On Thursday, January 30, 2014, Migdal Ohr Founder and Dean Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman was awarded Israel’s Presidential Medal of Distinction. Presented by Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel, in a ceremony in Jerusalem, this award is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the State of Israel or to humanity, through their talents, services, or otherwise.
Addressing Rabbi Grossman personally, the President said (translated): “My friend, Rabbi Grossman, you are the tower of light that shines rays of hope to hundreds of thousands of children at risk. The Migdal Ohr Institutions which you have established have been in many instances, the last chance of these youth to realize their hidden potential.”
Founded in 1972, Migdal Ohr provides free, essential life-changing services including education, housing, clothing and food, medical care and counseling to underprivileged, impoverished, and at-risk Jewish children across Israel. Comprised of three main education campuses and 160 youth clubs located across the country, Migdal Ohr annually serves over 10,000 youth who are pre-school through college-age and from all over the religious and socio-economic spectrums. Migdal Ohr–which translates to Tower of Light in English–is dedicated to making a difference in the future of Israel. The graduates from Migdal Ohr go on to become productive Israeli citizens and, most notably, Migdal Ohr alumni are among Israel’s top doctors, lawyers, community leaders, army generals, and even include a member of the Knesset. Rabbi Grossman’s love and dedication to Israel’s neediest children is undeniable.
Past medal recipients include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Elie Wiesel, and Henry Kissinger, among others. This year, the award was also given to film archiving pioneer Lia van Leer; businessman and philanthropist Jack Mahfar; Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving in Israel founder Avi Naor; Ezra LeMarpeh founder Rabbi Elimelech Firer; Minister of Internal Security and Member of the Knesset Avigdor Kahalani; Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev; and physicist and solar energy innovator Dr. Harry Zvi Tabor.
For more information about Migdal Ohr, please contact Beth R. Nussbaum at the American Friends of Migdal Ohr at 212-397-3700 or visit www.migdalohrusa.org.