NYC Mayor Bloomberg wins inaugural prize recognizing Jewish values


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the first recipient of the Genesis Prize, announced Monday by the Genesis Philanthropy Group.

"I am deeply honored to be the first recipient of the Genesis Prize," Bloomberg said in a statement issued by the organization, established as a foundation that promotes Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide

He said his parents instilled in him Jewish values and ethics that he "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."

Bloomberg receives a $1 million award for what organizers have called the "Jewish Nobel Prize," The New York Times reported.

The Genesis Prize will be presented by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in May.

Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, who heads the prize committee, announced the selection in New York.

"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," Edelstein said in a statement. "Mayor Bloomberg has successfully advanced practical solutions to key global issues that range from education and public health to the environment and global innovation. He has also been outspoken in his support of Israel and exhibits a great sense of pride in his Jewish identity and heritage."

Bloomberg, one of 200 people worldwide nominated for the prize, plans to donate the prize money to a philanthropic cause he will announce next year.