Israel's President Reuven Rivlin receives the UCLA Israel Studies Award in a ceremony held Feb. 18, 2020. Award in recognition of Rivlin's leadership promoting tolerance, equality and civility.
The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies presented its UCLA Israel Studies Award to the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin. The award was presented by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block during an evening ceremony at the Chancellor’s residence on Feb. 18, 2020. The chancellor was joined in the award presentation by Soraya Nazarian and Sharon Nazarian, chair of the center’s Advisory Board.
Chancellor Block spoke at the event along with Professor Dov Waxman, director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies at UCLA. President Rivlin also delivered remarks and a video was shown to guests.
The UCLA Israel Studies Award recognizes individuals of extraordinary character and merit in their chosen fields, whether in academia, public service, business or the arts, who have contributed to a greater understanding of Israel and have made outstanding contributions to Israeli society or culture. The award was conferred on President Rivlin in recognition of his courageous leadership celebrating the mosaic of Israeli society and promoting the values of coexistence, tolerance, equality and civility. The UCLA Israel Studies Award has only been presented two times before, to the former Chief Justice of Israel's Supreme Court Aharon Barak (in 2007) and to Israeli author Amos Oz (in 2015).
Rivlin was elected the 10th president of the State of Israel on June 10, 2014, after having served as speaker of the Knesset and as a cabinet minister. He was first elected to the Knesset in 1988 and served seven parliamentary terms. Rivlin was twice elected as speaker of the Knesset, serving from 2003 to 2006, and again from 2009 to 2013. He served as minister of communications from 2001 to 2003. A lawyer by training, he was born in Jerusalem into the extended Rivlin family, established in Jerusalem since 1809.
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