On June 23, 2016, world-renowned and 16-time Grammy winning violinist Itzhak Perlman received the third annual Genesis Prize at a ceremony in Jerusalem that was attended by politicians, businesspeople and philanthropists from around the world. The event, which was hosted by Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren, emphasized the importance of integrating disabled persons in all aspects of society and the impact Jews have had on music throughout history. Also featured were speeches and presentations from the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Genesis Prize Co-Founder Michael Fridman, 2016 Genesis Prize Laureate Itzhak Perlman and the evening’s emcee, Ms. Mirren.

A generous donation from philanthropist Roman Abramovich doubled the Genesis Prize award this year to $2 million. At the award ceremony, Itzhak Perlman announced that he will be re-gifting the funds: a portion of the funds will be directed to initiatives to support persons with disabilities in North America, and organizations will apply for matching grants from this fund through a process administered by Jewish Funders Network; a portion will be directed to initiatives to support persons with disabilities in Israel, and organizations will apply for grants through Matan; and the remaining portion will be directed to grants in arts and culture.