The Leon Zelman Prize 2015 goes to Robert Streibel, a historian and the principal of the adult education center Hietzing. The award is endowed with 5.000 Euros and is sponsored by the city of Vienna. The award will be presented by Vienna's Executive Councilor for Culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, at Vienna’s City Hall on Monday June 8.
“For more than fourteen years, the historian and principal of the adult education center Hietzing, Robert Streibel, has, with great commitment and empathy,y organized a variety of commemoration initiatives and projects, involving schools and the local community, that go far beyond the building of memorials.” the jury justified the decision. The laudation will be held by Gerhard Baumgartner, the academic director of the Documentation Archive (DÖW).
Since 2013, the award has been presented annually, in memory of Leon Zelman and his achievements as longstanding director of the Jewish Welcome Service and editor of the magazine “Das Jüdische Echo” (The Jewish Echo). The award is given to people, projects and organizations that have shown great effort in promoting dialogue and commemoration projects and in fighting racism and anti-Semitism.
In 1980, the organization was founded on the initiative of the former Mayor Leopold Gratz and city Councilor Heinz Nittel together with Leon Zelman, who passed away in 2007. The organization is headed by the respective mayor of the City of Vienna. The main duties include visitor programs for displaced Jewish citizens and their descendants, study trips for the younger generation, as well as the support of commemoration projects. Since 2012, the Wiener Städtische mutual insurance company, which is the main shareholder of the Vienna Insurance group, has supported the work of the Jewish Welcome Service.