Channel 10), Sam Sokol (Jerusalem Post) Are Award Winners; Lifetime Achievement Award to Kol Israel
The B’nai B’rith World Center recognized the winners of the Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage at Jerusalem’s Van Leer Jerusalem Institute on June 8 with Harvard University professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz serving as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.
Dershowitz is a world-renowned jurist and is universally recognized as one of Israel’s most ardent advocates in the court of world opinion. He addressed the award winners and those in attendance by answering tough questions on Israel, American Jewry, the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and U.S.-Israel relations in a conversation with Liat Collins, editor of the International Jerusalem Post and weekly columnist.
“Whenever I debate BDS, I always throw out the following challenge to my students all over the world,” Dershowitz said. “Name a single country in the history of the world faced with internal and external threats comparable to those faced by Israel that has ever had a better record in human rights; a better record with compliance of the rule of law; a better record of concern for civilians? I have been asking that question now for 20 years, probably to a million people around the world, and I’ve never gotten a single person even to stand up and name a country, because you can’t do it.”
B’nai B’rith World Center Chairman Haim V. Katz started off the evening with opening remarks that touched on the big issues facing Israel and the Diaspora.
“There has not been a time when someone somewhere has not been planning to do substantial harm to the Jewish people. We now face the iniquitous, disgraceful big lie of the BDS movement and those who will tarnish Israel with the slur of blood libel,” Katz said. “As the Passover Haggadah says ‘Every generation the Jewish People are threatened with annihilation and God provide salvation.’ In every generation God has emissaries who assist the Jewish people in its distress. One of them is professor Alan Dershowitz who is like a pillar going before the camp, defending Israel and the Jewish people.”
Winners of the award, named for Wolf and Hilda Matsdorf, were Nadav Eyal, Channel 10's chief international correspondent and Sam Sokol, Jewish World correspondent for the Jerusalem Post.
A Lifetime Achievement Award in memory of Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky was also presented to Kol Yisrael—The Voice of Israel Radio—for its long-running program “Searching for Missing Relatives” now edited and presented by Izi Mann. A special citation for contribution to Israel-Diaspora Relations through the arts was presented to acclaimed singer David D’Or, who performed for the audience.
Eyal received the award in the broadcast media category for his hour-long program “Hate,” broadcast 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 connection between the Diaspora and Israel is to be found at the mystery and at the source of the relationship between Israel and the Jewish world. I am very grateful that you found my work worthy of this award. ‘Hate’ tried to ask the question: What stands behind the hate? What motivates the hate? Why is the virus of anti-Semitism so immune and what [are] its sources? To understand anti-Semitism you have to go to the instigators of the virus. So we went to the instigators of the virus. We went to the anti-Semites themselves. And the answer that we brought to our viewers are the lies. The lies in the words of the anti-Semites themselves. The small lie and the big lie that they apply [to] groups. The lie is the source of the racism… And we see how the racism is always paranoid; it is paranoid about everyone, not only toward Jews. This virus assumes mysterious assumptions about minorities and knows no bounds.”
The award in the print media category was presented 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.
“I’m very, very honored,” said Sokol after receiving the award recognizing his reporting in Ukraine. “It’s very humbling and really feels like a vindication that people have appreciated what I’ve done, and that’s really gratifying.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Kol Yisrael for its “Searching for Missing Relatives” 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 show is now edited and presented by Mann, who accepted the award on behalf of the show.
“I feel it is a big honor, but primarily a great calling, to hold in my hand this watch of ‘Search for Missing Relatives’ because every day I have the sense that behind the microphone I am touching the fragments of history that were created as a result of the circumstances of the Holocaust,” Mann said. “But it is not only the Holocaust, because with all modesty I feel that in many cases I am able to bind these fragments that connect families and friendships that were shredded. The wounds of the Holocaust are still felt everywhere and especially now, when families are growing, the need to complete the missing past suddenly arises. Now, when the Jewish people have ceased to wander and are building its homeland we suddenly realize to what degree the roots are missing and now we are trying to complete them.”
Since its establishment in 1992, the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism has recognized excellence in reportage on contemporary Diaspora-Jewish communities and on the state of Israel-Diaspora relations today in the Israeli print and electronic media. The award is widely acknowledged in the media industry as the most prestigious prize in its field in Israel. Its goal is to help shore up the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora by recognizing excellence in Diaspora-related reportage appearing in the Israeli print, broadcast and web-based media. It was established in recognition of the important contribution the media can make toward strengthening the relationship between Israel and world Jewry--so essential for the resilience of both--by encouraging quality reportage on Diaspora communities and Israel-Diaspora relations.
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; Sara Frenkel, former Diaspora correspondent for Israel Radio and Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2002; 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.
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.
B’nai B’rith World Center Opens Submissions for 2015 Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportaǵe
We are pleased to announce that the submission process for the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportaǵe in Memory of Wolf and Hilda Matsdorf for 2015 is now open.
The B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem founded this Award for Journalism in 1992 in response to the need to help strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. The award recognizes excellence in Diaspora-related reportagé appearing in the Israeli print, broadcast and web-based media. It was established to spotlight the important contribution the media can make toward strengthening the relationship between Israel and world Jewry—so essential for the survival of both—and to encourage quality reporting on Diaspora communities and Israel-Diaspora relations.
The B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism is conferred yearly on the author of an outstanding newspaper or journal article, radio program or television program, or web story that, in the opinion of the jury following its rules and guidelines, contributed greatly to the Israeli understanding of the contemporary Jewish Diaspora and the state of Israel-Diaspora relations today.
Articles must be newly reported, thus stories solely of a historic nature are not eligible in this competition. Entries must appear in Israeli newspapers, magazines, journals or websites published at least bi-annually, or broadcast on legally-operated Israeli television or radio stations. An award winner will not be a candidate again for a period of three consecutive years after winning the award. The award includes a certificate and a 5,000 NIS cash prize. In consultation with the winner, the cash prize can be allocated toward a trip to a Jewish-Diaspora community.
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 General Director, News Company, 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; and Bambi Sheleg, founder and editor-in-chief of Eretz Acheret, and a 2011 award winner.
The deadline for receipt of entries is February 28, 2015.
Click here to for the application, rules and guidelines in English.
Click here to for the application, rules and guidelines in Hebrew.
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