Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Genesis Philanthropy Group founder Mikhail Fridman today (Tuesday, 26 June 2012) announced the Genesis Prize, the "Jewish Nobel Prize" – an international prize which will be awarded to Jews who win global recognition due to their achievements in the fields of science and the arts.
The Genesis Prize, worth $1 million, to be financed by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, will be awarded by Prime Minister Netanyahu at a festive annual ceremony to be held close to the Passover holiday. The goal of the prize is to emphasize the contribution of the Jews to world history and draw the younger generation of Jews around the world closer to the State of Israel and Jewish identity.
The prize selection committee will be chaired by Jewish Agency Chairman Sharansky and will be composed of retired judges and Diaspora Jewish community leaders, as well as Prime Minister's Office and Genesis Philanthropy Group representatives. The prize winner will be chosen in a multi-stage process from among a group of candidates, each of whom feel a link to the Jewish People and the State of Israel and are an exemplar for the younger generation.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "The prize symbolizes Jews' great contribution in human development and will be a source of pride for young Jews around the world. The Jewish People has developed excellence over the years due thanks to its values and heritage. This is an important step for the cohesion of our people and symbolizes its unity around Jewish values."
Jewish Agency Chairman Sharansky said, "The development and strengthening of Jewish identity in Israel and the Diaspora constitutes an incentive for the welfare of humanity as a whole. Only by being completely aware of their link to the values of the Jewish heritage can modern Jews fully realize their creative potential. The Genesis Prize expresses the joint effort of the Jewish Agency, the State of Israel and Jewish philanthropists."
Genesis Philanthropy Group founder Fridman said, "The Genesis Prize emphasizes the contribution of the Jews to world history. Far-reaching achievements in science, the arts, business, medicine, diplomacy and other fields of human endeavor have been realized thanks to the Jewish People's natural aspiration to improve the world and to its desire to pass its moral values on to coming generations. This tradition of the Jewish People must continue."