PRESS RELEASE: Jewish National Fund Salutes Major General (Res.) Doron Almog Upon Winning the Israel Prize for "Lifetime Achievement"
Adam H. Brill, Director of Communications
Jewish National Fund Salutes Major General (Res.) Doron Almog
Upon Winning the Israel Prize for "Lifetime Achievement"
JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson (left) with Didi and Doron Almog,
and Yossi Kahana, JNF director of Special Needs and Disabilities.
New York, NY: April 13, 2016 – Jewish National Fund (JNF) is happy to announce that Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, one of the heroes of Operation Entebbe and founder of Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran, a JNF partner and world class rehabilitative village in Southern Israel, has been awarded the 2016 Israel Prize for lifetime achievement and exceptional contribution to the nation.
The annual prize is awarded to Israeli citizens or organizations that have displayed excellence in the fields of the humanities, social sciences, and Jewish studies; the natural and exact sciences; culture, arts, communication, and sports; and lifetime achievement and exceptional contribution to the nation.
Russell F. Robinson, Jewish National Fund's Chief Executive Officer, remarked, “JNF is proud to be a Disabilities and Special Needs program partner with Doron Almog. His amazing accomplishment of building Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran has made an incredible difference in countless lives, and we salute his efforts, dreams, vision, and enduring commitment. His brilliant and compassionate spirit defines the people of Israel.”
Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett said, "Gen. Doron Almog is both an Israeli hero and a social hero. He has risked his life for the security of Israel and devoted his life for the sake of our society. He's a fighter for the weakest members of society, a courageous champion for his late son, and a fearless warrior in the rescue efforts at Entebbe, where he commanded the IDF's most elite units. I am so pleased to see our country give a little bit back to him with this award."
In response to hearing that he won the award, Gen. Almog commented, "My son, Eran, truly deserves this prize. He was born with a severe traumatic brain injury. He never spoke and never got the chance to call me ‘dad.’ However, he was the greatest teacher I’ve ever had. Eran taught me about caring for our disabled, and that is the work that I must continue."
“Seeing young children with disabilities playing at Aleh Negev is something I will never forget,” said Alan Wolk of Atlanta, GA, co-president of JNF’s Board of Directors of the Southeast who recently visited Aleh Negev on JNF’s One Billion Dollar Roadmap Mission as a member of JNF’s Task Force on Disabilities. “I will also never forget the way their parents looked at them while they played, with a sense of hope and thankfulness. Hope, that their kids will someday have a level of normalcy, and thankfulness for Aleh Negev’s amazing care. For me, it’s personal. My older brother Phillip was disabled, and 70 years ago there were few options available to improve his quality of life. He passed away in 2004, having lived most of his life in a care facility. JNF’s commitment to the disabled and places like Aleh Negev might have made a difference for Phillip and my family. Doron Almog is a hero twice over; for being a leader in Israel’s battle for existence, and for leading the way in caring for people with special needs.”
Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran is a 25-acre, state-of-the-art rehabilitative village in Israel’s Negev Desert that offers unparalleled care for people with severe disabilities in a warm, loving, and dignified environment. Aleh Negev was founded by Major General Doron Almog, a military hero who was the first Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commander to land on the tarmac during the famous 1976 Operation Entebbe in Uganda. His son, Eran, was born with severe autism and developmental disabilities, and lived at Aleh Negev until he passed away in 2007 at the age of 23. After his death, Aleh Negev was renamed ‘Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran’ in his memory.
Designed specifically for the needs of people with cognitive and physical impairments, Aleh Negev and its multifaceted departments empower residents and outpatients to develop a greater degree of independence and become productive members of Israeli society. The village pioneers in providing patients with a wide variety of innovative treatments including hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, shiatsu, music therapy, animal therapy, and crafts workshops. Residents also benefit from occupational training, special education, and programs that encourage social interaction with family and peers. Aleh Negev has set a new benchmark in the fields of special education and rehabilitative services, and is being closely studied by experts from around the world.
JNF supports this remarkable village as part of its Blueprint Negev initiative, which is transforming Southern Israel into a strong and prosperous region for the benefit of all Israeli citizens. JNF’s assistance also goes towards building new therapeutic facilities, including a petting zoo and hydrotherapy pool; funding workshops and programs; developing green spaces designed to stimulate the senses of residents; and expanding Aleh Negev’s residential facilities to accommodate the growing number of people on its waiting list.
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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.
JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.
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