Jay Leno to Present Genesis Prize to Michael Bloomberg in Jerusalem

02.05.2014

At the upcoming presentation for the inaugural Genesis Prize, former Tonight Show host Jay Leno will present the award to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The awards ceremony will see some 400 international dignitaries in attendance, with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Nobel laureates, philanthropists, and various global business leaders as guest. Additionally, the May 22 ceremony will see Grammy award winning pianist Evgeny Kissin and Israeli singer Rita perform.

Speaking of Leno's appearance, Stan Polovets, the Genesis Prize Foundations chairman, said that "Jay Leno is a comedic icon who has entertained millions of people around the world for over 20 years."

"What many don't know, however, is that he is also a great friend to Israel," he added. "We are delighted that he will join us and hundreds of global influencers in celebrating the achievements of the inaugural Genesis Prize Laureate Michael Bloomberg."

Leno himself spoke highly of the event, noting that "It is a great honor to be invited to host this prestigious event. I am very excited. This will be my first visit to Israel and I can't wait to be a part of the Genesis Prize ceremony."

Bloomberg will be presented by a $1 million prize endowed by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, presented by Prime Minister Netanyahu, and which will be awarded annually in a partnership with the Prime Minister's Office and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

As stated on the official website, the award will server to honor and enhance Jewish identity around the world and recognize the achievements of individuals that "embody the character of the Jewish people."

Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency and chairman of the prize's selection committee, stressed that "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."