Thursday, May 13, 2010

Magnificent! Moskowitz Prize

Yom Yerushalayim was a gorgeous blue and white day. The clouds were perfectly puffy to accentuate their white lines against the clear blue sky. Adults and children marched and strolled through Jerusalem in white shirts and blue pants/skirts. Every hundredth teenager wore the mandatory Israeli flag draped over his shoulders.
Music filled the streets, as did excited people of all ages/cities/types. As the dancing continued at the Kotel (Western Wall) and throughout the city, the excitement level was rising down in the Shiloach Valley (Silwan).
The Third Annual Moskowitz Prize for Zionism brought together the who's-who of Zionism today (not the politicians - although there were some - but those who give of themselves above and beyond). The presence of so people who are dedicated to the betterment of Israeli society, the good of the nation, and the unity of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel created a positive electricity that could be seen and felt by all. The leaders/staff/volunteers that labor to strengthen Israel and the Jewish people. Truthfully, my lipstick wore off from kissing so many good and devoted Jews. (Women only, of course. :) I just nodded smilingly at the men.)
The evening, coordinated by Moskowitz Prize Director Ruthie Lieberman of Jaffee Strategies, was just magnificent. The atmosphere was perfect - there in the valley (in Ir David, the City of David), below the palace of Israel's ultimate King - David. The guests were the best of the best. And the honorees were people who will forever be heroes in our eyes and in our hearts.
More about the winners of the Moskowitz Prize later...but for now, just a quick word.
Leadership and Inspiration
Each of the winners of the Moskowitz Prize is a leader (true leader, not an elected leader) who has put himself forward, regardless of his personal welfare, in order to benefit the community. We pray for those kind of people every Shabbat morning (those who give wholeheartedly, and usually thanklessly, for the benefit of our nation).
And behind those people stands one woman who understands that Am Yisrael needs those kind of heroes. Am Yisrael needs people who care more about their community, their country, and the eternity of their nation than about themselves. The person who essentially realized that is Cherna Moskowitz. I had never seen her before, and when she stepped up onto the podium, I felt I was seeing a real superstar (not the Madonna kind, G-d forbid, but the Esther or Devorah type).
When the inspirational Avigdor Kahalani (a Moskowitz Prize committee member) spoke, he told the audience that all around Jerusalem, you can see the footprints of Cherna and Dr. Irving Moskowitz (until 120). Everyone cheered, because thanks to them, many Jewish homes in Eastern Jerusalem have been redeemed, and many new Jewish neighborhoods are taking their place on the landscape of our Holy City, ensuring the unity of Jerusalem.
Far-Reaching Vision
I've toured many areas in Yesha in which countless schools and preschools were made possible by Cherna Moskowitz's long vision and kind heart. I have spoken to people whose projects would never have come to fruition without the backing of the Moskowitz family.
As a member of the Jewish Nation, as a Lover of the Land of Israel, I can only thank Cherna and Dr. Irving Moskowitz and their family for realizing that Zionism has many faces, that the strengthening of the Jewish people is both one brick at a time, and one heart at a time. The Moskowitzes have the foresight to support and encourage those true leaders who inspire the hearts of the Jewish people (and the world) to step out beyond their own homes/selves/comfort to do great things for the future of our nation in our land.
To view some of VOICES-TV video clips of the Moskowitz prize, click here:
** Nahal Hareidi's got rhythm:
** Moskowitz Prize musical tribute to Jerusalem - 5770
** Avigdor Kahalani introduces Moskowitz Prize winners of 5770

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