Ben-Gurion University President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz was awarded the 2021 Sylvan Adams Nefesh B'Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize for Education, the prize committee announced yesterday.
Prof. Chamovitz will be recognized for "exemplary dedication and accomplishments in the field of education and, specifically, plant sciences, as well as for the incredible achievement of assuming the role of President of Ben-Gurion University. You represent an example and a source of inspiration for all Olim, past and future, for your contributions to the State of Israel," the prize committee wrote.
"Being awarded the Bonei Zion prize is the fulfillment of the Zionist dreams of my parents, who instilled in me the values of responsibility, commitment, involvement, and fulfillment in assuring the future of the Jewish People in their homeland. The Zionist values of Anglo olim are changing the face of modern Israel. I am incredibly moved to be considered among those whose activities have contributed to the State of Israel," Prof. Chamovitz said upon being informed of the honor.
“It is a privilege to recognize these inspiring Olim for the exceptional leadership and contributions they have made nationally and globally, especially during these uncertain and challenging times," said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Nefesh B'Nefesh Co-Founder and Executive Director. “The Bonei Zion Prize recipients are models of excellence in the community and shining examples of the incredible impact that Olim make in all facets of life in Israel."
The prize ceremony will be held in May.
The Nefesh B'Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize was established in September 2013 to formally recognize the achievements of outstanding Anglo Olim and their contribution to the State of Israel. The Sylvan Adams Nefesh B'Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize was established in 2016.
According to Nefesh B'Nefesh. as Aliyah from Western countries continues to increase, English-speaking Olim are making a remarkable impact on the Jewish State – economically, socially, and culturally – contributing to Israeli society in all fields of endeavor, including education, global impact, medicine & science, and the arts.
This award is an expression of support for Olim whose contributions have helped better Israel in a meaningful way and acknowledges those who encapsulate the spirit of modern-day Zionism by contributing towards developing the State of Israel.
Prof. Daniel Chamovitz is the 7th President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Previously he served as Dean of the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University, where he also founded the Manna Program in Food Safety and Security.
Prof. Chamovitz grew up in Aliquippa, PA, and is a proud alumnus of Young Judaea. He took part in the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad in Jerusalem and then studied at both Columbia University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he received his Ph.D. in Genetics. He carried out postdoctoral research at Yale University under fellowships from the European Molecular Biology Organization and the Human Frontiers Science Research Program. He returned to Israel on the prestigious Alon Fellowship of the Council for Higher Education in Israel for Outstanding Young Researchers. His scientific career has been characterized by novel and field-defining research on plant biology, biochemistry, developmental biology, and systems biology. He has published numerous peer-reviewed research articles and served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. Chamovitz has also held positions as a visiting scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and a visiting Professor at the School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences at Peking University.
Chamovitz is a sought-after speaker and science commentator. He has lectured worldwide on issues of global food security. His 2012 book What a Plant Knows has been translated into 19 languages and was featured in the world press and media.
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