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Lifetime Achievement Awards

Telfed's Lifetime Achievement Awards – Meet our recipients
Two former Southern Africans have been nominated to receive TELFED's Lifetime Achievement Award, for their most significant contribution to Israeli society:
Harold 'Smoky' Simon - one of the founders of the Israel Air Force and a pioneer of the insurance industry in Israel, and Morris Kahn - outstanding business innovator and social entrepreneur, have graciously accepted this honour and will be presented with the TELFED - South African Zionist Federation (Israel) Award in February 2014.
"I invest in companies that I believe will make the world better and cause humanity to suffer less".  Mr. Morris Kahn (originally from Benoni, South Africa) has received multiple awards for his contribution to society (most recently an Outstanding Leadership Award from the University of Haifa and Honourary Doctorate from Bar Ilan University) and is involved in vast philanthropic activity focusing on education, culture, health, science and environment. He is one of the founders of The Aurec Group, a leading provider in the communication, media and information fields in Israel and internationally.  Aurec group and its extensions consisted of leading companies in Israel, such as Amdocs, Yellow Pages, Golden Channels and AIG Insurance.  As an avid diver (and member of the Sea Space Symposium), his great passion for the sea and its preservation led him to establish Coral World - an international company managing underwater observatories in Israel, Maui, Palma de Mallorca and Australia.  In line with this, he created "Zalul", a non-profit foundation that works tirelessly to clean and preserve bodies of water in Israel.
Morris Kahn is involved in numerous innovative projects for the benefit of humanity and in the commercial promotion of technological innovations via generous investments in start-up companies.  Notably, he sits on the board of Space IL, a non-profit organization working to land an Israeli spacecraft on the moon.  His extraordinary vision and deep commitment to changing paradigms is represented in his support of many meaningful projects collectively aimed at making the world a better place for generations to come, with investments in the development of technologies aimed at improving the production of staple crops, and in the fields of bio-technology, stem cell research and youth leadership (through the LEAD programme), to name a few. His exceptional involvement in philanthropic activities, coupled with his sincere, altruistic and affable personality are the pre-cursors to this most deserving award.
Smoky Simon is a befitting example of South Africa's finest.  Together with his wife Myra, they came to Israel in May 1948 as volunteers in the fight for the creation of the State of Israel.  Smoky served in the Israel Air Force in the War of Independence (1948-49), as Chief of Air Operations, and flew 24 operational missions, bringing with him extensive expertise and experience previously acquired in the South African Air Force and Royal Air Force. He was also appointed as the IAF’s Liaison Officer to the United Nations Commission until his discharge from the IAF in October 1950, when they returned to South Africa.


Mr Smoky Simon In February 1962 Smoky and Myra officially made Aliyah from South Africa with their four children.  He qualified as Israel’s first member of the international “Million Dollar Round Table Club” and in 1965 formed a partnership to establish the “Simon & Wiesel Insurance Agency”, which became the largest life insurance and pension brokerage firm in Israel. Smoky has been Chairman of World Machal since 1968 (representing the 4,800 volunteers who came from 59 countries to serve in Israel’s War of Independence) and is a distinguished lecturer in this regard.  He was a founding member of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation in Jerusalem and currently serves as Hon. Treasurer.  Smoky is also connected with the Friends of the Weizmann Institute and the new “Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II” (which is being erected in Latrun to honour the 1.5 million Jews who served in all the Allied Forces in World War II). Smoky Simon's philanthropic activities are widely recognized and have touched the lives of many.  Smoky’s belief and faith in the Almighty God, in the State of Israel, and in the future of the Jewish People are unequivocal and are an integral part of his outlook on life. Coupled with his generosity, kindness, integrity and modesty, Smoky is an exceptional role model and patriarch of the Southern African community in Israel.


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