Michael Bloomberg To Be Awarded the $1M Genesis Prize

Organizers Liken Prize to the Jewish Nobel

Outgoing New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will be the first recipient of the Genesis Prize, an award aimed at inspiring young Jews.
getty images
Outgoing New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will be the first recipient of the Genesis Prize, an award aimed at inspiring young Jews.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published October 20, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg will be the first recipient of a new $1 million prize meant to inspire young Jews.

The Genesis Prize, backed by a group of Russian Jewish oligarchs, right-wing Israeli politicians, and American Jewish communal leaders, will be awarded to the outgoing New York City mayor on October 21, the New York Times reported.

Prize organizers have high hopes for their award, which early press releases likened to a Jewish Nobel Prize. Wayne Firestone, the former director of Hillel International and the current president of the foundation created to give out the prize, told the Forward in April that he saw the prize as away to get young Jews excited about being Jewish.

“What I’m hoping to do is to build an engagement platform for young adults, to allow them to meet these individuals, hear their stories, potentially interact with them directly,” Firestone said at the time.

It’s unclear whether the mayor of New York City, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $31 billion, will meet with young Jewish adults on behalf of Genesis.

Genesis Prize organizers faced criticism before the prize was announced over the small number of women on the prize committee and the rightward slant in the political affiliations of prize committee members. Others expressed skepticism as to whether such a prize was necessary.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.