Two well known Israeli celebrities received the 2013 Marc and Henia, z”l, Liebhaber Prize for Religious Tolerance in Israel. The ceremony was held in June along with the Schechter Institute’s M.A. graduation ceremony, and Rabbi Marc Liebhaber, 95, conferred the awards. Liebhaber is a former president of the World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues (Masorti Olami) and rabbi emeritus of B’nai Emet Synagogue in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. He and his late wife, Henia, established the prize, worth 100,000 NIS, in 1996 in response to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
TV personality Dov Elbaum (photo at left), with roots in the ultra-Orthodox community which he left at the age of 20, was lauded for bringing “serious philosophical topics to the national agenda” through his weekly newspaper column and TV program.”
Musician Kobi Oz (photo at right), from the development town of Sderot, was awarded the prize for his ability to translate ancient Jewish themes into contemporary musical language, acting as a catalyst for original thought and social change.