Prize Committee Member
Morris Kahn was born in South Africa in 1930 to humble beginnings. In 1956 at the age of 26, he moved to Israel with his late wife Jacqueline and his two sons, David and Benjamin.
Foresight and business acumen were key to achieving his first large-scale success in the business world with the establishment of Israel’s Golden (Yellow) Pages in 1968. Six years later, Morris opened the first Underwater Observatory Park in Eilat. In 1978, Morris co-founded the Aurum Group, and proceeded to establish companies in diverse fields, Golden Lines and Golden Channels, and was instrumental in the entry of global corporations AT&T and AIG into the Israeli market.
In 1980, Morris co-founded Amdocs, which served as the foundation upon which Israel later built itself as ‘The Startup Nation.’ His large-scale, diversified business activities contributed to the development of the Israeli economy and created thousands of jobs.
In recent years, Morris has increasingly focused his attention on philanthropy and venture philanthropy, he supports, among others, cutting-edge cancer stem cell research, including the establishment of a laboratory for fertility preservation among cancer patients in Tel Hashomer and a biomedical research laboratory focusing on genetics and genetic mapping. The most recent collaboration was establishing the Morris Kahn & Maccabi Health Data Science Institute to enhance human health by providing a technological platform that will support medical breakthroughs in the fields of predictive analysis and precision medicine.
Morris supports organizations that make cataract and trachoma surgery available to Ethiopian villagers; operate a therapeutic horseback riding center for the disabled; and Save a Child's Heart, a non-profit organization providing life-saving cardiac surgery for children from developing countries.
Morris serves as the president and is the main donor of SpaceIL, an NGO that piloted the first Israeli spacecraft mission to the moon in 2019.
His exemplary leadership has inspired generations of entrepreneurs and young dreamers. His desire to do good for humanity and to ensure the prosperity of the world continue to be his guiding principles.