Government of Israel, Genesis Philanthropy Group and Jewish Agency for Israel Launch $1M Genesis Prize

26.06.2012

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Million dollar prize will be awarded annually to a Jewish individual who has excelled in sciences, art, business, public service or the professions while maintaining a strong bond with Israel and/or the Jewish people.

The Government of Israel, Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Jewish Agency for Israel have the annual international Genesis Prize. This prize was announced by the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Mikhail Fridman (co-founder of Genesis Philanthropy Group) and Natan Sharansky (Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Agency for Israel).

The Genesis Prize will be awarded to individuals who have achieved international recognition in their professional field, the worlds of science and the arts. The Prize Laureate will be selected, through a multi-tiered process, from a list of individuals nominated by a committee of distinguished independent experts. Each nominee will have demonstrated a strong connection to the Jewish people and/or to the State of Israel as well as being a role model for younger generations.

The objective of the Genesis Prize is to emphasize across the Jewish community and the world at large the importance of Jewish values to the fulfillment of human potential and to the betterment of the world. This, in turn, is intended to strengthen the Jewish identity of the millions of young Jews across the world, who are rapidly assimilating and losing connection to the Jewish people and their rich heritage.

At the launch ceremony Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, said: "This prize will emphasize the role of the Jewish people in the progress of humanity, strengthen the pride of the Jewish youth worldwide in their legacy, help them to develop their Jewish identity and facilitate their bond with Israel".

"The Genesis Prize celebrates the enormous contribution of the Jewish people throughout history to the development of human civilization. Many significant advances in science, art, business, medicine, diplomacy and other fields are due to the commitment of the Jewish people to the betterment of the world and to sharing their values with future generations. This great tradition must continue," said Mikhail Fridman, co-founder of Genesis Philanthropy Group.

Natan Sharansky, The Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Agency for Israel, said: "The development and strengthening of Jewish identity in Israel and the Diaspora contributes to the welfare of humanity across the world. Only by modern-day Jews' better understanding their Jewish values and heritage can we fully realize our potential to build on the achievements of the past. The Genesis Prize is an important milestone in the work of the Jewish Agency, the State of Israel and Jewish philanthropists towards the union and the strengthening of the Jewish people."

Each year, the Genesis Prize Laureate will be awarded US$1,000,000. Funded by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, the Prize will be presented annually by the Prime Minister of Israel at a ceremony in Jerusalem, on the threshold of Passover. The Genesis Philanthropy Group will establish an endowment in Israel to fund the Prize on a perpetual basis.

As agreed by the co-founders of the Genesis Prize, Natan Sharansky will serve as the Chairman of the Nomination Committee. The selection process will also include retired members of the Supreme Court of Israel, leaders of Jewish communities in the Diaspora, as well as representatives of the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, the Knesset, and Genesis Philanthropy Group.

About Genesis Philanthropy Group

Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) was established in 2007 with the objective 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, where up to three million Russian-speaking Jews reside. Since its launch five years ago, GPG has initiated hundreds of projects and provided financial and operational support to organizations striving to preserve Jewish culture, heritage and values among Russian-speaking Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.

About the Jewish Agency for Israel

Investing in a vibrant Jewish future, The Jewish Agency for Israel continues to address the greatest challenges of our People in every generation. We connect the global Jewish family, bringing Jews to Israel- and Israel to Jews. We build a better society in Israel- and beyond- energizing young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. At the same time, The Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world's first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they live at-risk. More information can be obtained at http://www.jewishagency.org.