Thirty years of the Yolodan Prize: the winners for 2015 are Prof. Alon Wolf from the Technion and Prof. Avraham Tsangan from Ben Gurion University
On March 27, the Yolodan Prize ceremony was held at the Technion, where the prize was awarded to four researchers from three universities. The award for 2014 was received by Prof. Marcel Mahlouf from the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food at the Technion and Prof. Eran Halperin from the Faculty of Computer Science at Tel Aviv University. The award for 2015 was received by Prof. Alon Wolf from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion and Prof. Avraham Tsangan from the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Ben Gurion University.
Prof. Wayne Kaplan, the Technion's vice president for research, noted that the award, given for the thirtieth year, is intended to promote scientific and engineering research with significant medical potential. "This is an award that emphasizes the importance of diversity, that is, of working in a multicultural environment, for scientific success. The four researchers are receiving the award today thanks to their achievements so far, but also out of faith in their future achievements."
There were three of them: Julius Tigner, Ludwig Kleiner and Daniel Faulkner. Three Polish Jews who immigrated to England during World War II and started a new life there.
Faulkner, born in the city of Razków, enlisted in the Polish army and with the outbreak of World War II was sent to the Polish-Prussian border. His unit surrendered but he fled to Warsaw, where he was put in the Warsaw Ghetto and married Gota Hoffmann daughter
the 18th. Later, Daniel was caught and sent to forced labor, and only at the end of the war did he reunite with his wife and they started a new life in England.
Tigner, born in Krakow, boarded a train to Kiev on September 1, 1939 - the day of the German invasion of Poland - and there he befriended Kleiner, his friend from Krakow. Among the destroyed buildings in Kiev, the two found a warehouse that had been damaged by shelling and stole bottles of vodka from it, with which they paid for the ticket on the Trans-Siberian train to the next station: Kamchatka, located in the Russian Far East. From there they continued to Japan, joined the Free Polish Forces and eventually arrived in England via Canada. In England they established various businesses, helped a lot to the veterans of the Polish army in England and got to know their countryman Daniel Faulkner.
In 1984, the three founded the award, which bears the first syllables of their first names (yo-lo-dan), and in 1985 the award was awarded for the first time. Tigner died in 2003, Faulkner in 2010 and Kleiner a few months ago. Michael Kay, Tigner's son-in-law, took on the responsibility of managing the award and came to the ceremony together with his wife Miriam, Tigner's daughter. According to him, "The three donors were secular Jews with a very strong Zionist affinity - people whose lives are in England and whose hearts are in Israel. After many years in which they supported Jewish veterans of the Polish army, they decided to turn their support to Israel, a decision that was realized in the founding of the Yolodan Award."
Mr. Kay expressed his appreciation to the researchers, that the essence of their occupation is "walking a path whose end is unknown. You take risks, get up again and again from failures and disappointments and move on for the benefit of humanity. That is why this award was founded - to encourage outstanding researchers engaged in science and technology applications in the field of medicine and to support them in further research."
Technion faculty members who have won the Yolodan Prize over the years are Prof. Raphael Biar (won in 1985, the first year the award was given), Prof. Gabriel Laufer, Prof. Shlomo Ben Haim, Prof. Moshe Shoham, Prof. Andrew Levy, Prof. Natan Karin, Prof. Doron Melamed, Prof. Noam Ziv, Prof. Ran Ginosar, Prof. Dvir Yelin, Prof. Shulamit Levenberg, Prof. Shai Shoham, Prof. Marcel Mahloof and Prof. Alon Wolf. This year's ceremony was hosted by Prof. Noam Ziv from the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion, winner of the 2008 Yolodan Prize.
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1. 324 – Prof. Marcel Mahloof (left) and Ms. Miriam (Tigner) Kay
2. 891 - Prof. Avraham Tsangan (right), Mrs. Miriam (Tigner) Kay and the host of the ceremony Prof. Noam Ziv
3. 756 – Prize winners with Michael and Miriam Kay. From right to left: Prof. Alon Wolf, Prof. Marcel Mahloof, Ms. Miriam Kay, Prof. Avraham Tsangan and Mr. Michael Kay
4. From right to left: award winner Prof. Alon Wolff, Ms. Miriam (Tigner) Kay and moderator of the ceremony Prof. Noam Ziv
Photo: Nitzan Zohar, Technion Spokesperson