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In Gratitude: Sruel Prajs

Decades of vision and generosity

Berlin, Germany

We meet Sruel Prajs at the Arabica restaurant at the Keren Hayesod Switzerland Youth Center in the old city of Beersheva. Our meeting takes place shortly after the dedication of the renewed Ben Gurion hut and the new Visitors Centre at Sde Boker, two very important projects that were completed with the help of a generous gift from Mr. Prajs and his sister, Norma Drimmer, from Berlin, Germany, through Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal.
Sruel Prajs
At the Sde Boker ceremony, from left to right: Mrs. Norma Drimmer, KH-UIA World Chairman Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mr. Sruel Prajs.

“When I was asked if we, my sister Norma and I, would be willing to support the renovation of David Ben Gurion’s hut as donors, I felt much honored and we immediately agreed”, he said in his speech at the ceremony. His face indeed reveals the deep pride, emotion and gratification he feels at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu joining Keren Hayesod leaders in inaugurating the projects that he and Mrs. Drimmer made possible.
“For me, the name of David Ben Gurion has always represented the essence of the Zionist vision and of the State of Israel”, he says. “At that time, young Jews who weren’t from rich families and didn’t have the opportunity to go to high school or university and who wanted to leave Eastern Europe had only two options: to go to Palestine or to choose America. Thank God that people like Ben Gurion chose the Zionist way”.

A  former KH Germany Chairman, former  member of KH-UIA World Board of Trustees and former member of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, Mr. Prajs is a long-time leader and major donor to Keren Hayesod Germany (Vereinigte Israel Aktion). He was amongst the first recipients of the Yakir Keren Hayesod award, already in 1998. “For more than 25 years”, he recalls,” I fundraised for KH because I believe it is a bridge between Israel and the Jews living abroad. It is thanks to Israel that we can afford to live where we live. If we had had a Jewish state 70 years ago, the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened. We have to support Israel on the political and financial levels, and do everything we can to help it”.

Sruel Prajs

from l-r: David Koschitzky, Chairman of the KH-UIA World Board of TrusteesSruel Prajs; Jacob Snir.


When asked about Jewish and Zionist continuity, he expresses cautious concern. “For the young generation, it is self-understood that Israel exists. They want to see more personalized projects; the tendency to earmark donations has become very strong. You need a new approach for the young people. I believe it is also the parents’ responsibility to educate them in a Jewish and Zionist spirit in general, without becoming involved in Israel’s domestic politics”.

Sruel Prajs

Sruel Prajs addresses the audience.

Family is central to Mr. Prajs. At the ceremony, he expressed his delight at having his wife, Marina, and his son, David, with him together with other relatives. He pledged that “the support of the Jewish state by our families will not end with my sister and myself; on the contrary, the children and the grandchildren of the Prajs and Drimmer families will continue the family legacy”.

Thanks again for all that you have achieved until now, dear Mr. Prajs, and best wishes for many more years of good health and happiness with your loved ones, along with continued activity on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people!