Dumbing Down the ‘Jewish Nobel Prize’

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Martin Short speaking ahead of the Genesis Prize Foundation’s award ceremony in Jerusalem on June 20, 2019. Photo: Screenshot.JNS.org – Did the Jewish people really need their own Nobel Prize? To the three wealthy Russian Jewish business “oligarchs” who endowed the Genesis Prize with $50 million in contributions, the answer was “yes.”
The Genesis Prize Foundation was set up in coordination with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Prime Minister’s Office in 2012, and started handing out the annual award in 2014 to a group of rich, accomplished and, above all, famous honorees, who were then given the task of handing out $1 million in grants to worthy causes. The conceit of the exercise was to draw attention to well-known Jews who cared about Jewish causes, thereby setting a laudatory example to the next generation that being truly successful ought to also mean not forgetting about the need to feel connected to your fellow Jews and do good Jewish philanthropic deeds.
As a piece of public relations, it’s been a brilliant success, as the “Jewish Nobel Prize” is the kind of brand that, while absurd, is also the sort of thing that’s hard to forget.
But as an example of …

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