Yehuda Meshi Zahav was exposed and arranged a prestigious award for Haaretz reporters

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Yehuda Meshi Zahav, former chairman of Zaka (Photo by Jonathan Zindel, Flash 90)

Following the revelation of the affair about Yehuda Meshi Zahav in an investigation by Haaretz, journalists Aharon Rabinowitz and Shira Elek, members of the Haaretz editorial board, are the winners of the 202 Zvi Kaltzal Institute of Journalism Award for Journalistic Excellence for 2021.

The two were selected by the award committee, headed by the institute’s president, retired Supreme Court Justice Ms. Dalia Dorner, and included members – Ms. Carmela Menashe, commentator of the Here Broadcasting Corporation on Military and Security Affairs; media woman, attorney D. R. Zohar Kadmon, former chairman of News 10 and former vice president and legal advisor of Keshet Broadcasting; Ms. Efrat Dror, CEO (joint) of Herzliya Studios and Ms. Tami Litani, a member of the Israel Press Institute, editor of the reference books published by Keter and a member of the board of directors of the Dokaviv Festival. The prize of NIS 50,000 was donated by an anonymous donor , And will be divided between the two winners.

The members of the award committee, which convened last month, selected two of the dozens of journalists who submitted their nominations for the award, and from other names proposed by the committee itself, justified their decision as follows: ” To journalists Aharon Rabinowitz and Shira Elek, members of the Haaretz newspaper, for their investigation from March 2021, in which they revealed evidence of sexual offenses and sexual exploitation, carried out by Yehuda Meshi Zahav, founder and former chairman of the ZAK organization for ultra-Orthodox children, women, girls and boys.

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The research, conducted by the two professionally and thoroughly, examined in depth rumors that have been circulating for years about gold silk, but no one bothered to examine them in depth, or worse – preferred to ignore them and continue to reinforce and reinforce the story many in the secular media preferred to see in man – bridge The secular society to the ultra-Orthodox society in acts of kindness of truth.

In publishing the investigation into the man’s actions, shortly after the announcement of his winning the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the authors, who both grew up in ultra-Orthodox society, showed appreciative professional courage. The publication of the investigation not only contributed to the exposure of the harsh deeds of the golden silk itself, but also led to a series of further exposures of offenses and other wrongful sexual acts in the closed ultra-Orthodox society. In doing so, the two promoted public awareness, first and foremost among the ultra-Orthodox public, which opened the door to a deep process that could reduce such acts in the future. Therefore, the Judges Committee decided to award the Israel Press Institute Award for 2021 to Abramovich and Alec. “

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Ms. Dalia Dorner, a retired Supreme Court justice, president of the institute said: “I would like to congratulate the two winners of the 2021 award, which is also the first award given by the institute. The research carried out by Rabinowitz and Alec – brave personally and publicly, and managed to break the ongoing silence of repressed and silenced sexual violence in ultra-Orthodox society, and even lead to an initial change in the ultra-Orthodox leadership’s approach to dealing with the problem. The Israeli Press Institute named after the late Zvi Kaltzal will strive to continue to strengthen journalistic excellence, especially in the days when the status of journalists in Israel is eroding and the forces and pressures exerted on them are increasing. ”

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