Morris Khan (left) poses with Natalie Portman and Genesis Prize Foundation chairman and co-founder Stan Polovets.
(photo credit: GENESIS PRIZE FOUNDATION)
Israeli philanthropist and humanitarian Morris Kahn has donated $1 million to the Genesis Prize Foundation in honor of 2018 Laureate Natalie Portman, it was announced on Tuesday.
Portman, a world-renowned actress, director and social activist became the fifth Genesis Prize Laureate in November 2017.
In keeping with the tradition established by the previous laureates, Portman announced she would donate her prize funds to programs focusing on advancing women’s equality in all aspects of human endeavor.
A significant portion of the funds will go to support NGOs working in the field of women’s rights in Israel.
Kahn’s gift will double the 2018 award fund to $2 million.
“I would like to express my gratitude and admiration to Morris Kahn for his incredible support of the 2018 Genesis Prize theme,” said Portman in a statement. “Morris’s generosity once again reinforces how relevant and important the issue of women’s equality is today – in Israel, in the US and beyond.”
Kahn, a South African-born businessman and philanthropist who moved to Israel in 1956, is the founder of Amdocs and the Coral World Underwater Observatory in Eilat.
He supports a wide range of initiatives including making cataract and trachoma surgery accessible to Ethiopian villagers; running a summer camp for children with terminal diseases; and operating a therapeutic riding center for the disabled.
Additionally, Kahn funds Save a Child’s Heart, a nonprofit that provides life-saving cardiac surgery for children from developing countries. To date, it has saved more than 4,000 lives.
His latest initiative involves the founding of the Morris Kahn and Maccabi Health Data Institution, which will provide a technological platform to support medical breakthroughs in the fields of predictive analysis and precision medicine.
“The Genesis Prize is known for focusing its philanthropy on issues that are both relevant and timely; the issue of women’s equality and empowerment is, without a doubt, one of them,” said Kahn. “I believe that the outstanding Jewish role model Ms. Portman and the Genesis Prize Foundation together are well positioned to make a difference and drive meaningful change. It is an honor to be a part of this effort.”
Earlier this year, Kahn gave a gift in support of the 2017 Genesis Prize Laureate Anish Kapoor, whose Genesis Prize theme focused on alleviating the plight of refugees, and raising awareness in the Jewish community of the urgent need to support refugees.
Kahn’s gift financed the treatment of hearing loss among Syrian children from conflict areas that were brought to Ziv Medical Center in Safed for diagnostic examination, clinical treatment, surgery and rehabilitation.
“It is a privilege to join forces with Morris Kahn, who is widely admired for his thoughtful and innovative philanthropy,” said Genesis Prize Foundation cofounder and chairman Stan Polovets.
He added that the gift “will significantly enhance the reach and impact of Genesis Prize programs focused on advancing women’s equality.”
Portman will be honored at the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem on June 28.