Israel Prize

The Israel Prize is the highest award of the State of Israel. It is awarded annually on the eve of Israeli Independence Day in a state ceremony in Jerusalem. The award was founded in 1953 on the initiative of the Minister of Education Ben -Zion Dinur out who got the prize awarded even in the years 1958 and 1973.

The price

The prize is awarded in the following areas (the exact sub-areas are subject to constant change):

  • The exact and natural sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Humanities and social sciences, and Jewish Studies
  • Jurisprudence
  • Culture and Art
  • Literature
  • Sculpture
  • Hebrew song
  • Economics
  • Life's work (since 1972)

The prize money is currently 75,000 NIS ( approximately € 15,000.00, Booth 2013).

The winners

The winners are Israeli citizens or organizations who have played a special meaning in their field or who have contributed in a significant way to the Israeli cultural life. The winners will be selected by a committee of experts, which forward their proposals to the Minister of Education.

By 2010, the prize was awarded 649 times.

Although the award is given only Israeli citizens, the Indian-born Zubin Mehta was awarded a special prize at the ceremony in 1991.

Known laureates

Known winners are:

Criticism of the award

Sometimes led the decision to give certain individuals a price to passion clear political debates:

Another criticism is that most winners are male, Jewish and secular.