Author Eli Wiesel has joined a committee of worldwide VIPs appointed to award the first "Jewish Nobel Prize," the $1 million Genesis Prize.
Leaders such as Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Scharansky, Britain's Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Israeli lawmaker Yuli Edelstein and others from around the world have already joined.
The global initiative, established in 2012 by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, Office of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, is aimed at strengthening the connection of Jewish people around the world to the cultural and spiritual values that unite them.
Dubbed the "Jewish Nobel" by TIME Magazine, the annual prize is to be awarded to an accomplished, internationally renowned professional who serves as a role model in the community and can inspire the younger generation of Jews worldwide, said Scharansky, head of the Genesis Prize Selection Committee.
"From Moses to Maimonides and Einstein to Ben Gurion, Jews have contributed to the world in an unparalleled way – always moving forward and inspiring inventions, innovations, thought and creativity," he said.
"The Genesis Prize pays homage to that and aims to find the next generation of great Jewish minds."
Candidates are to be nominated by leaders of prominent institutions and organizations in every major Jewish community as well as major universities worldwide. Of the nominations, five candidates will be selected for consideration by the prize committee.
"The Prize will be the cornerstone of a worldwide effort to create a new, robust consciousness for younger generations of Jews," said Stan Polovets, Chairman of the Board of the Genesis Prize Foundation.
"We believe that when young people better understand and relate to their rich historical and cultural legacy, they are far more likely to carry forth important values that can contribute to the betterment of the world."