Just within the past week and a half we were made aware of prestigious awards received by two former Winnipeggers who left Winnipeg for Israel years ago, and who have established themseleves there very successfully in their respective artistic endeavours.
Gabriel Emmanuel (who was known as Gordie Wiseman in his Winnipeg days) was recently awarded the (Israeli) Prime Minister’s Prize for 2022.
The photograph is from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The picture was taken in the President’s House on April 2, 2022.
(English translation of Hebrew inscription on the plaque):
The Prime Minister’s Prize for 2022
Awarded in the presence of the President of Israel, Mr. Isaac Herzog and the Prime Minister, Mr. Naftali Bennett
Mr. Gabriel Wiseman (“Gabriel Emanuel”) for the writing of the play “Mr. Begin” and for his contribution for memorializing the 6th Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Menahem Begin,
May his memory be blessed
Naftali Bennet (Signed) Isaac Herzog (Signed)
1st day of Nissan 5782 (April 2, 2022)
We found this picture of Gordie Wiseman in our archives and wondered what his reaction would be to seeing it 57 years later. (By the way, typos were clearly not just something for which I’m responsible. Sheila Tennenhouse’s name is misspelled “Henenhouse.”
In response, Gabriel (or Gordie) sent us this note:
You sure surprised me with that picture! Not only do I remember winning that poster contest sponsored by the UJA but I still can recall my winning line which could have landed me a job on Madison Avenue if I didn’t have to attend Ramah elementary school the next day. Against the backdrop of the sun and the moon the poster read: “Turn Night into Day/Support the UJA”. By the way, the Passover Haggadah which I won from that contest I still cherish and it has been with me at all 56 Seders I have celebrated since.
I made aliyah in 1987 and after qualifying as a lawyer in Israel I joined the army, became an officer and prosecuted many an Arab terrorist during the first Intifadah. My Hebrew name from birth, Gavriel, naturally became my personal name while living in Israel, but even before then, while writing plays, radio and television scripts in Canada I adopted the pen name Gabriel Emanuel (the surname derived from my father, Manny Wiseman” A”H) - and also as it could conveniently distance my legal career from any potentially bad reviews! My mother, Elaine Wiseman, is still an avid reader of the JP at the venerable age of 92, kenainahora, and surely one of your oldest and most loyal subscribers. And now you know why you got this exclusive scoop about the PM Prize!
All the best,