New York – The Genesis Prize Foundation announced today that Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), will join the Selection Committee for the Genesis Generation Challenge, which aims to identify and seed money for innovative projects, guided by Jewish values, to address the world's pressing issues. The competition seeks young adult social entrepreneurs with ideas to better the world, and was established to honor Michael R. Bloomberg, the inaugural Genesis Prize laureate. The Challenge will award 10 teams $100,000 USD each. Winners will be announced in the first quarter of 2015.
Messinger has dedicated her life to serving others, locally in New York City and around the world. She served on the New York City Council from 1978 to 1989 and as Manhattan Borough President from 1990 to 1998. At that time, she was best known for her advocacy on behalf of public schools and her activities to reach compromise between developers and neighborhood advocates. In 1997, Ms. Messinger was the first woman to receive a major party nomination for mayor. When she lost the race to Rudy Giuliani, she assumed the presidency of AJWS, and subsequently transformed the then tiny organization into an internationally recognized human rights funder.
"I am honored to participate in the exciting and important work of the Genesis Generation Challenge by serving on the distinguished panel of evaluators that will select social good projects grounded in Jewish values with the most promise for improving our world," remarked Messinger. "I am especially pleased to be part of this project, which honors Michael Bloomberg, the first Genesis Prize Laureate, by helping young adults follow his example in pursuing innovative projects and making service everyone's responsibility," said Messinger.
Messinger is a tireless activist for human rights, and currently sits on the U.S. State Department's Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group and co-chairs its Sub-Working Group on Social Justice. Many national Jewish organizations have honored Messinger, and she has been named by The Jewish Daily Forward, The Jerusalem Post and The Huffington Post as one of the world's most influential Jews and religious leaders in the 21st century.
Sana Britavsky, Deputy CEO of the Genesis Prize Foundation, commented, "We are fortunate to have someone of Ruth Messinger's caliber help select a new crop of promising projects."
All competitors must register online by September 30, 2014 at www.genesis-generation.org. Teams then must submit their applications on the site by October 28th, 2014. All approved submissions are then distributed to an international expert evaluation panel, which will review and score the applications. The 15 highest scores will be passed to the Selection Committee. Ms. Messinger is the fourth individual to be named to the committee. She joins Nobel Laureate Dan Shechtman; Director of Global Cities, Inc., Marjorie B. Tiven; and President of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women, Jill Smith.
A complete description of the criteria for submission, rules, application and scoring for the Genesis Generation Challenge is available at www.Genesis-Generation.org.
About the Genesis Prize
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. The Prize is administered by a partnership that includes the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Genesis Philanthropy Group, and the Office of the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Genesis Philanthropy Group (gpg.org) has established a $100 million endowment to launch the Genesis Prize Foundation, as well as fund the prize and related young adult engagement activities. To learn more about The Genesis Prize, please visit genesisprize.org or facebook.com/TheGenesisPrize and follow on Twitter at @TheGenesisPrize
About American Jewish World Service
Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS advances the health and rights of women, girls and LGBT people; promotes civil and political rights; and defends access to food, land and livelihoods. We pursue lasting change by supporting grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by mobilizing our community in the U.S. to advocate for global justice. Working together, we strive to build a more just and equitable world.