The Ministry for Social Equality will offer prizes of NIS 150,000 to researchers who develop projects and theses in the area of the history and culture of Middle Eastern and Persian Jewry. The prizes will be awarded as part of the prime minister’s prizes, which are awarded annually in a varying array of areas.
The prize will be awarded “to individuals and organizations that contribute greatly to the enhancement of the heritage of Jews from Arab countries and Iran, and for original research regarding the communities of those countries.” The NIS 150,000 prize will be awarded on November 30, which is commemorated as the national day “Commemorating the Departure and the Expulsion of Jews from Arab Countries.”
The prize is the idea of Minister of Social Equality Gila Gamliel, who said that granting the prize “will broaden research into the heritage of Jews from Arab countries and Persia, after it was ignored for many years. The story of the Jewish people is a very broad one with many layers, and the entire Israeli society needs to be aware of it.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed his approval of the move, saying that “this is a wide-ranging decision with many implications and potential effects on Israeli society, and on academic research.”