Israeli honour for Roths

AUSTRALIAN olim Arnold and Frimet Roth have been honoured with the Social Affairs Minister’s Shield for Volunteerism – Lifetime Achievement Award in Israel.

The Roths set up their foundation, Keren Malki, which provides much-needed assistance to families with severely disabled children, in honour of their daughter Malki, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2001, aged 15.

They have now been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the field of children with special needs, after many years of service.

Keren Malki director Debbie Fishman paid tribute to Arnold and Frimet. “From everyone at Keren Malki we wish to say mazal tov for receiving this prestigious award,” she said. “We are honoured to work alongside you, learn from you and share in your passion, while all the while marvel at your ceaseless motivation. May God give you both the strength to continue your important work for years to come.”

The award was presented to the Roths by Israeli Minister for Social Affairs Meir Cohen at a moving ceremony held at the Jerusalem Theatre.

Also in attendance were representatives of the ministry, other dignitaries, volunteer groups and individual volunteers.

The ceremony included a short but heartwarming artistic program performed by the “Shiluvim” dance troupe of adults with special needs.

During her short life, Malki Roth dedicated herself to caring for people with disabilities. Keren Malki was established within a month of her murder in 2001.

Since then, motivated to turn their grief into a conduit for giving, Arnold and Frimet have been working tirelessly on an entirely voluntary basis to provide unique services through their foundation.

Their shared conviction that all children with disabilities deserve to be treated with love, compassion and respect motivates them to continue, even in the face of sometimes overwhelming challenges, the organisation said.

The Australian Friends of Keren Malki operates in Melbourne.

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Frimet and Arnold Roth accept the award from Israeli Minister for Social Affairs Meir Cohen.