Germany to Grant Highest Honor to President of Hebrew University

Another Israeli to receive Germany’s highest honor. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

More than 70 years after the Holocaust, Germany has sought to heal their relationship with the Jewish people, including Israel. The President of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, has also sought to deepen cooperation with Germany, and Berlin is planning a grand expression of gratitude. On Wednesday, Germany’s highest honor—the Order of Merit—will be conferred upon Prof. Ben Sasson by German Ambassador to Israel, Dr. Clemens von Goetze.

According to a press release from Hebrew University, the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany will be granted Prof. Ben Sasson for his “commitment to German-Israeli relations in the field of science, and thus to the cooperation between the two nations.” The German President’s website says that the Order of Merit “is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation.”

Prof. Ben Sasson is currently serving his second four-year term as Hebrew University president. He has also served as a member of the Israeli parliament, known as the “Knesset”.

Among his varied roles, Prof. Ben Sasson has also served on the board of Israel’s Holocaust museum Yad Vashem. The Hebrew University President speaks five languages, including the native tongue of the nation honoring him on Wednesday.

Prof. Ben Sasson is the 12th Israeli citizen to receive the Germany honor since the two nations formally established diplomatic relations in 1965. A press release on the German Embassy to Israel website noted that the 11th recipient, Knesset Member Nahman Shai, was awarded the Order earlier this year.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, February 26, 2017)

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