British-born IDF major honoured with award for contribution to Israel

British-born IDF major honoured with award for contribution to Israel

Keren Hajioff of the IDF's diplomatic unit is one of seven recipients of the 2018 Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize for Young Leadership

Major Keren Hajioff
Major Keren Hajioff

A British Jewish woman who made aliyah in 2009 and became a Major in the Israeli Army has been awarded a prize from an organisation helping Brits move to Israel.

London-born Major Keren Hajioff, a senior figure in the IDF’s diplomacy unit, this week won the 2018 Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize for Young Leadership, one of seven total recipients. The prize recognises the achievements of “outstanding Anglo Olim and their contribution to the State of Israel”.

Hajioff, who was named in Jewish News’ prestigious Aliyah List, moved to Israel soon after completing her secondary school studies and joined the IDF as an Instructor in the Artillery Corps.

She went on to become Head of Information and Policy in the Ground Forces Foreign Relations Branch, then Foreign Relations and International Student Officer at the Israel National Defence College, where she was promoted to the rank of Captain a year early. She is now Head of Public Diplomacy in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Among the other prize winners were Australia-born lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky who made aliyah from New York. An expert on anti-Semitism and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, he was recently voted one of the most “influential Jewish people on Twitter”.

Another prize winner was Linda Streit, who left London for Israel 40 years ago.

She founded the Daniel Amichai Centre for Rowing and Nautical Studies in 2003, in memory of her son, Daniel Amichai Marcus, a promising young athlete.

The Centre is Israel’s leading facility for rowing, sailing, kayaking, and Dragon Boats, where national teams train.

It also offers pioneering programmes for underprivileged communities, youth at risk and people with disabilities and special needs.

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