07/08/2014 - Negba Co-Founder Claude Meyer Awarded France's Legion of Honour for Lifetime Achievement Serving the Less Fortunate
In a festive ceremony in the presence of Negba's children, families and friends, France's Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave appointed Negba Co-Founder Claude Meyer to the rank of Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour, an award rewarding outstanding merits of citizens in all walks of life, regardless of social, economic or hereditary backgrounds. The Ambassador surveyed Claude's lifelong efforts in France, Israel and other countries to aid youth, relocate refugees, and combat famine and hunger, culminating in the establishment of Negba in Israel to assist children at-risk.
Held at Negba's Les Cigognes House of Hope in Beersheva, the event included a musical presentation, an art exhibition by Negba's children, and remarks by Negba CEO Hanna Geissmann, Israel Parliament Member and Deputy Minister of Education Avi Wortzman, and by Deputy Mayor of Beersheva Ofer Cardi. Claude Meyer singled out his two accomplices, Negba Co-Founder Claude Kadouch and Negba Treasurer Jean Bisseliches, as "three musketeers equally deserving of the honour." Claude Kadouch and his son David also awarded certificates to Negba's children who excelled in math.
In his tribute remarks to Claude Meyer, Professor Beno Gross, a member of Negba's Honorary Board and Former Deacon of Bar Ilan University, noted the symbolism behind the street address of the Les Cigognes House of Hope on Avraham Avinu Street. "The biblical Patriarch Abraham embodied the essence of kindness and charity," noted Gross. "He traveled southward to Beersheva on a divine order, where he planted the tree bearing fruit for humanity. Claude Meyer, too, has followed on this journey."
To end the evening, guests were treated to another journey in the form of a Negba version of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, performed by Negba's children.