Criteria: A yearly Prize for the Outstanding Scientist of the year
Duration: 25 years
Dr. Ludwig Elkeles donated all his wealth to KKL-JNF and requested parks to be built in memory of his loved ones as well as the establishment of the prize. Following his decision, a campground and playground were built in the Jerusalem Forest, a lookout point was built at Kadesh Barnea on the road between Nitzana and Eilat, and a generous contribution was made towards the rehabilitation of Mitzpeh Gvulot in the Negev. The fund established in memory of his parents awards an annual prize for medical research.
In 1988, a special board was formed comprising: A senior KKL-JNF official, a representative of the Elkeles family, the Chief Scientist of the Health Ministry and the Director of the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The board sends out tenders to all major hospital directors and the deans of the faculties of medicine at Israeli universities requesting them to recommend their best scientists of the year. After the applications arrive, the board selects the winner with the utmost care, and then the yearly ceremony is held, attended by the Minister of Health, the Chairmen of the Board of Directors of KKL-JNF and the Health Officials.
Each year, the board makes an effort to award the prize to encourage innovative scientific discoveries. One of the past winners of the prize subsequently won a Nobel Prize in chemistry. The Elkeles Prize has become one of the most sought after of its kind in the country.