(JTA) — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be the first recipient of the $1 million Genesis Prize, which is being called the “Jewish Nobel Prize.”
The award is set to be announced Monday, The New York Times reported Sunday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the prize to Bloomberg at a ceremony in Jerusalem in May.
The Genesis Prize Foundation was established in 2012 by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, a consortium of mega-wealthy philanthropist-businessmen from the former Soviet Union including Mikhail Fridman, Pyotr Aven and German Khan; the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel; and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The prize, which will be given out annually, is awarded to an accomplished, internationally renowned professional who is a role model in his or her community and can inspire the younger generation of Jews worldwide, according to the foundation’s website.
Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman who is in his third term as New York mayor, was chosen from among more than 200 nominees worldwide because of his “track record of outstanding public service and his role as one of the world’s greatest philanthropists,” according to the prize committee, The New York Times reported.
“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,” Bloomberg said in a statement issued Sunday, in which he said he was honored to receive the prize, according to the newspaper.
The prize committee, chaired by Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, also includes Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel; Meir Shamgar, justice and president emeritus of Israel’s Supreme Court; and Tova Strasberg-Cohen, a retired justice of the Israeli high court.