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Eylon Levy, a former Israeli Government spokesperson, called on the Government of Israel to establish an elite team of spokespeople in all languages, and in all time zones - a special forces unit able to spring into action at a moment’s notice, anywhere in the world, properly armed with the ammunition, backup, and defensive gear -  during a keynote address at the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage held yesterday (May 26) in Jerusalem.  

Held for the 32nd consecutive year, the ceremony was attended by numerous dignitaries including the Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Anti-Semitism, Amichai Chikli, who also delivered a speech.

Levy emphasized that the October 7 disaster triggered a regional conflict that escalated into a global war against Jews worldwide. He stated that Israel is losing the information battle in the international media, which is portraying Israel unjustly in this conflict. He stressed that the purpose of the State of Israel is to stop complaining about the hostility Jews face and suggested that the Israeli government should establish an elite team of professional, multilingual spokespersons that would represent Israel in global media at all times and locations. Suitable candidates for this global outreach can be found among new immigrants and in the Diaspora, serving as a force multiplier. He emphasized that this global battle for Israel's international standing requires a united front, leveraging the strength of Diaspora Jewry as a powerful ally. He stressed the importance of creating a unified command center to address media crises and fortify ties with the Jewish diaspora in this shared effort. "Israel is the only country required to defend itself in the court of global public opinion around the clock. It isn't fair. It isn't right. It isn't just. But it is what it is".

This year’s winners are Elad Simchayoff, European correspondent for Channel 12 News and Canaan Lidor, Jewish World reporter for The Times of Israel.

Lidor was recognized in the written media category, in memory of Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky, for his extensive coverage on various issues concerning the Jewish world and Jewish communities in Holland, Tunisia, the U.S. and elsewhere in 2023.

Lidor has written previously for The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and Maariv. Simchayoff was recognized in the broadcast media category for his coverage on the rising of anti-Semitism in Europe following Oct.7 and for his "One a Day" podcast series.



A special citation for Fostering Israel-Diaspora Relations through the Arts in Memory of Naomi Shemer was presented to the internationally acclaimed Israeli singer Ilanit. The citation, established in 2014, has been presented previously to singer

and songwriter Nurit Hirsh, David D’Or, Idan Raichel, David Broza, Yehoram Gaon, Shalva Band, Danny Sanderson, Shuli Natan and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Chairman of the B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem, Dr. Haim Katz, and the Director of the B'nai B'rith World Center in JerusalemAlan Schneider, is Director of the B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem presented the prizes to the winners.

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 Israeli print, broadcast

and online media. Widely recognized as the most prestigious prize in the Israeli media industry for Diaspora reportage, it was established to help strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.

The award is presented in memory of the late Wolf Matsdorf, editor of the World Center’s journal “Leadership Briefing” and a journalist in Israel and Australia, and his wife Hilda, a pioneer in social work in both countries, as well as in memory of Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky.

Photos credit: Bruno Charbit