New York Mayor Bloomberg has been chosen by the recently formed Genesis Philanthropy Group to pick up what is already being described as the "Jewish Nobel Prize."
The announcement of the formation of the new charity, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, as well as their intention to make the awarding of the $1 Million Genesis Prize an annual event was made at a recent news conference held in New York,
The Genesis Philanthropy Group was created as a foundation to promote the continuation of the Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide. Its founders, Pyotr Aven, Mikhail Fridman German Khan Alexander Knaster and Stan Polovets, have financed the fund with an endowment of $100 million, which will be set aside to pay for the prize for years to come. According to the founders, the Genesis Prize will perpetuate the recognition of exceptional people whose values and achievements will inspire the next generations of Jewish people.
Michael Bloomberg qualifies to be a recipient of the prize as his grandparents were Russian speakers, having immigrated to the United States from Belarus, former members of the Soviet Union.
The Genesis Prize will be jointly administered by the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency for Israel, with candidates being considered among Jewish people of Russian origin who have achieved success as well as recognition in a variety of fields, including arts, business, science, diplomacy and local and national government, with Bloomberg's remarkable achievements having fallen into a few of these categories, the charity organizers stated at their news conference.
Michael Bloomberg was chosen from more than 200 leading figures nominated from around the world, According to the prize committee, which included Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Prize-winning author, and Meir Shamgar, former head of the Israel Supreme Court. Bloomberg was chosen to receive the inaugural prize in recognition of his outstanding track record of outstanding public service as well as his role as one of the world's greatest philanthropists.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the award Mr. Bloomberg at a ceremony in Jerusalem in May.
In a statement made, after it was announced that he will be the first recipient of the Genesis Prize, declared that he was honored to receive the award, while he plans to donate the prize money to a philanthropic cause, which he will name in the near future.
In his statement, Bloomberg recalled how his parents instilled Jewish values and ethics in him as a child. "These are the same 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."
Bloomberg's statement wound up by saying that 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.
Michael Bloomberg was born and raised in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston. Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University, from where he graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering, going on to study at the Harvard Business School where he gained a Master of Business Administration degree.
After graduation, Bloomberg embarked on his professional career at the Wall Street securities brokerage Salomon Brothers after graduating.
In 1973, Bloomberg was appointed to the role of general partner, where he headed the equity trading department. In 1981, Salomon Brothers were taken over and Bloomberg was handed a generous $10 million severance package, a sum large enough to see him form his own company where he spent the next twenty years building it into a multi-billion dollar media empire, before stepping down to become the Mayor of New York City, Bloomberg took up his role on the first of January 2002, less than three months after the Twin Towers terrorist attack and is due to step down at the end of the year.