Actress Scarlett Johansson, actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, and Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari were among the six nominees for the 2022 Genesis Prize, also dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by Time Magazine.
The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) released the list earlier this week and invited the worldwide public to participate in voting for the selection of next year’s winner. The seven nominees were selected as a result of a four-week-long global online nominations campaign.
The annual Genesis Prize, a $1 million award established in 2013, seeks to recognize Jewish individuals who have attained excellence and international recognition in their chosen professional fields with a contribution to humanity and a commitment to Jewish values.
This is the second time that the process of choosing a winner has been open to the public. Last year’s winner, US director Steven Spielberg, was awarded the prize for “his contribution to cinema, his philanthropic works, and his efforts to preserve the memory of the Holocaust,” AP News reported.
The 2021 nominees are:
- Albert Bourla chief executive officer of Pfizer, led the company delivered a leading COVID-19 vaccine in record time (Greece/US)
- Sacha Baron Cohen actor, producer, director and activist (UK)
- Diane von Furstenberg fashion designer (US)
- Yuval Noah Harari philosopher and author (Israel)
- Scarlett Johansson actress, activist (US)
- Serge Klarsfeld human rights activist and hunter for Nazi criminals (France)
All previous laureates have donated their award to philanthropic initiatives such as those that advance women’s equality, support refugees, and improve the lives of those with special needs. Last year, Steven Spielberg donated his $1 million to 10 non-profit organizations working on the frontlines of racial and economic justice in the United States.
Voting for the 2021 recipient began on Wednesday and will be conducted online. The laureate will be announced early next year.
“The chance to vote for the Genesis Prize Laureate is an invitation to reflect on the meaning of Jewish achievement, how it impacts the world and shapes our modern identity,” said Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation. “Six extraordinary finalists represent Jewish talent in all its diversity: age, gender, geography, and professional achievement. We invite you to make your voice heard and vote for the 2022 Genesis Prize Laureate.”
The Genesis Prize Foundation plans to honor the Laureate at a gala ceremony in Israel in 2022, COVID-19 situation permitting and subject to clearance by Israel’s health authorities.