First-Ever Fellowship Awards Honor Israel's Champions of Justice | IFCJ
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First-Ever Fellowship Awards Honor Israel's Champions of Justice

The Fellowship’s first-ever Fellowship Awards took place Sunday night with a festive ceremony in Tel Aviv. The awards were given to Israelis who work tirelessly to advocate for social equality and to promote a fair and just society for all of Israel’s residents.The 2015 Fellowship Awards honorees are:Chaim Rivlin, the Channel 2 television reporter who has brought about social reform by consistently bringing to light news of government negligence and the worsening plight of Israel’s have-nots.Ania Bukstein, an actress and singer who moved to Israel from Russia in 1990 with her family, and who uses her celebrity status to bring attention to the struggles that FSU olim (immigrants) continue to face in Israel.Keren Leibovitch, a champion Paralympic swimmer who fights to improve the rights of Israel’s disabled athletes.Pnina Tamano Shata, the former Knesset (Israeli parliament) member who battles racism against Israel’s Ethiopian community and seeks to safeguard the rights of all new immigrants to Israel.Israel’s Social Workers and Welfare Office Benefit Coordinators. Ms. Zafra Dweck, Chairwoman of the Social Workers Union, accepted the award on behalf of this cadre of thousands who tend daily to the needs of Israel’s weakest populations.Addressing those gathered, Rabbi Eckstein said, “In recent years Israel has been faced with a deep social crisis, worsening poverty, and deep social inequalities. In addition to these troubles, there are serious schisms and growing hostility between Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, rightists and leftists, which threaten the social strength of Israel. The Fellowship and your organizations face these difficulties every day. “We work to extend a helping hand and assistance, and to promote equality and social solidarity. We all want to illuminate every corner of Israeli society in which there’s darkness, distress, and despair.”The event also marked the final lighting of The Fellowship Menorah, as it was the last night of Hanukkah.


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