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Genesis Prize

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Title: Genesis Prize  
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Language: English
Subject: Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley, Michael Douglas, Michael Bloomberg
Collection: Awards Established in 2013, International Awards, Israeli Awards
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Genesis Prize

The Genesis Prize
Awarded for Outstanding achievement by individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and whose actions, in addition to their achievements, embody the character of the Jewish people through commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and/or to the State of Israel.
Sponsor Founded by the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Date 2013
First awarded 2014
Official website http://www.genesisprize.org

The Genesis Prize (Hebrew: פרס בראשית‎) was founded in 2012 as a USD$1 million award given annually to an exceptional human being who has attained outstanding excellence and international renown in his or her chosen field, is a role model in the community and who can inspire the next generation of Jews worldwide.[1] The prize was founded by the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, Genesis Philanthropy Group, and the Jewish Agency for Israel with the objective of inspiring and developing a sense of pride and belonging among young unaffiliated Jews throughout the world.[2]

On October 21, 2013, the Genesis Prize Foundation announced that Michael Bloomberg had been chosen as the first Laureate. The inaugural Prize was presented by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, on May 22, 2014 at a ceremony in Jerusalem. Bloomberg invested his $1 million award in a global competition, the Genesis Generation Challenge, to identify young adults' big ideas to better the world.[3][4]

On January 14, 2015, the Genesis Prize Foundation announced that actor Michael Douglas is the recipient of the 2015 Genesis Prize.[5]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented Michael Douglas with the second Genesis Prize at a ceremony in Jerusalem on June 18, 2015. Comedian Jay Leno hosted the event, which highlighted inclusion for intermarried families in Jewish life, as well the role of Jews in Hollywood and Broadway. The ceremony also featured presentations from Benjamin Netanyahu, Genesis Prize Co-Founder Mikhail Fridman, and Israeli model and actress Bar Refaeli..[6]

Contents

  • About the prize 1
  • Partners 2
  • Selection and nomination 3
  • Leadership 4
  • Committee members 5
  • Michael Bloomberg, 2014 Laureate 6
  • Genesis Generation Challenge 7
  • Michael Douglas, 2015 Laureate 8
  • Avenues to Jewish Engagement for Intermarried Couples and their Families 9
  • IMAGINE: The Genesis Prize Design Competition 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

About the prize

The Genesis Prize seeks to inspire a movement to honor and enhance Jewish identity around the world and spark a far-reaching and inclusive conversation about Jewish values, culture and heritage, especially among young people. Prize Laureates are intended to inspire younger Jews to embrace an identity that has profound historical, cultural and spiritual meaning.

The Genesis Prize seeks to recognize individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and whose actions, in addition to their achievements, embody the character of the Jewish people through commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and/or to the State of Israel. Beyond demonstrated qualities of achievement and commitment, the Genesis Prize, in keeping with the Jewish values for which it stands, serves to recognize the Laureate’s contributions to the betterment of humankind.

Genesis Philanthropy Group has established an endowment in the amount of $100 million to launch the Genesis Prize Foundation, as well as fund the prize and related young adult engagement activities. The founders of the Genesis Prize aim to complement other outstanding programs focused on engaging young diaspora Jews, such as Taglit-Birthright Israel, Jewish summer camps, MASA and Hillel International.

Partners

The Genesis Prize was established as a partnership between the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, and the Jewish Agency for Israel.[7] All Prize activities are managed by the Genesis Prize Foundation.

Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) was founded in September 2007 by Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, Alexander Knaster, and Stan Polovets with a mission to develop and enhance a sense of Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the former Soviet Union, North America, and Israel.[8][9]

Selection and nomination

The Genesis Prize honors individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel. [10]

Upon receipt of the nominees who meet the criteria for the Prize, the Selection Committee reviews candidates and the Prize Committee selects the Laureate. In its inaugural year, the Genesis Prize received 223 submissions, with 176 unique nominations for individuals from 6 continents. In 2014, The Genesis Prize Foundation received 258 nominations from 16 countries.

