April 27, 2017: The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) announced today that Steven A. Rakitt has been named its President. Rakitt will join GPF’s office in NYC on August 1 and will be responsible for the Foundation’s activities outside Israel and FSU.
The Genesis Prize honors individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their dedication to the Jewish community and Jewish values. The Prize, in the amount of $1 million, is endowed by the Genesis Prize Foundation and awarded annually. Laureates to date include Michael Bloomberg, Michael Douglas, and Itzhak Perlman. This year's recipient is renowned sculptor and human rights activist, Anish Kapoor.
Mr. Rakitt is a seasoned executive with four decades of experience as an innovative and impactful leader, most recently as CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, where he championed greater communal inclusion of those with disabilities, significantly expanded young adult outreach and helped inspire the creation of cutting-edge engagement programming. Prior to the DC post, which he assumed in 2011, Mr. Rakitt was President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta for 11 years.
Genesis Prize Foundation Co-founder and CEO Stan Polovets said: "Steve is a very highly-regarded Jewish communal professional and we are thrilled to have someone of his caliber join Genesis. His extensive knowledge and visionary leadership will help guide the continued growth of the Genesis Prize and expand its impact."
Sana Britavsky, Deputy CEO responsible for GPF’s activities in Israel and FSU, said: "Steve has acquired a wealth of experience forging connections between Israel and American Jewry and enabling greater unity and inclusion in the Jewish world. We are confident Steve will contribute greatly to the success of our ultimate mission – strengthening Jewish identity and unity by celebrating our values and our contribution to humanity."
It has become a tradition for the Genesis Prize Laureates to direct the $1 million award, as well as matching funds contributed by other philanthropists, to meaningful causes about which they feel passionate. During the last three years, almost $10 million has been raised to support philanthropic initiatives of the Genesis Prize Laureates. This year, the funds will go toward helping to alleviate the Syrian refugee crisis and trying to expand the Jewish community’s engagement in a global effort to support refugees.
Rakitt said: “I look forward to joining the Genesis team, developing new partnerships in North America and Europe, and expanding the impact of the Genesis Prize in the Jewish world and beyond. I have long been an admirer of the Genesis Prize Foundation and am very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. ”
To learn more about the Genesis Prize Foundation visitgenesisprize.org.
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For inquiries contact:
Ali Rose, Senior Manager, Genesis Prize Foundation, m: 267-738-0677