Aleh Negev Chairman Knighted with Israel’s Quality Control Award
Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, Chairman of Aleh Negev – Nahalat Eran, receives Knight of Quality Government Award 2007
This Thursday, June 14, 2007, Major General (Res.) Doron Almog was bestowed the prestigious Knight of Quality Government Award.
The award was given in recognition of General Almog’s unique contribution to the State of Israel both through his military service and in his civic life, for his defense of the vulnerable and weak and for strengthening Israel’s quality of government and society.
Mr. Almog is the chairman of Aleh Negev, a rehabilitative village for young adults suffering from severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Aleh Negev offers them a warm home, special education, vocational training, cutting-edge medical and paramedical services and opportunities for social integration.
The construction and development of the pioneering village became General Almog’s life mission even before he retired from the army. The driving force behind his efforts was his son, Eran O.B.M., cognitively disabled from birth.
Tragically, Eran passed away in February 2007 from a rare malignant disease just a year after moving into his beautiful new home. At an emotional memorial service a month after his passing, Aleh Negev was named Nahalat Eran in his memory.
At the memorial service, General Almog stressed the importance of being “a society that remembers that the strength of humanity is measured by the way it relates to the weakest within it.” This statement emphasizes the valiant character for which he was bestowed the Knight of Quality Government Award; not only for his contribution as a general in the IDF but also – and perhaps mainly – because he knows how to fight uncompromisingly for social goals that deserve that effort.
CEO of Aleh Centers Mr. Yehuda Marmorstein stressed that “for us, Doron Almog is the ultimate knight. His strength and valiance are measured first and foremost by his activity on behalf of his own family, by the dedication he and his wife Didi demonstrated on behalf of their son, by the uncompromising quality of care they insisted upon, and by advancing this new standard throughout Israel and the entire world.”
The Knight of Quality Government Awards Ceremony was held on June 14, 2007 at the Roman Theater in Caesarea.
Major General (Res.) Doron Almog’s Acceptance Speech
“Until recently I thought the title ‘Knight’ was bestowed only in England, and during my last visit there I didn’t really get the impression that they planned on bestowing me with any type of honorary title…
In the name of my friends who have also been honored here today with the Knight of Quality Government 2007 title, I would like to take this moment to thank the external committee led by retired Supreme Court Judge Gabriel Bach for their decision. By bestowing a title of honor for actively contributing to the quality of our lives in the State of Israel, the members of the committee are setting a standard in their desire to establish a better, more just and sensitive society in Israel. At the same time I am positive that today’s honorees did not accomplish all that they did in order to receive a title, and they would have acted in the same honorable way regardless of the honor.
The greatest professor of my life was and is my son Eran O.B.M., an autistic boy with severe disabilities who never called me Abba and who never even spoke one word, yet he succeeded in teaching me the most important lesson I ever received from a human being. In a nutshell I would say that it is not the advancement of our personal egos that is the main focus of our lives but rather the desire to accomplish social goals that are just and proper, goals that constitute a challenge to us all and that act as a compass guiding our every behavior.
Ultimately, the test of the existence of the State of Israel as a state and the test of its survival in the region is not only dependent on its military strength, technology and economy. The soldier who charges the battlefield and endangers his life for his friends, beloved family and country does so because there is a certain value system guiding his actions. This value system is rooted in the same feeling of responsibility that generations of Jews were inculcated with: to act on behalf of their brethren in distress.
When baseless hatred guided us, the collective price was disastrous. The values that guide our human and social behavior are those that will establish our solidity, our image and the strength of our survival.
May this evening and the titles it has bestowed be yet another handful of mortar in the construction of the great structure we are all partnering to build – the establishment of the State of Israel in the region as a place that we all love, believe in, and sincerely desire to make a qualitative difference – for the sake of our children, grandchildren and all future generations.”