The Selection and Prize Committee members were chosen for their outstanding leadership in areas such as international affairs and public service, human rights and justice, business and philanthropy as well as for their unwavering support of Jewish causes.[11]

Leadership

The leadership of the Genesis Prize consists of a Board of Directors, the President, and an Advisory Board.

Board of Directors
Advisory Board
  • Jehuda Reinharz, Advisory Board Chairman, President Emeritus, Brandeis University
  • Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Robin Neustein, Senior Director, Goldman Sachs & Co.
  • John Sexton, President, New York University
  • Rivka Carmi, President, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
  • Irwin Cotler, Attorney General of Canada, 2003-2006, Member of Parliament, Canada
  • Jonathan Fanton, President Emeritus, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Gary Ginsberg, Executive Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications, Time Warner
  • Allen Shapard, Senior Vice President, IMG Worldwide, Advisor to Nobel Laureates
  • Joan E. Spero, Senior Research Scholar, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

Committee members

Committee members were chosen for their outstanding leadership in areas such as international affairs and public service, human rights and justice, business and philanthropy as well as for their unwavering support of Jewish causes.[12][13][14][15]

Prize Committee
Selection Committee

Michael Bloomberg, 2014 Laureate

Genesis Prize laureate Michael Bloomberg

Michael R. Bloomberg was chosen as the first Laureate because of his many contributions in business, philanthropy, and public service, and his commitment to Jewish values and the state of Israel. At the announcement of his selection as the Genesis Prize Laureate, Bloomberg said, “Many years ago, my parents instilled in me Jewish values and ethics that I have carried with me throughout my life, and which have guided every aspect of my work in business, government, and philanthropy. The Genesis Prize embraces and promotes those same values and ethics — a common thread among the Jewish people worldwide that has helped move humankind forward for centuries.”[16]

Commenting on Bloomberg’s selection, committee member Elie Wiesel said, “Mayor Michael Bloomberg sets a very high bar as the first recipient of the Genesis Prize,” said Nobel Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel. “It is a great honor for the entire Jewish people to celebrate his achievements, his commitment to improving the world, and in particular his city: New York. His pursuit of the agenda centered on health, innovation and social justice has been unwavering. We are certain that his selection as the recipient of the Genesis Prize will serve as an inspiration to young Jews and others across the globe.”[17]

On May 22, 2014, Bloomberg was honored by hundreds of dignitaries from around the world as the inaugural Genesis Prize Laureate at a ceremony at the Jerusalem Theatre. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented the award. The celebration was hosted by comedian Jay Leno, and included performances by Grammy-award winning pianist Evgeny Kissin and singer Rita. Speakers included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Genesis Philanthropy Group Co-Founder Mikhail Fridman, Bloomberg, and young leaders representing the voices of the Genesis Generation.[18]

Genesis Generation Challenge

The Genesis Prize Foundation announced on May 22, 2014 that Michael Bloomberg would defer the award funds to a global competition, the Genesis Generation Challenge, to fund young adults’ ideas to better the world. The Genesis Generation Challenge is designed to “encourage teams of change agents from across the world to submit ideas for projects, guided by Jewish values, that demonstrate innovation and creativity in addressing the world's pressing issues.” Up to 10 teams will be awarded $100,000 to implement their ideas.[19]

The Genesis Generation Challenge officially launched on August 1, 2014. Competitors were given until September 30, 2014 to register online, and until October 28, 2014 to submit an application.[20] On April 28, 2015, Michael R. Bloomberg, Michael Douglas, Natan Sharansky, Elie Wiesel and Stan Polovets announced the nine winners of the Genesis Generation Challenge at an event at Bloomberg Philanthropies.[21]

The nine winning projects are:[22]

  • Building Up
  • Build Israel and Palestine
  • eNable 3D Printed Prosthetics
  • LAVAN
  • Prize4 Life
  • Sanergy
  • Sesame
  • Spark
  • Vera Fellowship Program

Michael Douglas, 2015 Laureate

Genesis Prize Laureates Michael Bloomberg and Michael Douglas with Genesis Prize Co-Founder and Chairman Stan Polovets

