A few days ago, on Israel's 68th Independence Day, the city of Tel Aviv gave out its "Beloved of Tel Aviv" Awards, as it does every year since 1976, to city residents, as a symbol of honor and recognition, to Israelis who have left their mark on society, culture and history. Each year, a special committee, headed by the mayor, chooses 12 or more winners from a pool of nominees. This year, among the prestigious group of awardees that includes artist Ilana Goor and veteran activist, publisher and social commentator Uri Avnery, is Meira Drori, the much-loved and respected Chairperson of WIZO Tel Aviv.
Meira Drori, born and raised in Tel Aviv, is one of the more outstanding and appreciated volunteers in the entire WIZO leadership. Her lifelong socially-conscious work began at an early age, when she volunteered at the now defunct Hadassah hospital on Tel Aviv's Balfour Street. In 1985, after marrying and having children, she began volunteering in her local WIZO chapter in the Yad Eliyahu neighborhood, where she has lived since 1960. At this point Meira has volunteered for WIZO in various positions for over 30 years, including a position as Director of the WIZO Branch in the Yad Eliyahu neighborhood. In 2003 she worked as the Chairperson of the organization's welfare division and in 2008 she was chosen to act as the Chairperson of the entire WIZO Tel Aviv branch, a position that she occupies until today.
Her work for WIZO has given Meira the opportunity to improve the lives of Tel Aviv's citizens in numerous ways. She struggled to promote WIZO's second-hand clothing depots and led a campaign of improvements to local community center buildings. Meira was partner to a project providing underprivileged children to have bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies, and worked tireless to establish shelters for underage girl at-risk. Thanks, in part, to her work, WIZO's Tel Aviv Branch was chosen as the flagship of the organization, a tribute to its role and socially-conscious work of community-building.
Meira herself says, "I was humbled to learn about my nomination for the award. After 32 years of volunteering for the benefit of women, youth and children, WIZO and the work itself have become a huge part of my life."
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