Barbra Streisand awarded tenth anniversary Genesis Prize

The “Jewish Nobel” will celebrate six decades of Streisand’s contributions to cinema and music and her commitment to improving the world

  (photo credit:  Firooz Zahedi)
(photo credit: Firooz Zahedi)

Barbra Streisand, the iconic actor, singer, director, author and activist, has been named as the 10th anniversary Genesis Prize Laureate by The Genesis Prize. “I am delighted to be honored by the special 10th-anniversary Genesis Prize and to work with The Genesis Prize Foundation to support organizations that seek to better society and our shared humanity,” she said, adding, “I am very proud of my Jewish heritage and have always been moved by the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam to repair the world. I hope to join and inspire others in their own commitment to build a better world.”

The $1 million Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by Time magazine, honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievements, contributions to humanity and commitment to Jewish values. Following the tradition of Genesis Prize recipients, Streisand has asked the Genesis Prize Foundation to direct her prize funds to nonprofit organizations working in four areas: protecting the environment, promoting women’s health, combating disinformation in the media and aiding the people of Ukraine.

Michal Herzog, wife of President Isaac Herzog, said: “Barbra Streisand is not only my idol, a wonderful singer and actress, but also a trailblazer woman in the show business and film industry – an inspiration for women around the world. She is a true friend of Israel, an exemplary leader in the Jewish and human rights spheres – the definition of a woman of valor!”

Since the launch of the prize in 2013, Streisand has received tens of thousands of nominations and votes for the Genesis Prize. Recognizing the overwhelming display of support and admiration by global Jewry over the past decade, the judges of the selection and prize committees unanimously endorsed her. She will be honored at a special ceremony in Los Angeles in October 2023.

Streisand and her eponymous foundation have provided extensive funding to more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations and causes over the past 37 years. Most recently, she assumed the role of ambassador for United 24, an organization that provides humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The Genesis Prize Foundation contributed to United 24 in Streisand’s honor earlier this year, along with grants to many other Jewish activists and NGOs working to help alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

Founder and Chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation Stan Polovets said, “It is a great honor for our Foundation to celebrate Barbra Streisand – one of the world’s most beloved and admired performers. In addition to delighting audiences all over the world for the past six decades with her amazing talents, Barbra has dedicated her time, resources, and passion to numerous important causes, speaking out whenever and wherever she saw injustice. Her sense of responsibility to heal the world grows out of her Jewish values and her Jewish identity, which Barbra has displayed proudly since the very beginning of her extraordinary career. Barbra’s innovative philanthropy has had significant impact in so many areas, including health, environment and gender equality. We look forward to working closely with Barbra and her foundation to expand that impact going forward.”

Michael R. Bloomberg remarked that “Barbra Streisand’s passionate commitment to tikkun olam makes her an incredibly deserving recipient of the Genesis Prize. From her groundbreaking leadership on women’s health, to her longstanding support for stronger gun safety laws, to her invaluable partnership revitalizing Lower Manhattan through the soon-to-open Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center, Barbra has made an enormous impact on her native New York and far beyond. She has used her voice – on and off the stage and screen – to inspire generations, and I’m glad to join her fans worldwide in congratulating her.”

As the 10th-anniversary laureate, Streisand follows Dr. Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, who was honored for his leadership, determination and willingness to assume great risks in delivering a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in record time.

“I am happy to pass the torch of the Genesis Prize to the incomparable Barbra Streisand – the embodiment of Jewish talent who has touched the hearts of millions, and whose passionate activism and philanthropy has made the world a better place,” said Bourla. “I welcome Barbra to the family of Genesis Prize laureates and wish for the success of the philanthropic projects that will be undertaken in her honor.”