On January 14, 2015, the Genesis Prize Foundation announced that actor Michael Douglas has been selected as the second Genesis Prize Laureate. In his career in film, Douglas has a body of work that has earned him accolades, including two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, and an Emmy. In addition to film, Douglas is known for human rights activism, gun violence prevention, anti-nuclear proliferation, and passionate advocacy as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.[23] Genesis Prize Co-founder and Chairman Stan Polovets stated that Douglas was chosen for "his professional achievements and for his passion for his Jewish heritage and the Jewish state. The Douglas family's experience of connecting with its heritage and embracing it on their own terms embodies an inclusive approach for Jews of diverse backgrounds."[24]

With regard to being selected as the 2015 Genesis Prize Laureate, Douglas said “I share this award with my family, who encouraged me in my exploration of the Jewish faith. I hope these teachings and values will be part of the legacy in the world that I leave for my children and those who follow.” Douglas has said that he will donate the prize money to charities that promote Jewish inclusiveness.[25][26]

Avenues to Jewish Engagement for Intermarried Couples and their Families

On August 31, 2015, The Genesis Prize Foundation and the Jewish Funders Network announced the launch of “Avenues to Jewish Engagement for Intermarried Couples and their families.” This is a global matching grants initiative, in honor of 2015 Laureate Michael Douglas, which will disperse $3.3 million in grants to organizations promoting the engagement of intermarried families in Jewish life.[27]

IMAGINE: The Genesis Prize Design Competition

On July 2, 2015 The Genesis Prize Foundation announced the launch of a design competition for young artists and designers, to solicit designs for the Genesis Prize award trophy. The competition is called IMAGINE: THE GENESIS PRIZE DESIGN COMPETITION. The Foundation also announced that the Selection Committee will be chaired by Lord John Browne, Chairman of the Tate Gallery in London and former CEO of BP. Pyotr Aven, Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts and Co-Chairman of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, will serve as Deputy Chairman of the Selection Committee. Mr. Aven is Co-Founder of the Genesis Prize Foundation and one of the leading art collectors in the world.[28]

