An the 150th anniversary of the birth of the prime reviver of the Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the general assembly of UNESCO announced Thursday that he was worthy of international recognition and commemoration for his unique contribution to humanity.
Ben Yehuda will join a list of intellectuals, scientists and artists previously honored by the organization including author Nikolai Gogol, composer Josepf Haydn, French playwright Eugène Ionesco, Galileo Galilei and Charles Darwin.
Ironically, the announcement came days after the Science, Culture and Sport Ministry decide to cut the Academy of Hebrew Language's budget by NIS 2.1 million (about $528,568).
The academy's chairperson, Tali Ben Yehuda, said that "the State of Israel should have nurtured the language and this institution that researches and preserves it. Yet, that is not the situation."
Alongside renovations in the language, the Academy deals primarily with research and scientific investigation.
"People think Ben Yehuda invented words but his primary achievement was research and renovations of words based on Jewish tradition. This entire aspect is disappearing from our culture and the education system. The connection to our sources is weakening so UNESCO's recognition must be celebrated," Tali Ben Yehuda said.