For the first time since its inception, the Genesis Award Foundation presents to the general public the final candidates for the prestigious award of a total of $ 1 million, and calls on the public in Israel and around the world to choose the winner. This is a significant change in the process of selecting award winners from the beginning of 2021.
In recent weeks, more than 45,000 people around the world participated in the first phase of the selection process and nominated about 4,000 candidates for the award on social media and on the foundation’s website.
Of these, seven received the highest number of votes: American singer and actress Barbara Streisand, actor, comedian and social media activist Sasha Baron Cohen, Israeli star in Hollywood, Gal Gadot, esteemed film director Steven Spielberg, Salesforce founder and Time Magazine owner Mark Benioff U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and Lord Rabbi Jonathan Zacks, author, former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom.
The foundation invites the public to take part in the final and decisive stage of the selection process, and to vote for the most worthy candidate among the seven: in the attached link. The winner will be announced in early 2021, alongside the philanthropic theme to which the $ 1 million prize money will be awarded.
The founder and chairman of the Genesis Prize Fund, Stan Polovets: “The voice of the Jewish people – from all over the world – will now become the most important factor in choosing a Genesis Prize winner for 2021. I am proud to lead this welcome change, and give the public will the right place in the selection process. Our dedicated selection committee. ”
The Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by Time magazine, was won this year (2020) by human rights activist and former Zionist prisoner Natan Sharansky. Previous winners include former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roth Baider Ginsburg, and violinist Isaac Perlman.
The Genesis Prize is an annual prize, which miraculously elevates people beyond the ordinary values on which they operate, and their achievements, inspire the next generation of the Jewish people. The winners of the Genesis Award for their generations each year choose a philanthropic theme with personal significance that is important to them and transfer grants to organizations working in the field, such as improving the lives of people with special needs, promoting women’s equality and supporting refugees. Genesis Award winner Robert Kraft donated $ 20 million of his own money to establish a fund dedicated to the fight against anti-Semitism.
As mentioned, the seven finalists were selected in an extensive digital campaign that has been running in recent weeks on the net. Since the award was first presented in 2013, the process has opened up to the general public. In previous years, a special committee of public figures selected the final nominees and brides and grooms.
The chairman of the Genesis Prize Selection Committee and the chairman of the Jewish Agency, Yitzhak Herzog, said: “The quality, diversity and achievements of the candidates are amazing and a source of pride, which will definitely make it difficult for the selection committee in the selection process.”