References

  1. ^ New York Times - Russians Join Israel to Start Jewish Prize of $1 Million - June 26, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/world/europe/russians-establish-1-million-jewish-prize-with-israel.html?_r=2&
  2. ^ JTA - Elie Wiesel, Yuli Edelstein to help select Genesis Prize winner - March 25, 2013 http://www.jta.org/2013/03/25/news-opinion/world/elie-wiesel-yuli-edelstein-to-help-select-genesis-prize-winner
  3. ^ Washington Post Bloomberg Plans Contest for Prize May 22, 2014 http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/ap-interview-bloomberg-plans-contest-for-prize/2014/05/22/1fe966a6-e1a5-11e3-9442-54189bf1a809_story.html.
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Jewish Week 'Genesis Prize Taps Michael Douglas' January 14, 2015, http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york/genesis-prize-taps-michael-douglas
  6. ^ The Jewish Week, June 24, 2015, Michael Douglas Salutes Son, Dad on Genesis Award, http://thejewishweek.com/news/short-takes/michael-douglas-salutes-son-dad-genesis-award
  7. ^ Jewish Federations of North America 7-Dec-2013 “Jewish Agency Institute Struggles With Bleak Demographic Projection” http://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=36614
  8. ^ Jewish Telegraph Agency “Genesis Group announces $1.2 million in grants” 7-Oct-2009 http://www.jta.org/2009/10/07/fundermentalist/genesis-group-announces-1-2-million-in-grants
  9. ^ E Jewish Philanthropy, “New Initiative to Strengthen Jewish Identity for Young FSU Jews Launched in Israel,” 13-Oct-2013 http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/new-initiative-to-enhance-jewish-identity-for-young-fsu-jews-launched-in-israel/?utm_source=Tue+Oct+29&utm_campaign=Tue+Oct+29&utm_medium=email
  10. ^ Genesis Prize official website, mission statement, accessed March 19, 2015 http://www.genesisprize.org/about/mission.html
  11. ^ The Jewish Week - Genesis Prize Judges Named http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/news-brief/genesis-prize-judges-named
  12. ^ e-Jewish Philanthropy - Wayne Firestone Named President of the Genesis Prize Foundation http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/wayne-firestone-named-president-of-genesis-prize-foundation/
  13. ^ Iton Gadol - Eli Wiesel se unió al comité de personalidades que elige al ganador del Premio Nobel Judío http://www.itongadol.com.ar/noticias/val/69900/-eli-wiesel-se-unio-al-comite-de-personalidades-que-elige-al-ganador-del-premio-nobel-judio.html
  14. ^ The Jerusalem Post - Elie Wiesel Appointed to Genesis Prize Committee http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-News/Elie-Wiesel-appointed-to-Genesis-Prize-Committee-307538
  15. ^ The Jewish Week - Genesis Prize Judges Named http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/news-brief/genesis-prize-judges-named
  16. ^ New York Times "Bloomberg Is First to Receive a $1 Million Jewish Award" 20-Oct-2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/21/nyregion/bloomberg-is-first-to-receive-a-1-million-jewish-award.html
  17. ^ Jerusalem Post 21-Oct-2013 "New York Mayor Bloomberg to be awarded the 'Jewish Nobel Prize'" http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-News/New-York-Mayor-Bloomberg-to-be-award-the-Jewish-Nobel-Prize-329306
  18. ^ Jerusalem Post, May 22, 2014 Bloomberg honored with first ‘Genesis Prize’ in Jerusalem http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Bloomberg-honored-with-first-Genesis-Prize-in-Jerusalem-353103
  19. ^ JTA May 22, 2014 Bloomberg to use inaugural Genesis Prize for new fellowship http://www.jta.org/2014/05/22/news-opinion/united-states/bloomberg-to-use-prize-for-new-genesis-fellowship
  20. ^ Times of Israel August 12, 2014 "Genesis Prize launches global innovation challenge" http://www.timesofisrael.com/genesis-prize-launches-global-innovation-challenge/
  21. ^ Haaretz "Bloomberg announces winners of 2015 Genesis Generation Challenge" April 28, 2015 http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.654012
  22. ^ Jewish Telegraph Agency "Bloomberg’s Genesis Prize money goes to work" April 28, 2015 http://www.jta.org/2015/04/28/news-opinion/the-telegraph/bloombergs-genesis-prize-money-goes-to-work
  23. ^ US News and World Report, "US comedian Jay Leno returns to Israel to host awards ceremony honoring actor Michael Douglas" March 9, 2015. http://www.usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2015/03/09/comedian-jay-leno-makes-comeback-in-israel-for-award-show
  24. ^ LA Times, "Michael Douglas to be Honored by the Genesis Prize Foundation http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-genesis-prize-michael-douglas-20150115-story.html
  25. ^ Jewish Week "Genesis Prize Taps Michael Douglas" Jan. 14, 2015 http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york/genesis-prize-taps-michael-douglas
  26. ^ Variety Magazine, Michael Douglas Receives Genesis Prize in Israel, June 18, 2015 http://variety.com/2015/film/news/michael-douglas-israel-benjamin-netanyahu-genesis-prize-1201523352/
  27. ^ "Genesis Prize Foundation and Jewish Funders Network Launch Matching Grants Initiative in Honor of Michael Douglas," August 31, 2015, http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/genesis-prize-foundation-and-jewish-funders-network-launch-matching-grants-initiative-in-honor-of-michael-douglas/?utm_source=Mon+Aug+31N*&utm_campaign=Mon+Aug+31&utm_medium=email
  28. ^ Jerusalem Post, ‘IMAGINE’ design competition for Genesis Prize statuette announced, July 5, 2015, http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/IMAGINE-design-competition-for-Genesis-Prize-statuette-announced-408073

External links

  • Genesis Prize
  • Genesis Generation Challenge
  • Genesis Philanthropy Group
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