New York, October 11, 2021 – Today The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) released the names of six finalists nominated for the 2022 Genesis Prize and opened the list to worldwide public voting.
The annual $1 million Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by Time magazine, honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values. The 2022 Laureate will follow in the footsteps of Steven Spielberg, who won the 2021 Genesis Prize.
The finalists for the 2022 Genesis Prize are:
- Albert Bourla (Greece/US), Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, under whose leadership the company delivered a COVID vaccine in record time
- Sacha Baron Cohen (UK), Award-winning actor, producer, director, philanthropist and social activist
- Diane von Furstenberg (US), Iconic fashion designer and philanthropist
- Yuval Noah Harari (Israel), Best-selling author, philosopher
- Scarlett Johansson (US), Award-winning actress, social activist
- Serge Klarsfeld (France), Legendary Nazi hunter and human rights activist
“The chance to vote for the Genesis Prize Laureate is an invitation to reflect on the meaning of Jewish achievement, how it impacts the world and shapes our modern identity,” said Stan Polovets, Co-Founder and Chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation. “Six extraordinary finalists represent Jewish talent in all its diversity: age, gender, geography, and professional achievement. We invite you to make your voice heard and vote for the 2022 Genesis Prize Laureate.”
Since 2020, the vote of global Jewry has been a factor of paramount importance in Laureate selection. Last year, two hundred thousand Jews on six continents cast their votes for one of the 2021 finalists. The outcome of the public vote is taken into consideration by the Genesis Prize Committee, which retains the ultimate discretion in selecting the Laureate.
The 2022 Laureate will be announced early in 2022, along with the philanthropic initiative to which the $1 million prize, and potential additional matching funds, will be directed.
The Genesis Prize Foundation plans to honor the Laureate at a gala ceremony in Israel in mid-2022, COVID situation permitting.
The Genesis Prize is a global award that celebrates Jewish achievement and contribution to humanity. Launched in 2013, the Prize is financed through a permanent endowment of $100 million established by The Genesis Prize Foundation.
Previous Genesis Prize laureates are former New York City Mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg (2014); actor, producer and peace activist Michael Douglas (2015); Itzhak Perlman, virtuoso violinist and advocate for individuals with special needs (2016); sculptor and advocate for the rights of refugees Sir Anish Kapoor (2017); Oscar-winning actress and social activist Natalie Portman (2018); owner of New England Patriots and founder of a new foundation to combat anti-Semitism Robert Kraft (2019); legendary Jewish leader and human rights activist Natan Sharansky (2020) and filmmaker Steven Spielberg (2021). In 2018, the Genesis Prize Foundation honored U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to social justice and equal rights.
All previous Laureates have re-gifted their monetary awards to philanthropic causes about which they are passionate. The $1 million prize award, along with matching funds, have been donated in their honor to various initiatives, including: support of social entrepreneurship based on Jewish values, inclusiveness of intermarried families in Jewish life, improving the lives of individuals with special needs, helping to alleviate the global refugee crisis, advancing women’s equality, combatting anti-Semitism and efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel, assistance to those affected by the COVID pandemic, and non-profits fighting for racial and economic justice.
Since inception in 2013, The Genesis Prize has leveraged the annual $1 million award into philanthropic initiatives totaling $45 million, with grants going to 197 nonprofit programs in 31 countries, directly impacting the lives of tens of thousands of people.
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