Benjamin Bloch of Frankfurt, Germany to be Awarded Max M. Fisher Prize for Jewish Education in the Diaspora

June 13, 2010 / 1 Tammuz 5770 

The Max M Fisher Prize for Jewish Education in the Diaspora for the year 2010 will be awarded to Benjamin Bloch of Frankfurt, in recognition of his vital contribution to the advancement of Jewish education in Germany. The ceremony will take place at 12:00 on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at the Inbal Hotel, in Jerusalem.

The Max M. Fisher Prize for Jewish Education in the Diaspora was established in 1999, by the L. A. Pincus Fund for Jewish Education in the Diaspora. Max Fisher, Founding Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel, served as Chairman of the Pincus Fund from 1977 through 2005. Past prize winners have included educators from Argentina, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Hungary, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The L.A. Pincus Fund for Jewish Education in the Diaspora, based in Jerusalem, is an independent foundation which works to advance Jewish education. It supports new and innovative projects which respond to the changing needs of Jewish communities throughout the world, and promote excellence in Jewish education. The Fund has approved more than 750 projects, in 55 countries. 18 of its projects have been located in Germany. The Fund recently initiated and supported "Jews and Jewish Education in Germany Today", the largest research project to date to investigate the German Jewish community.

Mr. Bloch has served as Executive Director of the Zentralwohlfahrtsstelle (ZWST), the central welfare organization for German Jews, since 1987. He has guided the organization through the past two decades' massive wave of immigration of former Soviet Jews to Germany. Under his leadership, ZWST opened a new branch dealing with Jewish education, and has become the central address for Jewish educational activities in Germany. It implements wide ranging youth activities, summer and winter camps, family programs, adult education, and professional training programs for Jewish educators and community leaders. ZWST also provides support for local Jewish schools and kindergartens. Mr. Bloch has initiated many unique educational projects which have strengthened and enriched the German Jewish community. Several of these projects have received Pincus Fund support.

Mr. Bloch currently serves as President of the Jewish National Fund in Germany. In 2004, he was elected Vice-President of the European Council of Jewish Communities, where he also serves as Director of the Department for Education and Welfare. He is a member of the Board of Directors of BAG, the umbrella for German welfare organizations.

Mr. Bloch was born in Jerusalem but has lived in Germany since childhood. He holds an M.A. in Education from the J. v. Goethe University in Frankfurt.

For further information contact:
Michael Jankelowitz,
Liaison to the Foreign Press, Jewish Agency for Israel
Mobile: +972-52-6130220;
Voice-mail: +972-2-620-2780



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