(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