ATLANTA, February 4, 2021 – In a moving ceremony on Sunday, January 31, 2021, speakers gathered online to honor Kay Wilson as she accepted the Atlanta Israel Coalition’s inaugural AIC Impact Award. Held on Zoom and streamed live on Facebook, the award was given two years to the day after the AIC’s first event, the premiere of the Israeli documentary, Black Forest, directed by Hadar Kleinman Zadok and Timna Goldstein, about the brutal machete attack that Kay survived.
The Atlanta Israel Coalition created its Impact Award to recognize a person whose life experience or vision has served as a catalyst for change, and whose words or activities have inspired others to act and have ultimately impacted perception of or life in Israel. Kay, a British-born Israeli tour guide, used the exercises in writing during her trauma therapy as the genesis for her book The Rage Less Traveled. The event was hosted by AIC’s founder and executive director, Cheryl Dorchinsky.
The first speaker, Karma Feinstein-Cohen, the Executive Director of World Magshimey-Herut and World Herut, thanked Kay for sharing her horriific personal story with the world with such intimacy and bravery. “I got so much from reading your book. I think the bravery is two-fold. It’s to go through that horror and then to sit down to share it with the world to make the world a better place. For that, I cannot thank you enough. It changed me.”
Raheel Raza, President of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, spoke to the enormous impact Kay and her book had on her. “I am really glad this award was called the impact award,” said Raza, “because anyone who reads Kay’s story and her journey has to be impacted, which is why it has to be circulated worldwide.”
Craig Dershowitz, CEO of Artists 4 Israel, President of the Healing Arts Kits and Healing Ink, and someone who knows Kay well, agreed. “This is one of the few books that comes with an airplane ticket attached, transporting you as close to Kay as anyone will ever be without feeling one of her hugs.”
Publisher Ilan Greenfield of Gefen Publishing explained why he felt compelled to publish her story, saying that Kay’s approach was one of “I’m going to tell my story but not for people to hate other people, but I’m going to tell my story to make people understand that you have a choice in life to make this a better world by doing good things…”
This is what Kay has done. In speaking to audiences all over the world, Kay also became a fierce advocate lobbying Western governments to end the foreign aid that rewards terrorists. Kay is a survivor, but she is so much more.
In addition to being an author, a tour guide and an inspiration, Kay is also a musician. After speaker Dumisani Washington, National Diversity Outreach Coordinator for Christians United for Israel, paid homage to Kay and her tenacity, the founder and former director of Zion Academy of Music in Stockton, CA, performed a piece on the piano in Kay’s honor. She not only thanked him, but requested the chords.
The uniquely designed award was inscribed with these words, “The AIC Impact Award 5781 / 2021 presented to Kay Wilson for your powerful memoir, “The Rage Less Traveled”, a story of the resilience of the human spirit when tested to its limits and the courage that inspires others to spread the light of Israel and for your outstanding work as a peace activist fighting for human rights.”
About the Atlanta Israel Coalition and Gefen Publishing
The Atlanta Israel Coalition was founded in late 2018 by a group of committed volunteers who strive to unite the pro-Israel community in Atlanta and beyond. As a non-partisan non-profit group, the AIC seeks to inspire and educate through a collective effort. Through inclusive educational and community events, the AIC unifies a broad audience, regardless of faith or political affiliation. The AIC is a gathering place for multi-faceted conversations that combat media bias, a connector to foster a spirit of cooperation amongst pro-Israel organizations, and a means by which to amplify our collective pro-Israel missions. More info at https://www.atlantajewishconnector.com/organization/the-atlanta-israel-coalition.
The Gefen Publishing House is an English-language publisher with more than 20 years of publishing experience. Based in Jerusalem, with a distribution center in New York, Gefen is also a main distributor of books published by many Israeli publishers, in Hebrew, English, and other languages. More info at https://www.gefenpublishing.com.
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