New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was announced today as the first ever recipient of the $1 million Genesis Prize, to be presented next May in Israel by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The award was created by the Genesis Philanthropy Group in partnership with the Israeli government to honour "exceptional people whose values and achievements will inspire the next generations of Jews".
According to Knesset Speaker Yudi Edelstein: "Mayor Bloomberg's selection as the first Genesis Prize Laureate reflects his track record of outstanding public service and his role as one of the world's greatest philanthropists.
"He has also been outspoken in his support of Israel and exhibits a great sense of pride in his Jewish identity and heritage."
Mr Bloomberg said in a statement: "Many years ago, my parents instilled in me Jewish values and ethics that I have carried with me throughout my life, and which have guided every aspect of my work in business, government, and philanthropy.
"The Genesis Prize embraces and promotes those same values and ethics — a common thread among the Jewish people worldwide that has helped move humankind forward for centuries."
Mayor Bloomberg will donate the $1 million prize to a philanthropic cause, which he will announce early next year.
The charity hopes this annual award will soon gain the same prestige as the leading prizes of the world, including the Nobel Prizes and the MacArthur Awards.