New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday that he will use the $1 million Genesis Prize to promote economic ties between Israelis and Palestinians.
Bloomberg said at a Hanukkah party at the Museum of Jewish Heritage-Living Memorial to the Holocaust that he will use the proceeds from the first Genesis Prize, known as the Jewish Nobel Prize, to “promote commerce between the people in Palestine and the people in Israel,” the Daily Forward reported.
It is not yet known which organizations will be assisted by the prize money, according to The New York Jewish Week.
Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman, acknowledged again Monday — as he did when the award was announced — that he was unsure about why he was selected for the prize. He will receive the prize in May.
In his third and final term as New York mayor, Bloomberg 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 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 Genesis Prize Foundation website.
The foundation was established last year 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.