Israel Awards Bloomberg USD$1m 'Jewish Nobel Prize'
On Monday 21 October 2013, The Genesis Prize Foundation announced New York City Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg as the first recipient of the USD1m Genesis Prize, an award popularly dubbed the "Jewish Nobel Prize", for his public service and philanthropy.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the prize to Bloomberg early next year in Israel. Bloomberg, a billionaire, will then announce to which philanthropic cause he will donate the money.
Mr Bloomberg said, “I am deeply honoured to be the first recipient of the Genesis Prize. 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.”
The Genesis prize seeks to recongnise 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 endowed by the Genesis Philanthropy Group and awarded annually by the Prime Minister of Israel to a single individual. It is administered by a unique partnership, which includes the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, and the Office of the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Through this partnership and a worldwide nomination process, the goal of the Genesis Prize is to inspire unity throughout the global Jewish community. Bloomberg, whose third and final term as New York mayor is drawing to an end, has said he was honoured to be chosen.
Whilst Bloomberg has not yet decided what to do with the money, it is thought that he will put the funds towards something that will foster relationships in a very difficult part of the world.
Bloomberg was selected from a field of 200 nominees. Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, a member of the selection committee, said Bloomberg set a high bar for the new award.